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I love to fly. And when I do, there are four things I must have on the plane – gum, a book, writing paper, and a window seat. The gum is mandatory because it keeps my ears from getting stopped up. Plus, it always helps to have fresh breath when you’re sitting that close to others.
The book is just so I can have something to read (duh!). And I like having my notebook so I can jot my ideas down on paper since I can’t make notes in my Blackberry as I normally do (like right now).
And by all means, I must have a window seat. I do not like sitting in the aisle seat (because of people walking back and forth, especially the flight attendants with the food cart) and I HATE sitting in the middle (too cramped). Now, I’ll take an aisle seat over a middle seat any day. But, my first choice is the window seat.
Why the window seat you ask? Well, for one, I don’t have to get up every time someone has to go to the bathroom. Another reason is that I can lean over and lay my head on the wall when I want to take a nap. But the most important reason for my window seat fetish is simply so I can enjoy the view. I love looking through the window during take off…watching as everything below becomes smaller and smaller as we go higher and higher. That combined with the speed is a rush for me.
Now, once the thrill of take-off has worn off, I either take a nap or start reading. I then take a break for the bountiful feast of my choice of either one peanut or one cookie along with a shot glass of Coca-Cola so graciously provided by the airline. And once I am full from this gluttonous meal, I’m back to reading or my nap. But, later my eyes are glued to the window again.
I look out the window and think how amazing it is that man is able fly. To rise above the clouds and take people over great distances faster (and supposedly safer) than he could on the ground. I’m always thankful for the experience because it allows me to see things God has created from a different perspective. The clouds. The sun. The hills and mountains. All of it is beautiful to me. It is in those moments that I feel closer to Him. I can see everything from a perspective I don’t have while I’m on the ground. I’m thankful for the opportunity and the experience. I’m thankful for the perspective. To experience God and the Earth from a higher perspective.
Perspective. Higher perspective. The ability to see a thing from a different angle. Changing my point of view to have a better understanding of what I’m dealing with.
Up until my my first flight on a plane, my experience of the world has always been from the ground level. Seeing everything up close and in greater detail. On the ground, I walk or drive a new road and all along the way it is new to me. I see and experience details of the path as I travel it. As I turn every corner. But from the sky I can see the entire path…the road and where it leads. The high-level view helps me see more, but at the expense of missing out on the detail. Both perspectives give me the opportunity to experience the world and have a more balanced view and truthful experience of it.
And so it is with the people and situations in our lives. We are naturally drawn close to people and situations and they to us. Through our close interactions we begin and end relationships, growing closer to them and then apart in a perfect cycle. In these relationships, we believe that what we see and experience is all we need to know about the thing, person, or situation. But often in our closeness we don’t take into account the other sides and perspectives of those things, people and situations. Which is why it’s often good to take a step back and distance ourselves from these people and things in order to see the bigger picture. Not always in the spirit of separation or abandonment per se, but one of detachment.
Try something for me. Take one of your hands and place it directly in front of your face. Notice the unique lines and grooves in your palm. Examine your finger prints and appreciate their design. Now, slowly move your hand away from your face until your arm is completely extended in front of you. Can you see the finger and hand grooves now? Not as well as before right? What else do you see now? You see your entire hand as a whole. You see the arm that extends the hand. Plus, everything beyond your hand…the room, windows, desk, etc. You now see your hand in relation to all that surrounds you. You now have a more well-rounded perspective based on both a detailed and a more broad point of view….a more varied perspective. And varying your perspective gives you a more well-rounded perception.
Life is a canvas. Perception is the color with which you choose to paint it. Perception is the colored lens through which you view the world. What you perceive is what you see. But that does not mean that what you see is the truth. Perception is not complete truth. It is only what you’ve chosen to see based on what you think you know. And what you think you know could very well be false. Even a mirage seems real. Often times, what we perceive is what we’ve conceived from our own thinking. What you believe is what you see is what you get. Meaning that unless you are very careful about what thoughts (and who’s thoughts) you allow your mind to entertain, you will be subject to all manner of illusions. We either see what we desire to see or we see what is there. When we desire to see what is truly there is when we will truly see…truly experience the Truth of our lives and our relationships.
For me, I’ve come to understand that if I am to see my relationships or a situation more clearly and understand it fully then I must rise above them. I must vary my perspective in order to have a more well-rounded perception if I am to see the Truth of the matter. If we are troubled by something or someone then we must take a step back (or up) to catch a broader view so that we might see every aspect of the thing, including our relationship and role in provoking , prolonging, preserving and/or protecting the situation. This change in perspective allows us to command our thoughts, feelings, and vibrations in a situation so that we may better learn and benefit and grow from it. This new perspective will breed greater perception and deeper understanding which will give us all we need to make more informed choices….better choices….Truthful choices.
Now, if you’ll excuse me…I have a plane to catch. Peace.
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