Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Shifting Perspective

Monday was a hard day for a whole collection of reasons, not the least of which was the eight inches of snow that fell in the six hours between when I went to bed Sunday night, and when I walked out the door to catch a bus on Monday morning.

As I stood at the last bus stop of the day, after nearly falling on the slick ground, I thought to myself, "Yep, if I fell and hurt myself, that would just be the perfect capper to this crappy day."

And then I stopped.

Because, well, it had been a crappy day.  But my internal voice kicked in.  The voice that is honed by a year and a half of choosing to notice the little things and be grateful.

I think this was the first time that voice really took on a life of it's own.

For every complaint I came up with for the day, it had a response.

I said, "The weather was nasty, and my first class almost got canceled after I hauled my butt out of bed to get there, and then it was a waste of time.  I sat there and a librarian told me how to search for journal articles.  I learned that, umm, ten years ago, when I actually was a first year student, not a student taking first random first year classes ten years later."

The voice reminded me, "But the class didn't get canceled.  And, instead of paying attention to the librarian, you used the time to research for the project due later this week, and emailed yourself several potentially very useful journal articles that will apply to TWO different projects."

I said, "Ugh, I got word of another marriage ended.  My heart hurts and I'm tired of all these shattered relationships."

The voice reminded me of several friends held dear, and of the fragility of marriage, and entreated me to lift their marriages up in prayer.

I said, "Well fine, but that other class did get canceled.  What a waste in the middle of my day."

The voice said, "Umm... but that canceled class let you attend the worship gathering on campus, and on a really hard day, have 40 minutes to really quiet your heart and let it rest.  And you miss corporate worship, remember?"

I said, "My evening plans changed.  And it made me cry.  In the hallway.  Over plans I wasn't even very attached to."

The voice commented, "But you get to rest instead.  And join a friend to watch a show that always makes you laugh."

I said, "I almost fell in this dang snow that's everywhere!"

The voice said, "But you didn't."

Dang, that inner voice of mine got wise when I wasn't looking!

It had an answer for everything.

And more than that, it was right.

Yes, the day on Monday presented a great deal of challenges (some far less trivial than canceled classes, by the way).  And the temptation was to see the day as a disaster.

But the practice of making those Daily 5 lists seems to have paid off.  I'm less willing to write off a whole day as a disaster, and more able to see the balance of beautiful and ugly, painful and joyful.

It's a shifting perspective that's beginning to assert itself, and I'm making room in my heart to make it a cozy spot.  I want it to stick around.


christianne said...

This is *so beautiful,* Lisa! Wow. What a grace-filled moment to even notice the shifting perspective. I love that you're the kind of person who would hear that internal dialogue and pay attention to it.


Lisa said...

Thanks Christianne!

(I'm perhaps hyper aware of that internal dialogue some days. I've worked to cultivate it, and the joke about being "my own best conversational partner" might be true of me at times! :D)

hugs and blessings to you!

Daughter of the King said...

So wonderful to read! You inspire me. :)

Lisa said...

Thanks friend! :)

Miss said...

Amen, sister!