In My Shoes and In Your Shoes…

So lately I’ve been thinking about perspective. What brought it on you may ask? A lot of things actually, but mostly it had to do with me re-examining my life! That re-examination has brought about a lot of change…Some drastic, some not so drastic, but both types of change quite necessary I think! Have to say change is painful!

Perspective…That word that describes your outlook on life. Quite a harmless word it may seem, innocent and unassuming but I’m starting to realise there’s a lot behind the word, like most other innocent, unassuming things in this world…

I’ve found that my perspective is directly related to my experiences in life. My experiences in life have made me, to be quite honest, sarcastic, pessimistic and overall unbelieving in the “good” in this world! I have a habit of taking anything positive with a pinch of salt so to speak, so I never truly, completely believe in the good things that are around me! Thankfully I have quite a lot of great people in my life that are constantly proving me wrong and I’ve never been as glad to be proven wrong!

Another factor that affects my perspective, are my feelings. When I am angry, sad or upset I always see things as a direct assault against me. Even the tiniest thing someone does or says, which on other occasions I may just laugh off, tends to feel like a slap!  I get defensive and that means I hardly ever see what’s right there! I see what I think to be the truth of the matter. Again that ‘truth’ is related to my experiences.

Anais Nin is quoted as saying, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” That happens to be one of my favourite quotes because I happen to believe it’s quite true!

Having said all that, my re-examination also brought to mind the fact that sometimes it is necessary and quite good to see things from others’ perspectives. Sometimes I am so blinded by myself – what I want, what I need, how I feel, how I’m busy, or how THEY should be more understanding towards ME, that I quite forget to see that they might also have a different way of seeing things, that their life experiences have given them a perspective quite different from mine.

I suppose that portrays selfishness on my part and sometimes I feel overwhelmingly guilty about that fact. Now though I realise that I am human and I do tend to do things that are selfish and hurtful towards others. That does not mean though that I should use that as an excuse to continue doing such things! At the end of the day, I have a choice. Sometimes, feelings, circumstances and a whole host of other things tend to blind me to that fact, but I still have a choice! I can choose to see things my way and cocoon myself in my world of ME, ME, ME or I can take a deep breath and take a step back and put myself in the other person’s shoes! Those shoes can be tight, uncomfortable, or just plain hurtful at times but it’s necessary!

Jesus calls us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves and to be compassionate towards one another…Compassion is not possible if I live in my ME world and only think about how I feel, or what I’m going through or how I’m too tired to help someone or listen to someone or anything for that matter! I have to be willing and ready to step out of my shoes and into someone else’s! How much more peaceful and happy the world would be if we all did that a lot more! So from today on I shall try to be more like Jesus as in I’ll try to think past my own needs and wants and focus on someone else’s!

I’m willing to try on someone else’s shoes! What about you?

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