Saturday, September 7, 2013

A different direction: a different perspective

I've been walking almost every morning for the last two weeks or so, and I've been walking basically the same path each morning:  I walk away from home along the main road that goes through the condo plan and come back along the myriad sidewalks that crisscross the grounds.  This morning, for some reason, I decided to change direction and I walked away from home using the sidewalks and came back along the road.  What a difference it made!

I saw things I hadn't seen before, and yet I know, most of what I saw for the first time, has always been there.  I saw a beautiful rose garden in front of one of the condos that I hadn't noticed before.  Beautiful pink, red and white blossoms intermingling, as the branches of the individual bushes grew together in the small space. Initially when I stopped to admire it, I thought I was walking on a sidewalk that I hadn't walked before, but when I looked around, I realized it was one of the sidewalks I always walked.  How had I not seen this rose garden before?

I saw a bright red bird feeder hanging on the branch of a small tree, directly above a couple of garden statues that I'd noticed the very first time I walked, because they were rather eye-catching:  a large blue ceramic bird sitting next to a gigantic blue and brown egg, even larger than the bird.  But I'd never noticed the bird feeder hanging right above them.  I was sure it was a new addition, and decided to take a closer look.  However, it was evident from the dust and dirt that was on it that it had been there for quite some time.  As I continued walking, wondering how I could have missed seeing it, I glanced back over my shoulder and realized that coming from the direction I usually walked, it was hidden by other branches of the tree.  If I hadn't changed direction, I might never have seen it.

I saw several very large and intricate spider webs that I hadn't 
noticed before, and although I know that spiders can weave their webs pretty quickly, from the amount of debris in these webs, it seemed evident to me that they had each been there quite a while.  Coming from a different direction, the sunlight was hitting them in a way that showcased them and allowed me to notice them. (By the way, energetically speaking, when you see a spider web, especially with the spider in it, it's a message to be aware of what you are doing in your life, as your actions today weave the pattern for your future. No spiders in the webs I saw this morning.)

There's a farm that borders the condo plan.  I think the land that is now the plan was once part of the farm and was sold off, because to get to the driveway to the farmhouse, the owner has to drive through the middle of the plan, and I noticed this morning, because I was seeing his mailbox from a different direction, that his house number was changed to fit with the numbering of the condos in the plan.  And also for the first time, I saw outbuildings for the farm that I hadn't noticed before.   

Funny how something so simple as a change in direction, a different perspective, allowed me to see things that I hadn't seen before.   It's just like what happens when we begin to live our lives from a spiritual perspective rather than just the physical one.  Just like the spider webs were showcased for me when I saw the sun shining on them from a different angle, when I look at my life from a spiritual perspective, I'm able to see things differently too.  It helps me view the circumstances from a broader perspective, a different angle. Where I used to think "Why me?"  or "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Poor me!", I'm much more likely now to think "What am I supposed to learn from this?  What is this experience here to teach me?"  "What opportunity is available to me through this experience?" Doing that makes it virtually impossible to feel like I'm a victim, and gives me an opportunity to choose how I respond to the current situation, rather than feeling like I have no choice.

It was looking back over my shoulder at the bird feeder that helped me see that the reason I didn't see it before was because, walking in my usual direction, it was obscured from view by the tree branches.  Looking back made the difference.  Just like looking back at my life has made a profound difference in how I view myself and all the others who have been a part of my journey, and all the experiences we have shared along that path.  There were so many times when I was younger, and caught up in  the middle of something, that I couldn't see anything positive about what I was going through at all.  My view was obscured by all the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that were running amuck within me.  Now, distanced from all of that and looking back, I can see the blessings, gifts and opportunities that came to me as a result of those experiences.  But I can only see it looking back. 

Walking in the opposite direction this morning really didn't teach me anything new.  I know that looking at things from a different perspective is helpful and can be very eye-opening/mind-opening.  But it was certainly a powerful reminder, especially during this time of change and transition, to be more aware of everything that is going on around me, everything I do, everything I see, and to make an extra effort to view things from more than one perspective, so that I don't miss out on any of the blessings, gifts and opportunities that God is sending my way.        



  1. Very true. Tomorrow I shall ride my bike around the neighborhoods in a different way. I have been riding the streets in "the way of least resistance." That is, the way the hills are the least steep and more spread out. I don't always have a lot of time to look at different things, because I am watching the road for small holes, stones, grates or anything that could twist my front tire and land me in a heap on the ground. On the other hand, if I take the hillier and steeper way, I will not only have to slow down, it will do more to strengthen my lungs and my legs, and also my perspective, and I may just see something very worthwhile - like the hawk that flew with me the other day, not too far in front of me or above me. Stayed with me until he just had to go faster because my legs could not pedal fast enough to keep up, and he needed more speed to keep him aloft. So awesome.

  2. Well, I did reverse my route somewhat today, and I found the way I used to do it was actually the more difficult way. Am I surprised? Of course, a knowledge of basic physics and math is extremely helpful as well. Overall, a very pleasant surprise.

    1. It's always good to try something familiar from a new perspective, and often surprising as what the new perspective shows us! Good for you for giving it a try!