Are you viewing life through frosted window panes or rose-colored glasses? This is another way of asking ourselves if the glass is half empty or half full, or if the grass is greener on the other side. I believe, how we chose to view our world is all about perception, and perception is always determined by us. Foremost, we must acknowledge the hidden briefcase of multiple lenses, with which we are all inherently equipped. These lenses determine the quality of our perception then shape our reality. As with any material matter, there is an evolutionary process that occurs before the actual lens, itself, is produced. First, the lens is created and colored by our past, softened or hardened by our hearts, and then placed on our eyes to reveal our “vision” of how we see the world. If not changed often, it can result in clouded vision. Some lenses are slightly smudged, some are specked with obstacles that resemble fingerprints, and others are so foggy that we can’t see through them. Unfortunately, even if you are Greek, no amount of Windex can wipe these lenses clean.
It’s the particular lens selected, that determines how we see each moment and situation, which in turn, effects our past, present and future. Also, just because we have a multitude of innate lenses, doesn’t mean we have to use them all! Just because our food pantry is brimming with goods, doesn’t mean we will ever select that ever-present can of mint-flavored tuna that dutifully holds its post year after year. Why would we, when there are so many other choices? Fortunately, the supply of lenses available for us to chose from, is about as vast and diverse as the food in our pantry.
Below is a rundown of some common lenses. Feel free to try them on for size and see which suits you best. As you look through each lens, take notice which one distorts, magnifies or helps bring your vision into focus. Which lens benefits you the most and which ones can you do without. There is no examination fee for this fitting and when it is over, you will leave with a clear perspective. Who says doctor visits can’t be free, self-affirmed and 100% correctable through the non-medical field of changing ones perception through self actualization? So, let’s pull out our case of lenses and get started!
Telescopes: The telescope symbolizes the future by catapulting us way beyond our present moment. When used correctly, it can reveal infinite possibility. They can forge us years into the future and create an image of accomplished dreams, places traveled and debts payed. This powerful lens of magnificent force can show us the person we aspire to become and this can be very motivating. However, when used incorrectly, it robs us of the NOW by only allowing us to see what is “out there” in the distance and not in the here and now. The problem with having things closer in the mirror than they appear, is that, it’s magnification gives us the false sense of reality of being in a place that we are not. With telescopes, the space between the actual distance, and the time it takes to get there, is eliminated, and we all know that the journey “there” is the best part of the trip. The space in-between is the “yellow brick road” that we need to follow in order to get to our goal, so without a road, our path is void of direction. Telescopes, therefore, are great for glimpses into one’s future, but remember that the space it visually excludes, is developmentally most important. So even if you can see a snapshot into your future, know, there is still a distance that needs to be traveled to get there. Remember, it’s all about the journey!
Kaleidoscopes: This funky, fluid contraption of morphing shapes and dancing colors is like watching a symphony of fireworks in a tube. Looking at life through a kaleidoscope can signify heightened creativity, or in opposition, complete chaos. When in a creative frame of mind, this lens can bring an idea into motion or a daydream into reality. It’s brilliant effect of light and mirrors can either be overwhelming or inspired. However, be careful with this lens, because when used in abundance, it can cause overstimulation, which can warp our perception and leave our heads forever bobbing in the clouds. So, be careful not to make a spectacle of yourself.
Monocles: Ah, the good, old fashioned monocle. Reminiscent of well-dressed, upper-class scholarly men in black and white movies. This piece of nostalgia was a single lens that hung from a thin chain and housed in a breast pocked when not worn. The monocle was cased in metal and held into place by the eye orbit. The problem with the monocle, is that it only allows one to see half the picture. A monocle brings one side of experience into focus, while disregarding its entirety. That being said, the monocle shall be preserved as a fashion statement of yesteryear, no longer lending its one-sidedness to our generation.
Rose-colored Glasses: Rose-colored glasses are no longer out of style! It is my pick of choice and the lens I strive to wear as much as possible. They are the middle ground, not shooting you too far into the future of worry and guesswork like a telescope can. They do not offer only half of the picture like a monocle, and they do not force you to look at life through smoke and mirrors. They are simply rose-colored beautiful glass with no added flavors, mirrors or preservatives! The rose tint allows you to see everything with an attitude of cheerful optimism, and in an attractive, pleasant light.
We all have this great briefcase of lenses available which shape our views according to ow we use them. Although, some are more powerful than others, we are not stuck with only one kind. Each lens has its own special characteristics. We can dabble with each on for diverse flexibility. It is not as important to pick the right lens, as it is to know how and when to use it. Helen Keller, once said, “the most pathetic person in the world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.”
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