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  • Jen Mantle

A Change in Perspective

I talk a lot about perspective.

Seeing things from a different point of view.

Most of us feel as though we are completely capable of this, however it gets tricky!

Here’s an example.

This past weekend, I left my son home alone for 2 hours. Something I wasn’t super excited about.

A few hours after coming home, I went to light my favorite candle only to discover wax had dripped down the outside of the container. After noticing this, I also discovered several other candles were misplaced and awry.

Well, this “evidence” was enough to make me go off the edge.

I immediately used what I had found to create a story of what had happened.

One that involved my 13 year old home alone playing with matches, lighters and candles.

My brain was exploding, and I was outraged!

I immediately confronted him with my fixed perspective and mountain of “evidence”.

My son- calm, cool and collected, explained what had actually happened.

A few hours after I had returned home, I was in the back yard with the dogs. My son went on the front porch, lit a few candles and read a book. A lovely, relaxing time that was just what he needed (doing his homework to boot).

His only mistake was that he had tried to bring the candle back inside while it was still molten.

So you see, I had a fixed perspective, then used all of the evidence I could find to create a story that supported this view.

However by using my words and communicating, I found a much less sinister truth.

Yes, it still involved an open flame, however one that was outdoors with me 100’ away.

Our brains will find evidence to support whatever story we want.

But if we allow curiosity, open our perspective and look at things more neutrally, things change.

Tunnel vision is common for all of us, and evidence proving whatever it is we want to prove is always readily available regardless of the viewpoint.

I find that using Byron Katie's line of questioning to be the most helpful. Whatever the situation is, you can ask these four questions.

  • Is it true?

  • Can you absolutely know that it's true?

  • How do you react, what happens, when you believe that thought?

  • Who would you be without the thought?

Next time you find yourself feeling certain of a particular story or view (even if you have “evidence”), stop, get curious and broaden your horizons.

Bring in your curiosity, ask questions and be extra compassionate with yourself.

A change in perspective can change everything.

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