I believe mental health professionals remain in a constant state of reflection and soul searching. We are diagnosing ourselves at every turn. Taking our temperature, checking our pulse, all things one does to remain sane and to keep the crazies away.
Enduring the absence of a loved one tends to send one into reflection overdrive. It has been no different for me. A recent personal character survey ranked Perspective as number one of my top 25 character traits. Why am I not surprised?!
While folks are quick to judge, lash out, or be angered, I have opted to just sit back and watch these days. I was usually game for a rousting match of wits. I now opt to travel a different road. Elevating my blood pressure because of differences of opinion just isn’t my cup of tea. Allowing myself to be swallowed into the vortex of slights and misunderstandings (real and imagined) just doesn’t cut it. Drama was never a friend of mine. But these days, I’m not even trying to associate with those who are magnets for the foolery.
Perspective causes your patience to increase. A 45-minute ride in the wilds of foreign island, on a hot bus, on bumpy roads, becomes less of a nuisance and more of an adventure. Planning a lunch date with a 20-something whom you have little in common with, becomes less of an obligation and more of a chance to build a relationship. Meeting deadlines, raising children, balancing budgets, all potentially stressful events and undertakings. All potentially rewarding and enriching experiences.
It’s all in perspective. I didn’t lay down my gauntlet and decide to become a carpet for folks to parade about on. But I did become someone who not only picks my battles, but my weapons too.