It was the coldest summer I have ever experienced that time I visited San Francisco, but it was a meaningful trip. One of the many moments I learned from, and was able to deeply reflect on, was the time I spent on the Golden Gate Bridge.
The tour bus came to a steady stop and my friends and I hopped out. As I took a step ahead, I began to take in the view of the famous and historic Golden Gate Bridge. It was beautiful. It was vast in all its splendor. I stood there on the sidelines of the bridge. Suddenly, I felt so small.
That day a storm had been blowing through. It was freezing. Some tourists stayed on the side of the bridge and bundled up against the cold. Some just stood there looking at the bridge but never went ahead. I decided to press on. As I began walking at the start of the bridge, the wind violently blew through me. The wind was so strong it almost knocked me to me knees. But I had a goal and we had come so far. I decided to run and as I began to run I grew stronger each step. I did not feel so cold anymore. The wind whipping around me actually became my comfort and the cold temperatures become my relief. I could see the end of the bridge and in that moment I did not feel so small. The bridge was not overcoming. It was conquerable. My perspective changed.
Sometimes in life we get off the bus (so to speak) only to find that the situation is not what we want it to be. You see when I was dropped off by the bus, I was where I had intended to be. It was my goal to walk on the Golden Gate Bridge but I was met with some challenges. Life is challenging sometimes but perspective is everything.
Some people when the storms of life roll in and the winds hit them knocking them down, they stay down. They never get up. They stay frozen in the same spot and they wonder why life is so hard. They take on defeat. They feel life has cheated them. They act like nothing good has happened, is happening, or will ever happen to them. The lens of their perspective is shattered in far more pieces than the actual brokenness of the situation. They magnify the negativity. They can never see ahead because they are stuck in what did not work out. They despair. They have a pessimistic perspective.
Some people when storms of life whip through, they become afraid. What they see ahead is more overwhelming than inspiring. They look at what lies ahead and they feel small. They feel powerless. They feel unqualified. They feel like they do not have what it takes. They may even feel that whatever it is they are striving for is not worth the effort. When times get hard and they are faced with challenges, they quit. They retreat back into the bus, treating life like a tour and only sticking around for the sweet spots, and easy steps. They never plant their roots into something meaningful. They run. They have a running perspective.
Then there are those when storms rage, they still believe in the future ahead. They see possibilities not limits. They see the glory of opportunity not the cloud of desistance. When the violent winds of life blow, they stand their ground. They keep their dreams alive in their heart. When the winds overtake them and knock them down, they get back up. When doors close and things do not go as planned, they view those times as intermissions instead of terminations. When challenges come they press on. They stay focused. They grow stronger and dig in deeper. They persevere. They have a champion perspective.
In life we all must decide each day what our perspective will be. The mistake that people often make is that they get caught up in the horizontal and what’s going on around them that they lose sight of the vertical and what lies ahead of them. It is easy to stay down when the storms of life hit you. They hit everyone at some point but it is your perspective that can make the difference. It is easy to feel defeated when things are not going as planned. It is easy to feel small. It is easy to run. It is easy to think the good old days have passed. It is easy to think your dreams are impossible and the future looks bleak. It is easy to go around with a bad attitude.
Those who look through the lens of reality will justify their perspective of bitterness but those who look through the lens of faith will maintain their perspective of hopefulness. Changing your attitude to a situation will change the circumstance but changing your perspective will change your world. Life is all about perspective.
(original photo taken by me. San Francisco 2015)
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Love, Naomi Noel