(originally posted as a Note in Facebook on June 1, 2011.)
Perspective is a very powerful tool in maintaining emotional balance. Most of us live our lives in the present, what’s happening in my world, sort of mode. Selfishness or self-preservation are God-given traits that in and of themselves are not bad possessions. We long to make sense out of what happens in our circle and how those events impact our lives and the lives of those we love.
Being privileged to parent a special needs child these past eleven years, I have had many opportunities to study the subject of perspective. I have seen in my own life how perspective can change my outlook and how it can dampen or brighten my spirit. Many times I have been enjoying the moment of self-pity only to be abruptly pulled away from that self attended party to realize how selfish I am to feel sorry for myself. For I need look no further than the next hospital bed, as I am doing tonight, to realize how blessed I am. Often reality will slap me in the face at a physician’s office, therapy waiting room, or even in a public place like a store or restaurant.
Today, I have had my perspective brought back into focus several times. These are just a few of the scenarios God used today to show me how small my problems are: a one-week old, 3 pound little boy undergoing open heart surgery; a beautiful little girl with a grossly enlarged and deformed face, laughing in the hallway as she chased her mom; a grandma crying over her granddaughters struggle to breathe around a cyst forming on her throat; a beautifully dressed, hair bow clad baby girl with a trach to assist her in breathing and the mom trying to juggle baby, stroller, and equipment; a doctor in the hallway, grasping for words to explain the prognosis that parents didn’t want to hear.
What is it that is the subject of your pity party? What in your life is so big and consuming that you can’t see around it to realize how blessed you are? I’m thanking God this morning that my daughter can see and hear and feel. No, she can’t speak and yes she has to be carried everywhere she goes, but we have no problems compared to those I shared time and space with at UNC Children’s Hospital today.
I have found in my own journey through grief and loss that perspective is the road that either carries me deeper into sadness or brings me closer to healing. It depends on which way I travel on that road called perspective. If I must walk that journey of loss and grief and chronic illness then I want to walk in a way that will encourage my fellow journeymen. I want to be a light to those around me, a beacon of hope that helps them realign their perspective.
God continually uses people and circumstances to realign the perspective from which I view the world. In the end, what matters is what I did with my load. I’ll keep mine and be thankful that it is light in comparison to what I see other bear.
From my heart,