Posted by: GPK | 9.September.2009

Sometimes you have to let go… In order to get a better grip.

You’ve read me write about how context plays a key role in how well or poorly we deal with our life’s situations.  The events, people and ideas that surround us at any given time shape who we are and therefore how we respond to events with which we’re confronted.  Often when we’re in the thick of a situation, however, we see only what’s right in front of us.

In the documentary film The Power of Ten, the filmmakers take us on a journey into space starting just one meter above the ground at St. Mark’s Square in Venice.  Then we leap above to gain perspectives in increments equal to multiples of ten.  One meter, ten meters, 100 meters, 1000, etc. until our perspective of that first tiny, one-meter square tile in St. Mark’s Square is an invisible speck on a tiny planet in a distant galaxy.  Our perspective is changed.  Our view toward everything that was previously at the very end of our nose just moments ago is drastically changed.

Often, we struggle with something right at the end of our nose.  We naturally bemoan our inability to gain purchase on an idea.  We struggle to gain mechanical advantage on something that appears simply too enormous and beyond the scope of our current abilities to deal with.  In order to get perspective we step away.  Sometimes we run away thinking that escaping will help too.  Often it does help us to deal with a situation by distancing ourselves from it.

Why?  The perspective gained helps us to put the “stuff” we’re dealing with in context.  I recall with great clarity the moment when I realized that I had cancer.  It was not something anyone had told me.  The context of my situation made it evident.  I was in the bone marrow transplant unit, isolated from the world, with transfusions, contact precautions and dietary restrictions.  I had been there for four days.  It was obvious for days to everyone but me.  Until that moment.

I meditated to gain perspective.  I took myself high above my one-meter view so that I could put my situation in context.  I thought of my mom’s death and all that experience had taught me about life.  I thought of my kids, my family and friends, and the work I had chosen (or had chosen me).  I gained perspective and a new strength to deal with the news I would get “officially” the next morning.

Thinking this morning as I wrestle with personal issues, work challenges, all of life’s little hurdles and opportunities, I still need to step back and get things into context.  We risk a lot, however, when we take a step back from things in order to get a clearer view.  When we come back down to earth after putting things into context – even if we’re gone for but a moment – we may find that the world has changed.  Hopefully, our revised perspective will help us to understand the world as it has evolved.  We may find that the world has grown too.  What we certainly will find is that as our perspective expands, our capabilities expand likewise.  The scope of things with which we are comfortable handling gets larger and larger.

What seemed insurmountable just moments ago, is now but a temporary challenge.  We may find our current hurdles are simply experiences which are testing our capabilities, expanding them and empowering us to tackle bigger commitments, deeper levels of relationship, higher, loftier goals!

That’s the magic of perspective.  Maybe you give your friends a heads up, maybe not.  Maybe you let your loved ones know you’ll be heading into the cosmos for a few minutes, maybe you keep it to yourself.  But take a trip above yourself and the world around you.  Close your eyes and take those breaths and let your soul soar!  Put your situation in context.

It is said “God is in the details.”  I believe this to be so.  Life is also, without question, a “big picture” experience.  We must balance the dichotomy of attention to the “end of our nose” stuff and cosmic perspective in order to make the most of it!

Happy soaring!

Let me know how it goes by clicking comment below and having at it!

Peace and gratitude,



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