Change Your Perspective, Change Your Reality
All photos shot by Samuel Hershberger. Find him here.
Here are perspective shifts that have brought me through times of hardship.
God loves them more than you are even capable of loving them. This one came from a wonderful therapist, and this has helped me through some of the most difficult times. In breakups, fights, or any time you feel that you’ve lost a relationship this can be the most comforting intention. I’m not sure about most people, but my instinct is to take care of people that I love, to nurture them. Often, if I’m in a relationship with someone that seems at times misguided, I think my love can heal and uplift them. Sometimes, I simply worry about someone after I feel I’ve lost them. I have a irresistible urge to tell them that I care about them regardless of what happened as if that will somehow bring unending peace to us both. It won’t though. And I can’t fix a relationship simply by pouring more of myself and my love into it. I can only rest assured, because God loves them and will provide for them. He holds them in the palm of His hand as He does me.
It really is what is on the inside that counts. Stop walking around without your soul, trying to be something you’re not, worrying about what other people think all the time. I was at a party a while ago, and I kept feeling insecure in comparison to the girls there, because I thought they were all dressed cuter than I was. I started getting irritable and insecure. That’s utterly ridiculous. If you keep yourself from having a good time because you’re focusing on the wrong things, you need to fix it. ASAP. I have tough love for myself in this category, because life is too precious to be focused on shallow, surface junk. Get real. Possessions and appearances aren’t worth anything. "As near as I can see, the only thing you can take with you is the love of your friends.” -Moss Hart
Only God can satisfy you. I went to a church service with one of my best friends in high school, it had been the first time in a long time, and I will never forget the sermon delivered that day. Growing up, I had what I still view as just enough guidance in my faith. My parents never forced me to go to church or even do any of the sacraments ,yet they encouraged and supported me in my own journey. For me, it allowed me to actively choose my faith again and again growing up. Early teenage years are very overwhelming, and you’re just starting to get a sense of your own identity. I am so thankful my dear friend invited me to that service that day. The scripture was John 4, where Jesus talks with a Samaritan Woman. That day was the day I fully comprehended that I can be completely satisfied just in knowing that I am a child of God. Nothing brings transcendent peace, peace beyond measure, like that wisdom.
Value courage over all else. I believe that is the way to find real meaning in life. Life is hard. I was forced to accept this fairly early in life, but I am so thankful I did. Because life is hard, the beauty is so much greater and triumphs are so much more real. The only way to truly face life is with courage. Courage allows you to be honest, take ownership, face real consequences for your actions, and grow your spirit. Nothing in this life should be free, nor should blessings come easy. You would feel empty that way. I believe that’s why the “victim mentality” and the feeling of guilt are so popular. When there is a lack of hardship, humans try to derive meaning from something. But victimhood will just make you feel more empty than ever, and guilt is a selfish feeling that will never be relieved. Instead of these things you can be conscientious, take action, and live honestly. And that is a brave way to live your life.
Everyone has an interesting story. Be present with them. This one came from none other than Matthew Hussey, who is a dating and love life guru. He posted this on Instagram, and it was a huge wakeup call for me. When I went through a real heartbreak, that person occupied all of my headspace. They were there in the times I couldn’t help like my dreams and immediately when I would wake up in the morning, but more insidiously in the times when I was out with friends, talking at work with customers, and in rehearsals with colleagues. It poisoned otherwise beautiful moments with loved ones and those that were truly present with me. I then realized how unfair that was to my life and to the people in it. Since that perspective change, that person has not only escaped from my precious and true moments with others, but made less appearances in the moments when I seem to have less control over my thoughts.
I hope some of these can help you change your perspective and therefore your reality. Let me know what perspective shift you made and how it impacted your life in the comments.