Reframe. Find a new vantage point. Shift your perspective. Change the lens with which you view the world. Are you familiar with these concepts?
I repeat all of these metaphors to myself all the time. I know it’s important to continually do this for yourself, no matter what that means to you.
I had a bit of an existential crisis last night. Oh who am I kidding, I don’t really know what that means.
It was pouring rain. My apartment was cold so I had a bath. I was sitting in the bath actually praying (I’ve never been a ‘prayer’) for a sign, some guidance just leading me to the next step in my life, or, for a sign that maybe waiting or sitting still is the right choice right now.
I know damn well that answers don’t just fall from the sky, that the only thing stopping me is ‘me’, that I write my own story, etc.
I know damn well that I get to put the work in first, that I have to do something to make more happen. I just don’t know what more I can do, or am supposed to do.
I feel I’m floating in the middle of a huge saltwater lake. I’m floating, not drowning, which means I’m feeling generally secure, relatively comfortable. The shore is a swimmable distance, but still a long way, and there may or may not be people on land waiting to greet me. I don’t have a fancy flotation thing to lie on, or a drink in my hand…this isn’t the lap of luxury, but I’m not scared. I’m OK, but feel invisible. A few people know that I’m safe, but noone knows exactly where I am.
I have some strength to swim in some direction, but I have no idea or intuition which direction I need to go. I can’t see anything.
Anyhow, through all the weird thoughts that passed through my mind last night, I remembered something that I’ve known for a long time: I need to reframe everything in order to make change.
But how do I reframe when I’m finding it difficult to get to a different place to even see in a new light? (This is a metaphor, but it also can apply geographically).
I do follow and genuinely like all the new agey spiritual leaders, the kind that are featured on this website. I like what they have to say. And I get it, Gabby ‘chose Love’ one day and that was her miracle. She quit drinking, etc. and changed her life around. So, she did that, a similar story as many of her colleagues. They did that, so they are an example of a shining, happy life.
They do alot. They are people to be admired, no doubt. But they also make their living off of talking about it. I can talk about these things too. I can write it here, or talk about it until my lips are numb. I can pontificate and philosophize with the best of them.
But what I don’t understand is what it takes to be the change. It takes a leap of faith, sure. But what has to happen to take the first step, especially when you feel like you don’t have a lot of wiggle room, or no real idea of which direction to move into? I really can’t just quit my job tomorrow and go travel around the world. Well, I could, but it wouldn’t be the smartest decision. Not when I’m living in debt, alone and paycheck to paycheck.
What I don’t know about shifting perspective: does it just happen, does it come when you build it, how much will it feel like work?
What if I want some help? How do I ask for this?
Maybe I’m not looking through the right window. Funnily enough, I am at work right now, and the window that is open on my screen, the one with my WordPress site, is the only one I truly want to look at, so, I’m not really ‘working’. This says something. This, doing this right now, is one of the few things that feels right and good in my life right now.
I’ve always been scared to write the real, visceral, diary stuff for the public. I’ve considered my audience for most of my posts.
But this article on Elephant Journal perhaps was the sign that I needed. It reminded me that the right thing is to heart-write and if just one other person reads it and feels better, that’s what matters.
So my perspective regarding just plain writing is changing. But what about the rest of my life? And, what about practicing writing from different perspectives?
This Freshly Pressed article also hit home for me. I am in awe of the capacity that the writer has to imagine a different perspective so clearly that they can still write about this horrific experience from the heart. This is what is so important about writing.
I also watched a documentary called Bearing Witness the other day (I highly recommend it, although there are a few disturbing scenes). It follows 5 female journalists working in military zones, one of which is Marie Colvin, the well-known journalist who was killed in Syria almost a year ago.
These things reminded me of why we write: to report on the world, we have to be able to write (or photograph, or draw, or whatever creative form we choose) outside of our heads, to see things through other people’s eyes.
I know that I have a million ideas daily, not all of which are about me. They swarm around in my brain, bee-like, difficult to grasp for long enough to form a clear set of thoughts about them, sometimes linking together in ways that don’t make sense. It’s a struggle to get them down here in an organized way sometimes.
So I’m just going to get them out as best I can now. And I’ll continue to seek out a new vantage point to write from. Maybe the next post will have a fresh perspective, will be a new story. Maybe not. But I’ll write anyhow.