A matter of perspective

perspective-different-perspective-238x300We enter this life to experience and relish from all that life has offer in order to grow and expand.  It has been said before that life on earth can be very hard. Shakyamuni Buddha said “Life is Suffering“,  but, he also said “all things are relative.” Lao Tzu said “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. ” Socrates said “Life contains but two tragedies. One is not to get your heart’s desire; the other is to get it” (I shall leave you to ponder upon the deeper meanings of this quote).  And, Eckhart Tolle said “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” In all, ‘life’ is tough from the perspective of each of our personal level.

A friend of mine made a post just before Christmas which I will quote here :

So many things that happen in life are beyond our control. From relationships to business affairs, the best laid plans can just fall apart in the blink of an eye and you’re left with the taste of ashes in your mouth, the queasy feeling in your stomach and a million thoughts running through your mind. Your emotions start to take over and your first instinct is to find a quick solution to either solve the problem, run from it or quell your emotions.
But if you choose to stay in the moment and not get trapped into worrying about the future or getting trapped in the past, you begin to realise that despite the setbacks and uncertainties in life, there are many other things that are going your way and you can be grateful for.

For every failed relationship there is someone who will not leave your side or knowingly hurt you. For every failed business venture, there is a lesson waiting to be learnt so that you may learn and grow. For every crushed dream and plan that falls apart, there is another dream waiting to be realised and for you to fulfill.
We can choose to give up or we can choose to hope. To believe and to keep the faith. To be grateful and appreciative. To love and be loved despite it all.

– Alistair Tan

Call it a weird coincidence, but I was thinking about making a little post about the “unfortunate” things that happen in life after listening to 2 songs from 2 different animated movies.  Then, I saw his post all within the same day. Providence and synchronicity at work maybe, but definitely inspiration to fuel the writing.  I share below, links to the 2 songs I was referring to :
You Know Better Than I from Joseph King of Dreams
Through Heaven’s Eyes from The Prince of Egypt
Despite the songs being laced with subtle references to the Christian faith, look past that and you will see that the message is the same.  We go through life being conditioned to put labels on things, that being in control is a fact of life, and trying to build grand plans for our future in order to achieve our goals in life, goals that often define what “success” means from our perspective.  In the process, we believe that all is within our control; that if we follow the steps we will hit the goal.  “Life” begs to differ, if you follow the steps you have laid out you MAY hit the goal but there are no guarantees.  So, what happens if you do not hit your goal/s?  For some, their world falls apart; for some well adjusted others they make new plans and go after new goals. We put in the effort in order to achieve our desired outcomes. When it does not go our ways we experience stress, for some “shit” just hit the fan.
But, we forget that”many things that happen in life are beyond our control”; we cannot control life’s path. Life has bigger plans for all of us. As Aesop would put it “Appearances are often deceiving.”  The following is what Dr. Jacob Held  (Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central  Arkansas) said :
We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life.

Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.

Much too often we evaluate situations according to our myopic perspectives of the world.  We grew up being conditioned into it.  Besides, how much faith can we put into another perspective that we cannot perceive yet? But, according to Lao Tzu “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When I let go of what I have, I receive what I need.” Shakyamuni Buddha also said “The mind is everything, what we think we become.” Approach things from another perspective and the situation may appear different than what you/we may have first thought. I shall end this post with 2 more quotes.

He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

– Lao Tzu

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fail.
– Confucius
Be blessed all!!



The “I” from a systemic perspective.

Systemic Perspective Pic

I have had the good fortune to attend a course on The Systemic Perspective Approach in Case Conceptualization.  In the course, I learned about what the Systemic Perspective was all about.  The Systemic Perspective was a theory created by Dr. Chris Fong, it was his PhD dissertation. In his theory, he says that each one of us have our own Values, Beliefs, Norms, and Culture (or VBNC).  Over that are 8 more layers which he names them as Globalisation, Mindset, Affect, Physical, Social, Philosophy, Ethnicity, and Political/Economics; each of these will have its own set of VBNC.  His whole theory can be summarized into the picture included above.

When I first saw the picture, it just hit me that it looks so much like the layers of an onion.  Delving further, it started to look like the “ego” defined.  A crisis happens when any of those layers, that was just described, falls apart (as in, something that does not fit into your expectations happens).  At this point, I have started to formulate the idea that at some point in our life, we start constructing this structure using the aforementioned layers.  As our life progress, we make small adjustments to our mental creation of how our world should work, thus giving birth to our personalities, and behaviours.  In so doing, we have created this artificial facade of ourselves that we present to the world to interact with the world.

Unfortunately, as time progresses, we have forgotten that THAT is not our real self, but an artificial construct created by ourselves to facilitate our interaction with the world around us.  As a result of that, we have adopted the facade as the actual “I”.  Along with that comes with all the unpleasant things that we perceive to happen when one of the layers starts to break down.

Take a moment to think about the following; how much truth is reflected in the picture above describing each one of us?  How did I allow them to take over my life?  Where is the real “I”?