“Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.” Eeyore (AA. Milne)
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” Viktor Frankl
Our perspective shapes our life. It is all about what we choose to see. Is it a weed or a flower? Is it a trial or a lesson? Is it a hardship or a gift from God? It is my belief that we can grow and learn from everything in life. We can turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones, allowing us to get closer to our divine potential simply by changing our attitude or how we view our situations and opportunities in life. We can learn. We can grow. In order to do so we need to have a great perspective. Think of a trial you may be experiencing right now, keep it in mind as you read the following experience.
A lady in one of my classes shared an interesting experience with me. Her son was diagnosed with cancer in his early 20s. He had just moved to a big city thousands of miles away. She described how she travelled back and forth, watched her husband go into thousands of dollars worth of debt, and how indescribably hard it was as a mother to watch her son suffer. She questioned God in anger one night asking “Why would you do this to my son?” After a year of treatments and surgeries the cancer finally went into remission.
About 10 years later she was talking with her son and mentioned how almost losing him to cancer was one of the worst experiences in her life. Her son replied, “Oh mom, cancer didn’t almost kill me, it saved me.” He then explained how he had gotten in with the wrong crowd, and was in a gang at the time he was diagnosed. He was in way too deep. The only way out of the mess he found himself in with this gang was to be diagnosed with a life threatening illness. He told her he was sure he would be dead by now if he had not gotten cancer. Suddenly, her perspective changed. She said she thanked God every day from then on that her son got cancer.
Perhaps you haven’t had quite as drastic of an experience as the one I just shared, perhaps you have. Either way, here is a simple exercise you can do to begin changing your perspective.
- Fold a paper in half hot-dog style.
- On one side write down a list of your trials.
- On the other side write down the things you have learned or can learn from them.
- If you are having trouble identifying what you can learn, ask God.
- After completing the list, take a moment of gratitude for all the opportunities you have been provided, all the gifts God has given you.
We can choose to learn and grow from the trials we experience in life. If we learn to have a greater perspective we can find the gifts hidden in our challenges and continue to progress towards our potential.
Taken from Chapter 8 of Soul Intuition by Allison H Larsen.