As I get ready to welcome the new year, one which I'm really looking forward to, I wanted to share with you a pearl of what some might consider drivel and others might consider wisdom. For what it's worth here it goes....
It occurred to me via one of those 'getting to know you' emails that are sent and resent and just when you think you've answered it for the last time it resurfaces; that things are all about perspective. The said enlightening email was for me to send out to friends, they were to fill out the questions and return it to me and I would then find out how well people know me, at least that was the intent.
So I sent it out and the answers were interesting; that's when it hit me, it really is all about perspective, in all things. One of the questions asked what political party I belong to and whether I was conservative or liberal, depending on the circle of people I am friends with, I was both a conservative republican and a liberal democrat. At first I wondered how either set of friends could think that of me but then realized that depending on their beliefs, or perspective on the world I was in fact what they thought, when they measured me with their stick, their compass, next to that which they hold dear.
You see, we all have a view, an opinion, a perspective that we use to navigate through life, and what shapes that view is the experiences that we have lived through; who we are, and how we deal with life is like nobody else, because it's about how we view the situation. Case in point, when I was pregnant with my daughter I was told (over the phone no less) that based on an ultrasound that my daughter would most likely be born with Down Syndrome, in the same manner that I could have been told that she was going to have blue eyes, totally nonchalant, the 'doctor' (I'll use that term loosely and just spare the details) gave me the news and then asked if I had any questions. At that second I did not, I felt like the rug had just been pulled out from underneath me, but I knew I'd pull myself up, dust myself off and go on with life. I'll be perfectly honest here, at first I was devastated, but not in the way that you'd probably think, it wasn't about being devastated because this was something that I'd have to deal with or because this was happening to me, it wasn't even about me. I was devastated because my little baby would not have a normal life. She would not experience normal things, and it hurt, it felt like a sucker-punch straight to my heart and I didn't know hurt until I felt like bad things were being dealt to my unborn child and I had no way to prevent it. I also hadn't experienced that kind of love either.
As I dealt with my feelings, and there were many that came and went, I heard the words a very dear friend of mine said to me in reference to something completely unrelated and in jest, her words came to me just when I needed to hear it. She said, "What is normal anyway?" It was like a lightening bolt hit me and all was well in my world, my perspective. What difference would it make if my baby was born with Down Syndrome, she would have the life she was supposed to have because to her it would be normal. I mean, after all I grew up with two siblings and what is normal to me is not necessarily normal to them. She would be fine either way and it would be ok, because after all, what is normal anyway?
You see it was about perspective, my perspective was that her life would not be normal, but when I looked at it from her perspective it would be her normal, then I felt foolish, like I couldn't see the forest through the trees and I'd been upset for nothing, but I just needed a different perspective.
So dear friends my hope for you this New Year is a wish of new perspective, even if you just borrow it for a while and it helps you gain a better understanding, a little different perspective.