I’ve recently had a series of glitches to deal with: feeling a bit under the weather, heating not working properly, not being able to find something I need to buy in any shops, a broken tooth, etc. None of it has been awful, but as they had accumulated, they had taken over and coloured my perspective, with the effect that life in general started to feel shit!
This is as unreal as wearing rose-tinted glasses, and nowhere near as pleasurable!
I am lucky enough to have a dear friend who is brilliant at giving me a dose of my own medicine. He listened to my sad, self-pitying story, and then kindly yet firmly challenged me out of it. He pointed out that I was letting some temporary setbacks take over my story and playing victim to fate. He reminded me that most of the time life feels pretty good to me, and this particular story is not who I am, nor who I want to be, and that I already know how to shift myself from that place I had got into.
After a few minutes, the clouds started to lift from my world, and I began to remember that quite a lot of my life was working well. In fact, I could talk about some of the good things that are happening, and could see some ways of dealing with those glitches.
Now those of you who know me will know that I’m pretty good at helping others like he helped me, but this reminded me of how important it is to have a ‘witness’ who is not caught up in your story and can remind you of the bigger perspective. We all get caught in self-pity sometimes, and we all lose our perspective on life. We don’t have to beat ourselves up about it – we just need someone who will prompt us to look at it differently.
Friends who sympathise and say, ‘Oh dear, how awful!’ confirm that your story is a hard one. Those who can challenge you back into a bigger version of who you are are invaluable.
Thank you Cliff!