Monday, July 19

A New Perspective

Recently the city I live in expanded its roadways due to the ever-growing influx of tourists. One new road includes a very grand looking bridge that ends at Main St. and Highway 17 in North Myrtle Beach - the primary entryway into the heart of town.
Prior to this, the only way in came from either North or South on 17; this bridge comes to the intersection from the West.

It rises over the Intracoastal Waterway, cresting at about 60 feet above the water, and then slopes gently back down until you're approaching the intersection at close to sea-level. Driving this way for the first time, at the descent, I looked and wondered where the heck this bridge had led me, then realized with surprise that it was the intersection I'd driven through hundreds, if not thousands of times, but because of the new perspective, it looked completely different...and oddly, so much fresher. I laughed at myself and chalked my temporary feeling of being lost up to the fact that I am well-known for having a horrible sense of direction.

It was not long at all before I found out it wasn't just me. Seems everyone I talked to about the new bridge had the same moment of "where the heck?" - only to realize where they were.

It's all about perspective.

Today I read a blog written by my amazing niece, (is that how I refer to my nephew's wife?) where she questioned some things about herself. It perplexed me because honestly, from my perspective she's one of the most together, intelligent, beautiful (physically and spiritually) people I am proud to call "family."

I think many of us need to step outside of ourselves occasionally, and try as best we can to see not only who we are, but our problems, from a fresh perspective -- a new angle. People tend to see their own problems through a magnifying glass, but if we pan out and look at the big picture, there's a good chance we'll not only see more of how we got where we are, but also the pathway out. Another benefit of looking at the big picture? You give yourself the opportunity to look past what's gone wrong, and zoom in on what's going right. Too often we focus (with that dang magnifying glass again) on the negatives, so they become bigger and bigger, until they're obstructing our vision of all the good things jumping up and down, saying, "Look at us! Look at us!"

My sister was just telling me the other day how we, as individuals, look at everything we see through a lens that has been carved by our life experiences. I found this concept fascinating, and of course it brought me back to this idea on perspective I'd been tossing around since the bridge incident. It drove home in me, even more, how important it can be to get a fresh perspective from time to time.

Also, when you see someone else struggling, offer them your "lens." Let them know the positive things that can be seen in their lives from your perspective. Sometimes a little encouragement is all someone needs.

I challenge you to look at either a problem you've been facing, or a negative feeling you have about yourself, or someone in your life, from a fresh perspective. Change angles and look again. I bet it will surprise you how much fresher it looks this way.

Click here to visit Kelly's (my niece) blog "Half Jewish, fully worried"


Myrna R. said...

Michell, you have no idea how your post hit home for me. What great advice and what a wonderful way to create insight. If I look at my life from a new perspective, I see a happy, fulfilled woman, living in relative abundance including abundance of love. What more can I ask for? Thanks for your stimulating thoughts.

DLC said...


I love your post - you are right - it all starts with how we deem (see) it to be.



Michele Chastain said...

Myrna, I am SO GLAD this helped in some way! :) I have had so many "light bulb" moments reading other people's ideas. The internet has been so helpful in making the world one big family room! LOL

Peace to you!

Diane...I ♥'re my favorite sister.'re my only sister! Haha! Either way, you're my fave! :)

Karen Mortensen said...

Thank you so much MIchele. I needed to read this. It is very good advice to follow. Sorry I came here so late.

Kelly and Ryan said...

I love you:-)

Pamela Bousquet said...

WOW. Ah..... the "timing" is ALWAYS perfect when I read your posts, Michele. I just haven't been myself for several months....and the last few weeks have caught up with me. Part of it is health-related, part of it just stress and energy. (perhaps it's just being 50-something!!) :) Either way, you (again) reminded that there are ALWAYS other ways to look at life situations. Thank you, friend!!

Michele Chastain said...

Pamela, I am always so thankful when my words amount to more than just me rambling! LOL Sorry you're going through some challenging times. Whatever you're doing, it works for you because you DO NOT look like you're "50-something"!
Hugs to you!

Gretchen Seefried said...

Michele, I really liked the way you got this point across. It's like looking at the same view during different seasons. Or seeing how those ugly bare trees look when silhoutted against the rising sun or covered in snow. A different perspective is always in style!
Off to read your niece's blog!