I came across this quote recently: “You can’t read the label when you’re inside the jar.”
Sometimes we can’t see our lives, our decisions, or our path clearly. It’s through no fault of our own – it’s just hard to take an outside perspective when we’re living it all the time.
I think that’s why we’re social beings, so other people can reflect back to us what they notice.
That’s why change in perspective – through travel, or meeting new people, or challenging our own assumptions with the support of others – is helpful.
That’s why deep listening to our truest self is important.
I recently had the experience of getting new glasses. I mostly wear contacts, except for at night and in the morning. So I’ve never prioritized getting new glasses. The old ones work just fine.
That’s how I ended up with 10-year-old glasses that are slightly broken and don’t meet my current prescription needs.
Until something led me to make a change. It was a “It would probably be a good idea to have glasses I could wear if I get pink eye” sort of a rational decision that led me to make an eye appointment and finally get new glasses.
Last night, I tried them on for the first time.
“Holy Toledo-cow! I can see!” was my first thought. (Supposedly that’s what my mom said when she got glasses for the first time as a child. Thanks, Mom!)
The difference in experience was drastic. I could wear these new glasses all day if I wanted to! I had no idea what I was missing when I settled for my good-enough-for-now glasses.
For me, glasses or not, it’s that little, easily-avoidable voice that I have to choose to listen to in order to jiggle myself enough out of the status quo of my life in order to make a change. Maybe it’s something small, like getting new glasses, or maybe it’s something bigger, like leaving a job or moving to a new place. Creating the awareness and space to notice that voice is my first step. Then, I have to actually listen to that voice with compassion, discern next steps, thoughtfully gather information, and notice what happens next. Step by step, I pursue the feeling that I want to create for myself and for those around me. For me, that feeling is joy, ease and peace. Follow the breadcrumbs of this feeling, around and over the boulders of challenging change, has led me to where I am today, and it continues to lead me forward. It means not settling for less than everything I want and deserve by thoughtfully, intentionally painting the landscape of my life using the many beautiful colors provided to me.
And I literally can see more clearly now because of it! I’m so grateful for my new glasses, and for all the new insight I gain along the way.
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