William James said the words in the title. We really do see through the eyes of our own experience and each of our experiences is different, so when we come onto a situation we see it from our perspective. It’s almost like we all wear different lenses.
While on a radio show an older woman called in and told that when she was very young a doctor told her parents that she was autistic. The parents had not heard of autism and they thought the expert said their daughter was “artistic.” Their child was obviously not displaying “normal” child behavior, so with all the care and concern of devoted parents to help their child thrive, they proceeded to fill their “artistic” daughter’s life with crayons, paints, art supplies and crafts. The woman is a college graduate, articulate, joyful and successful.
I know there are degrees of autism, but my point is; there is power in labels.
Using the internal timer
In the past few days I have been mentally pulled from my routinely solid state of happiness and contentment. It doesn’t matter what the source of the discontent is. What matters is, for a time I allowed circumstances to control my habitual center of peace and joy. When that happens, that’s when a timer can come in handy. In those chaotic times when we are thrown out of our peace, if we can stop our mental and emotional free falls by setting a timer for 10 minutes of stillness for the purpose of breathing and regaining a positive direction, peace will return.
My husband was present through my tunnel of annoyance over the last couple of days and when he’d look at me; there was always a question in his eyes: Are you back yet? When I woke up this morning all I wanted to do was replay the CD in my mind labeled “injustice,” but like the song, “It’s a Small World After all,” I wanted to spare myself the needless repetition of a thought that does not match my spirit, so I set my timer for 15 minutes, to pray and get myself back.
In that short period of time, I clearly realized I needed to walk. I had not walked for two days and I certainly did not want to do it with my heavy heart, but the walk was a transfusion. I got myself back. With it came clear thoughts, free of negativity and my body called for more water and a nap. Sleep, sweet sleep came and I was completely refreshed.
The timer, prayer, exercise and rest put me at my computer to write to you.
Things are not as they are, but as we are. We have all the power and when we stop and take time to reflect on that power we can move through our negative circumstances with grace and ease. We don’t have to get buried in avalanches of negative thinking, if we can remember to stop, be still and know that mighty in the midst of our chaos is peace and all is well.