Our world is created through our own perception. This thought has the power to be both devastating and empowering depending on the day.
For example, if we perceive that the person driving the car that cut us off this morning is a jerk than we will go about our entire day thinking that person was a jerk. If we are in a really bad head space than we might even try to pull up next to them to really let them know that we are not happy with their driving.
Our perception of them stays the same, unless one of three things happens:
We challenge our own perception. Challenging our own perception might look like attempting to think an alternative thought. Some people are naturally able to do this and others have learned this tool in therapy. For instance, maybe the person that was driving that car was rushing to the hospital for a loved one.
Someone else challenges our own perception. Some people are blessed enough to have people in their lives that will challenge them to see things differently. This might look like someone else that is in your car offering an alternative thought.
Evidence contradicts what we have perceived. Maybe we drive passed the car to notice the other driver crying. Witnessing evidence that contradicts our original thought could prompt us to have an alternative thought like, Geez that person just must be having a bad day.
We have the power to choose which lens we decide to look through.
We can put on the lens when we wake up in the morning and we can choose to switch them out throughout the day. We can choose to see life through a lens of gratitude and compassion or we can choose to see life through a lens of negativity.
The more that we are proactive about looking through a lens of gratitude, the less we are to rely on life circumstances to provide that gratitude for us. Life is super unpredictable, so relying on life circumstances for positive feelings could be setting us up for disaster.
Being proactive about looking through a lens of gratitude looks like maintaining self care in our daily routine:
-Doing at least one thing each day that makes us feel good
-Doing at least one thing each day that reminds us to make ourselves a priority.
If we are compassionate with ourselves first, we are better equipped to view the world in a compassionate manner.