“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” When I first heard Wayne Dyer’s quote, I liked it though I didn’t fully comprehend. It was philosophical, deep and over my head. I’ve since embraced this practical truth. Our feelings about an experience, event or person are more about our perspective than the thing itself.
Don’t believe me? Try this, imagine you are speaking directly to someone. You look at them, “say excuse me.” Crickets. No response. You speak up a bit, still no response. Now you “know” the person is rude….maybe inconsiderate. Now, imagine a third person enters the scene, speaking sign language. The “RUDE” person lights up and responds in sign language. Has your perspective changed? I’d guess that it has. However, the facts haven’t changed. The person you greeted couldn’t hear you the first time and they still can’t. What has changed? You. When you gained new understanding your perspective AND your opinion changed.
It is easy to lose perspective.
In human relationships, especially marriage, it is very easy to lose perspective. We understand our spouse’s choices, behavior or actions through a lens framed by our perspective but not necessarily through our partner’s eyes or broader circumstances.
A negative perspective ruins marriages.
When focused on “what’s wrong”soon all you CAN see are mistakes. The distance between fixating on wrong and declaring your marriage and partner wrong is short. When negative thinking persists it blocks your ability to even notice good. In that environment, the kindest gestures are easily misconstrued as manipulation or a hidden agenda designed to cause you harm. Once a negative perspective takes root, your marriage is in serious trouble.
A small viewpoint change is enough to create significant improvement.
The good news is that even when a damaging perspective is ruining your marriage, there is still hope. All it takes is a small shift in your viewpoint. If you can identify a single trait or behavior you like in your partner; if there is just one tiny thing that’s good in your marriage, you have enough to start changing things for the better.
If there isn’t anything salvageable or you’re unwilling to search, I wish you well. I still urge you to adjust your perspective for future relationships. Relationship failure doesn’t have to be apart of your future. Things CAN be different and there are those who can help you heal.
Think about the good stuff.
However, if you’re willing to pull out your microscope and find something positive, welcome to step two!!! I challenge you to try this: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable….if anything is excellent or praiseworthy….think about such things.” Why? Because what you think about grows. When you think about what’s right….you’ll find more of it.
See the Sofa Talk.
Don’t miss our Sofa Talk on Perspective, where I spill about how our Grand Canyon trip changed my perspective. We didn’t know it then, but in that moment, our marriage took a giant step forward!! We were half way there.…and I was still a skeptic. See you there!