I jumped out and ran to the front door and could barely tell him through my sobs. He came out, knelt down and wiped some of my paint away from his car so we could assess the extent of the damage. I just kept saying ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry.’
My Dad stood up, put his arms around me, and said ‘Meg it’s okay, put it into perspective’ and, yep, I cried some more.
As I drove off (being unbelievably careful not to drive into his car again – can you imagine?!), I thought about my Dad’s words ‘put it into perspective.’ I’ve heard people say that a lot, but what does that really mean, and how do we do it?
So I’ve parked up and grabbed my notebook (I just caught sight of myself in the mirror, mascara everywhere).
Here goes, perspective. First stop, Google.
the angle or direction in which a person looks at something
a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something;
Oh dear, if we’re going to be talking about attitude, well the truth is, my attitude is pretty bad at times. I can get way too dramatic. Here’s a perfect example – I (tried to) run a bath yesterday and when I checked the water, it had run too cold and I (might have) stomped downstairs (just a bit). Drama.
How’s your attitude? I know that’s a big question, but sometimes we need to think about these things, how are you responding to the challenges of life, is there a pattern to your behaviour that might need changing?
So let’s look at perspective, when we have a worry or something’s upsetting us, it can be helpful to look at it from a different angle, or a different point of view. My Mum is the absolute queen of putting things into perspective, you’ll often hear her saying things like ‘Well at least you’ve got water in the tap and food in the fridge, something which many people would love’. My Mum challenges me to look at things differently and choose to be grateful rather than frustrated, upset or cross.
Something I learnt when I was younger, but often forget to put into practise, is that when I feel upset about something to ask myself a question, ‘Will this matter next week?’ If we go back to the cold bath situation, the answer to that question is a big resounding ‘NO’, in fact it didn’t even matter half an hour later. Often when we look at our frustrations in a different way and ask ourselves whether this is really going to affect us long term, the answer is no.
Now I’m not saying the things that you’re going through are easy or something to be written off as unimportant, and I’m also not saying pretend you’re ok when you’re struggling. Life is really hard sometimes, but it really matters how we respond to those moments of challenge or upset or frustration.
My challenge for you this week is that when you find yourself feeling upset, frustrated, worried or cross, think – ‘Is there a different way that I can look at this?’ ‘What can I be grateful for?’ ‘Do I need to change my attitude?’ ‘Will this really matter next week?’. I promise you that I’ll do the same.
Photo by V2osk.