Proverbs 23:7 says, “as a man thinks (or calculates) in his heart, so he is.”
This past week was a big day in the Halpin house because my oldest son was fitted with braces for his teeth. Clayton is an impressive kid who succeeds at many things. He is a great kid, who also has a flair for the dramatic. As we sat down to lunch at his favorite restaurant following his orthodontic procedure, we had our first metal mouth emergency- a loose wire. Now as a former brace face, I was well this is par for the course. When you have braces, things break and poke. So as he refused to eat and downgraded the outlook of the day from “fantastic because I’m not going to school and eating burgers and shakes instead” to “my life is over”. As we talked him off the ledge, I found myself wrestling with two huge thoughts:
1. I am old. My kid has braces. This is a transitional milestone to adulthood.
2. ZOOM OUT– get some perspective on this day.
That is when I began to think of one of the most effective practices one can have in order to rid your life of drama, enjoy things, and have peace. The ability to rise above your circumstances by simply setting your mind to a new perspective is an ability that only humans have been given. At any moment, whether good or dire, you have the ability to rise above. You have the ability to look a week into the future and desire if this really matters. You have the ability to see a problem and look only at it’s consequences or to see only potential solutions to a problem.
Dramatic people are simply people that can’t zoom out. They are people that only see one small moment right in front of them and have no creative ability to see potential. I’ve known many people who seemed to embrace a chaotic, drama filled life and I’ve discovered the key to staying drama free is simply perspective. If you only walk on ground level, you’ll fall into every hole and trip on every crack. It is only when you learn to fly that cracks and holes are inconsequential. It is only when you can rise above and gain perspective on where you’ve been and where you are going that can manage the day to day without being consumed.
So perspective is a great secret to enjoying things and experiencing peace. This is why I find it crucial to a joyful life to spend time each morning in prayer, study, and meditation for the day- preparing to rise above.