Today’s blog is a slightly different perspective, stay with me though and hopefully you will glean something helpful in these words. A Kaleidoscope Life… the concept is that if you turn the kaleidoscope even slightly you change the picture. So, if we apply that concept to our lives… if you change something even slightly you change the perspective. In essence, if life is overwhelming how can you look at it in a way that seems less overwhelming so you can take it on? If parenting today is more than you can take, how can you change the view, so you feel more refreshed and ready to take it on? If depression and loneliness seem suffocating, how can you change something slightly, so you feel able to breathe and face another day? Some days to look at life with a new perspective seems easier than other days. You know kind of like cleaning a window or a mirror. Have you ever cleaned and cleaned and yet it is still full of smears? Nope? Just me? Well, I have – happens to me often as a matter of fact. There are days I walk away from the window or mirror and say, “well that’s as good as it’s getting today.” So, is it enough? My window/mirror is still not clean. I still cannot see through it as I wished to. I still see an image with smears. So, is it enough? Sometimes, for me, it is and other times it is not.
On the days that it is enough I must consider a couple of things. First off, what did the window/mirror look like when I started with it? Is the current image I am looking at better or worse than before? The answer I usually end up with is, “well, it is not what I want, but it is better.” So, while I did not arrive at perfection, and let’s face it we don’t usually land there, I did arrive at a better place than I began. So, the current image is not what I wanted, but it is better than the one that I had. For today then, that was progress. We need to let ourselves off the hook with less than perfection and be glad for forward movement. Tomorrow we can make more forward movement, but today there must be some level of, “whew, it is better than it was yesterday.” That may seem insignificant regarding my window/mirror issue, and it is. But it is not to the issues we all face regarding life, depression, money concerns, parenting, illness, loss, grief, joblessness… there are so many potentially overwhelming issues facing each of us. Sometimes life can seem to be a bit much. Sometimes it seems that everyone else carries it better than you do. I don’t believe that’s true; I think they make it look easier, but that doesn’t mean it is easier.
Then there are the other times in my life. Remember I told you there are times that I clean my window/mirror and it feels better, yet not perfect so sometimes I am good with that and I go on and other times I am not. There are times in life that the level of clean I have achieved is simply not enough for me. Have you ever cleaned and cleaned on a window/mirror and just known that you simply could not get it clean enough, yet cleaning more seemed to make it worse? What do you do next? Walking away for another day is always an option, that’s what I suggested above, but what if that doesn’t feel like an option you want. What else is there for you? For me, my next step is to ask for help. To call on someone else to have a go at the smears on the window/mirror. Obviously, I am referring to more than a window/mirror – although I really do ask for help in this situation. But in life, when I have tried and tried to give myself a new perspective and I just cannot seem to do it, well, then I call on someone else.
Getting a new perspective is essential to me, I want to feel better and sometimes I simply cannot do it alone. I begin with trying to do it myself, like the window/mirror. Then I might even try something new, maybe read a book, listen to a radio show, go get some exercise, go for a drive. Whatever, I just try to do something to give me a fresh view of life. I am trying to move the kaleidoscope slightly so the current view feels less overwhelming and I can take it on. However, there are those days that nothing I do seems to work. On those days I ask for help. I have ‘go to’ people in my life, family and friends that I know will be there for me, and I am eternally thankful to have them in my life. But honestly, even with a good support system there have been times in my life that I needed more. There were times that I simply need an uninvolved person to provide me with a new perspective. I believe asking for help from the resources around us is a strength, and I am all about feeling stronger. This blog felt like it was a bit of a downer when I began it, but I also recognize how overwhelming life can be. I wanted to take a moment to say “hey, let’s help each other, lets move forward together.” I hope each of us can turn our kaleidoscope and find a new view, but when you can’t, when your arms are too tired to hold up your kaleidoscope and turn it, ask for help. Find someone to help you until you are better able to help yourself. The view will change. Life will seem less overwhelming. You will be refreshed and ready to take life on again. It may not happen today, it may not happen in a day, but it will happen. Keep moving forward and find others to help push things along when life gets hard. Be well my friends! Thank you for spending a part of your day with me!
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Cindy has spent her career of over 30 plus years in one role or another of the mental health and counseling world. She has worked in private practice and in schools settings. She holds a PhD in Exceptional Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and a couple of other degrees in School and Human Services Counseling and Exceptional Education and currently works in public education full time and adjunct part-time at a nearby university. Cindy has spent her career working to help individuals, families, teachers, schools, and even communities better understand ways we can take better care of our kids. It is her hope to use this as a vehicle that will benefit all; but most especially our children – they are the future you know.