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The Power of Perspective

by Claudine Sweeney
March 11th 2020

How do you see the world? How do you see yourself? How we look at either of these things determines the quality of our lives and our relationships. We all look at things through our own view point.... More

mm hmm. Yeah. Welcome to rise up and shine. We are to women at different stages of life who have overcome feeling stuck and are now living life fully with peace and joy join us weekly for a real raw and faithful conversation about our trials and triumphs bringing hope insight and weekly tips that you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. Mhm. Welcome back friends. I wanted to start this episode by asking our good friend Claudine here a question, are you ready? I am ready. Okay, Claudine. So do you see yourself as a glass half full? Kind of a person or a glass half empty kind of a person? Well, I've been told that I'm a glass half empty. I think I've grown to see the fullness and a cup. But in my nature in my flesh, I see the glass half empty. I see what's missing. Oh, so you do agree with that label. I do you know what I do. Well, okay, so it's funny because as we were talking about this episode, it all started with the sweet potato.

That's right, very skinny long sweet potato. So we had this conversation about this sweet potato that I have in my fruit bowl on our counter. And it's a long skinny one and claudine here looks at it and she says, why do you have this? This looks like it would take forever to peel. Well, you'd have to peel a lot of them to get the same quantity of sweet potatoes. One large fat one. So we had this conversation. So one large fat sweet potato is essentially the long skinny one scrunched up, right? So the surface area is essentially the same. So is it more work to peel? Well, that was the debate and unfortunately we didn't record that because that was much more fascinating than this, but in my mind my perspective, I would only have to peel one largest sweet potato, whereas you would have to peel three skinny sweet potatoes to get the same amount of sweet potatoes. But we had this whole debate about surface area and I I think I ended up agreeing with you, but that is what started the whole conversation and why we're doing this episode on perspective.

Absolutely, because we had a very different perspective on one simple thing, A sweet potato, right? You looked at it as, wow, that looks like a lot of work and I looked at it as, oh my gosh, this looks really easy to be like a big fat sweet potato, I don't want to spend my time peeling that sucker take forever. So yeah, so then we started going on this debate of our perspective, well how do we look at things and today, this episode we really want to focus on our perspective of life, right? Our outlook on life. How do we approach life? We all have our own mindset, We all have our own beliefs. We all have our own glasses that were looking and perspective is defined by Webster as a mental view or the capacity to view things in their true relations or in relative importance and how we perceive things, our perspectives on our circumstance, on our life, on everything really is what shapes our reality. Yeah, that's true. So today we're really going to focus on positive perspective and negative perspective.

And you know, i it brought up this memory of my husband and I because we're very opposite as well in our perspectives on things and when, you know, we talk about a common situation or event, it's interesting to hear each other's side and sometimes it's caused a little trouble like we're trying to prove our point. Like, no, I want you to see it through the way I look at it. You know, so many arguments are because someone views things they have a different perspective than we have and then we get stuck in. But my way is right, right? Because I wouldn't think it if it were wrong. We don't think things that are wrong. We think we think things that are right when I learned for myself with situations with my husband, you know, like here's an example that we joke about today is we'll be driving down the freeway. We see a big old couch on the side of the road and my husband makes a comment as wow, it's such a shame that people drive by and just dump their trash on the side of the road. And I asked, well, how do you know they dumped it out on purpose. What if it fell out of their truck and were driving by and thinking, wow, we can furnish our guest room with that at least that's what we did in our twenties many a room was furnished by the side of the road and freeway.

But in all the treasures and in all seriousness it can cause friction and relationships and it also can cause us being stuck in our own personal lives. If if we approach life as a glass half empty, we're going to see things a certain way and we're essentially going to function that way and live our life that way as it does half empty. Right? So true. And one of the things we were talking about earlier is that there are physiological factors that can influence our perspective. Of course a lot of it is mindset and beliefs and we're certainly going to talk about that. But I even realized for myself their physiological factors such as sleep, I know when I'm tired, oh my gosh, my perspective is so negative. I get really grumpy and see everything dark and the glass isn't even half empty, it's like 99% empty, right? It's empty completely. So sleep has been huge. And as I've learned that that when I'm really tired, I definitely don't make any decisions. I try to keep my mouth quiet. I try not to just vent or say too much when I'm really tired because I know no good will come out of it.

Okay, can I stop you right there? So I just had something come to mind. So the other night it was 3:30 AM and I wake up to this bright light flashing flashing in my eyes and my husband had his cellphone flashlight on and he's looking on my nightstand for the phone charger, which you know, we have the same one, we have the same phone and somehow there's only one in the house. So 3:30 AM, he's heading to work and he's you know, and I was grumpy. I and it took me back to when my kids were really little and they would wake me up in the middle of the night and I would call myself the monster and I would tease them at night when I'm tucking them in. I said, okay now don't come wake up mommy because you're gonna get the monster and I couldn't control my reactions because I tired absolutely impacts us. Another one which is so simple. But I actually experienced this a few weeks ago was dehydration. I allowed myself to get dehydrated and all of a sudden I was so lethargic and so negative and it was so strange because I was doing my thought work and I thought, no, everything's great.

Life is great, Every area in my life is doing well. And yet I was starting to feel cloudy and negative and I'm like, what is going on? And then I went and had a large glass of water and all of a sudden I kid you not, I'm like, everything was rosy again. So even dehydration can affect our perspective and also the food we eat, the quality of the food we eat. I know it's simple and a lot of people talk about it, but nutrition can affect our perspective if we are not healthy and eating good quality food and getting the vitamins we need, the minerals we need. Um, we're just not working on all eight cylinders, cylinders. That's a good question. I know four and six cylinder, but I'm not a car enthusiasts clearly. But I was thinking as well, when you're talking about our diet is we need to nourish our body and nourish our brains. And it's so important because it helps keep our hormonal balance is, you know, in check. So it's with hydration with diet, What we're putting into our bodies is so crucial is the brain gut connection, right?

And our hormones definitely affect our perspective. At least mine, I'm not sure about you, but there are a few days every month in the past. I'm beyond that now, but there are a few days, everything you congratulations. Where I thought the world was ending. I'm like, the world is ending as I know it, my life is over and then two days later, I'm like, oh, okay, I'm better again, so it's a very real problem. Absolutely, they definitely affect our perspective and I know dehydration also can show depression symptoms as well, right? Yes. And then there are emotional factors that can contribute to having a positive or negative perspective, obviously for battling depression or grief or loss or anxiety, those things are gonna feed into a negative perspective. It's really hard to have a positive perspective when we're not, we're dealing with negative emotions. Oh so true. And when I was going through my depression I was just cycling on repeat the negative thoughts, the shame, you know, and so I wasn't getting any better, I wasn't feeling any happier, I wasn't feeling more energized, you know, I was just stuck on these thoughts that were on rerun over and over and over and so whatever we give focus to is going to strengthen.

So during that time I was giving focus to my shame and those thoughts going on my head, it was just reinforcing it and making it stronger, making exasperating the problem. So my husband and I have had this conversation about you know, the movie trolls. Yes, okay, I love that movie. So we watched the movie with the kids and in the movie theater and I was hysterical because it was an example of my husband and I write so I was poppy, I was very cheerful, everything is positive, you know, singing along is probably overflowing and my husband, you know, in quote unquote, I would say pessimist and you know the troll says no I'm a realist. And I was like that's you babe, you're the realist. And it's so true. It's you know, our perspective is so different. But when you have to in a relationship that have a very completely different view, it can cause a lot of challenge but it really doesn't have to, it causes challenge If we expect the other person to think the way we think and to look at things the way we look at and share the same point of view, right?

But if we accept okay, you're just different. You look, you know, I'm the rose colored glasses, you know, and in our conversations it was almost like a negative thing like why you know, he would feel like it's a negative thing and it had negative consequences. It's not completely negative to see things with rose colored glasses. I would much rather look through the lens of that, you know, and look at life that way than then you realist. I know my good friends the realist but it has definitely had negative consequences because I will see the good in everybody and I have been taken advantage of and I you know, cause the morning Yeah, I completely ignore warning signs and you know, I've brought some grief on myself with that. But you know it's just understanding that we have different views. It is okay to accept someone else's view. You know, they don't have to see things the way we have to, and that's one thing that is so important to keep in mind. Yeah, absolutely. And I share this all the time, but God has given us free will and who are we not to give up close to us?

Our husbands, our Children are close friends, not to give them their free will as well to think and behave, how they want to think and behave and show up in life how they want to show up. And so many arguments have been saved or or not happen because I've allowed my husband to think differently than me. I've allowed him, you see how I said that he's going to think however he wants to think and now I don't expect him to think like I think, and now I look at it more with inquisition and curiosity and wow, that's really interesting. You think that and it's deepened our relationship because we get to know each other in deeper ways, but it took me a really long time to figure that out? Because I really thought my perspective was the right one and the only one, and most of us do we often a lot of us do you think that now, do you think that it was hard for you to accept other people's point of view because maybe you would have to acknowledge you might be wrong in your point of view.

Has that ever? Absolutely, yeah, I think so. I think I am a recovering perfectionist and I think I had to do everything right. And even growing up, um there was a lot of expectations for me to do excellently and everything in school and sports and so colored everything in my life. We talked about that last week about our past coloring are present and it for sure did. And so there was this part of me that felt like I had to be perfect, that I had to do everything right, that I had to know everything. It's an incredible amount of pressure and I carried that into my relationship with God, I carried that into my relationship with others and it certainly created a lot of conflict in my marriage in the early days because I was clearly right and there was no room for him to be right or for anyone else to be right. And as I matured and of course being married, that really helps mature, right? Yeah, can help mature you quickly. Um, I had to learn that there was a different perspective and a different viewpoint. It wasn't necessarily one and it wasn't necessarily mine and having that even growth mindset, we've talked about this about the fixed mindset versus a growth mindset, allowing myself to still learn and grow and what's interesting is now in my fifties, I feel like I'm growing more than ever because I'm choosing that I choose that every day I want to grow and expand, I want to be the best I can be, I want to learn instead of thinking, I already know everything and I've arrived, I'm like, man, I'm so far from arriving, I can't wait to keep learning and growing and it's really changed my perspective, Which is great because you have that outlook, not to shame yourself and oh man, I'm not where I want to be, but to be excited and looking ahead to the future of the possibility of how you can be and what you can do and that's exactly true.

I mean even in our goals, we've been talking a lot about goals lately because you know, the beginning of 2020, what's our vision for this year, what do we want to do, who do we want to be, perspective, It's huge and it is going to kind of make or break our goal, you know, I mean we have to go into it with our eyes wide open, not necessarily rose colored, but I was wide open, have that awareness and really focus on what is the perspective I have when I'm trying to go for these goals a lot of times, I how we've talked before, I have had a fixed mindset in certain areas and I see one of my Children kind of following along suit and it's just, I want to like, no, but you know, have a growth mindset, which is phenomenal because at school, they're being taught a lot about the growth mindset, which is fantastic. I'm so grateful for that. But as well, I mean just thinking about my own goals, I can have that fear of failure. And so the fixed mindset is going to tell me, well let's just not try because I don't want to fail at that.

And I've talked about that in the past, but I realized seeing my child say almost the exact same words, it really opened my eyes and I thought, oh my gosh, like its failure. We look at as weakness, right? We think we have the perspective that failure is a bad thing. It's negative, it's weakness, it's embarrassing. It's, but it's not. I heard on the radio today they were talking about walt Disney, everybody knows who walt Disney is, right? Oh my gosh, super creative. Great success. Yeah, great success. He was fired four times, I believe. It was four times and told he lacked creativity. And what did he do? Did he stop? I mean, we would not have the franchise, we have right now, right? We would not have the happiest place on earth. It really is. You know, it really is if he had that fixed mindset and just gave up and had and viewed failure, quote unquote failure. You know, it's all how we look at it as a negative thing. He's like, no, I'm, you know, I'm going to take this as a growth opportunity and all we have to do is reframe our perspective, right?

Change the verb is right the language, how do we describe failure? Does it have to be negative? No, can we replace the word failure and change it into a learning opportunity for growth opportunity? Absolutely. That's a great point that are life changing, it is language helps us change our perspective just using different terminology and rephrasing things. That's such a great point. I know some other things that have helped me change my perspective have just been gratitude. I can look back and go, wow, this was a really bad situation, I can't believe that happened and yet several years later I see all the growth that came in my character, in my spirit, in my overall well being and I can change it into a perspective of gratitude. Wow, that was a really hard time, but I am where I am today because of that and I'm going to choose to be grateful for that hardship and in the moment we're definitely not going to feel gratitude, you know, you're not going to feel gratitude in the moment of that really trying time, but when we look back, I mean I've look back at many situations that have happened in my life and I thank God that I had the experience to go through that because I would not be here where I am, I would not be who I am, I would not be clear on my identity, I would not be clear on this purpose that I'm set out to do.

You know, had I not gone through those things and those trials I went through have all funneled into what I'm doing now, and I would not be doing what I'm doing now or teaching my Children what I'm teaching them for their future success and happiness. Had I not gone through those experiences and that's kind of flipping it to taking the good out of those really, really challenging hardships and you make a point to. I think there's something to be said about having a big picture perspective sometimes when we're in the middle of it, it's like where in it we can't see from above, but when we remove ourselves and try to see the big picture, and then we have a greater perspective and even for us with our faith, we can say, you know, I don't see the good in this right now, but I know God is doing a good thing if he works for the good for all those who love him. And even though I don't see it right now, I'm going to choose to trust that, which is so much easier said than done. I mean, I certainly know some of my hardest times, it was really hard to hang on to that, but I really fight now to have that perspective, that even when things don't make sense, even when things are difficult or discouraging, I try to see the bigger picture in it and go, okay, there's something great that's going to come out of this and I can't wait to be on the other side and see that and experience that.

Like I'm just going to have faith and trust and then my faith is made site because then we do get to the other side and I see this great thing that's been done or that is being done and it's really exciting, right? It's all hindsight, right? And I like how you said the bigger picture and looking at things how God will look at it, you know, I mean, that's how God looks at things is the big picture and we don't always were so blinded and just focused on the here and the now and what's going on. Or we could be too stuck in the past or we could be too fearful of the future. But when you said for God works for the good of those who love him. I had this epiphany this morning actually had a busy morning before, I had a very busy morning. It was on my run. It just, it dawned on me that God never said that our circumstances are going to be good, right? Like the loss of a loved one or you know abuse or different challenges that we go through God never said it's good, but he will take good from it, and that's where that scripture, just really hit me this morning on my run, it's like God works for the good because I was wrestling with that, you know, we had a really good friend who just lost his wife two months ago and I mean really trying time young twenties, you know, and just seeing him be up on the stage at church and be able to share with us the great things that are happening around and within the family and the impact that his wife made is he is choosing to focus on the good that is coming from it, you know, and not looking at the situation in its entirety of like, okay, well this, this is a horrible situation, but there is good that is working, there is good that is making a lasting impact, you know, from her from his life well, and I think that's the takeaway for today, is that our perspective on any situation or circumstance in our life, the way we perceive things really shapes our reality and really creates the emotions we feel and really drives our actions and if we want to live life to the full if we really want to have this abundant life that jesus came to give us, it really starts with our perspectives on our circumstance and really choosing the positive and releasing the negative and I want to throw in this one disclaimer to when we are seeking out to look for the positive, right?

You practice gratitude. You know, change our perspective. Just really be aware of our outlook on life. Also make sure that you don't completely disregard You know your emotions and when you are enduring really challenging times don't just got to be positive. It's got to be positive. You know I mean there is a time and a place like make sure you stop, make sure you are with your emotions and you're feeling what you're feeling going through this hard time, this hard season. And keep working towards gratitude practices daily practices sleeping well, hydrating your body, moving your body. You know all these things smiling even if you fake a smile it still has the same effect. And so all these things just make sure that you're not ignoring any emotions that need to be addressed and properly processed as you are moving forward. You know with this new outlook on life. That's a great point. Well I am looking forward to a powerful perspective. Not a pitiful perspective in life.

Powerful, not pitiful. And I'm still not going to choose the long skinny sweet potato. I'm going for the big fat one. Well you do you friend. Thank you friends for joining us today. We will catch you next time. Friends. Thank you so much for tuning in with us today. We hope this episode has brought you one step closer to living the life you love Until next time Remember the world needs who you were made to be, mm hmm.

The Power of Perspective
The Power of Perspective
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