When was the last time you’ve rearranged a closet, the living room furniture, or the selves of your mind? Seems when I allow myself the time for those things I become grateful to see them differently or reconsider what I’d long forgotten.
This shuffling of perspective also happens when I’m recaptured by books read years ago or even pages reviewed last week.
For example, I recently came across an image of a beloved childhood story about a toy rabbit’s quest to become real.
The need to find a copy of this book was immediate. When I turned the first page to immerse myself with the story my heart skipped a beat. The left to right movement of my eyes slowed a bit as I tried to see past the collection of tears formed. The messages of right living seemed to leap around and off the page like the rabbit at the center of the story.
Has this little book always contained such beautiful descriptions of how life works, what becoming REAL means, and why being different isn’t so different after all?
The answer is yes but the reality is the story hasn’t changed I have.
The intention of the narrative, the stuffed rabbit’s journey from what he thought he was to what he becomes, mirrors what I’ve gone through over these past many years. We both turned ourselves inside out revealing truths about who we are and how we are best suited to interact with the world around us.
Examples of this are:
– Don’t be convinced no one is like you because you assume they haven’t struggled as you did.
– Pay attention to those who have the kind of wisdom and practical experience you would like to one day have.
– Watch what happens to people who are reluctant to smooth their rough edges formed by unhealthy coping skills and behaviors. Keep an even closer focus on those who resist what persists.
– Change is wildly uncomfortable. We squirm, question, fantasize, or even rationalize how great things were before. Yet if we keep doing the next right thing in healthier surroundings we come to find enjoyment in our new lifestyle and manner of living.
– Comparing yourself to others won’t help make sense of things. Nothing will come from the assumption that you’ll feel better on the inside if you fix, manage and control your outside to mirror theirs.
– Allow the love of others to settle comfortably within. Soon you’ll come to love yourself and the need to “look” a certain way will eventually fade away.
– When you love someone you become willing to take whatever action steps necessary to help them. This only works if what you offer is in the best interest of that person and not yourself.
– Accept when the time comes to move on.
– Humility is the cornerstone of right living as the very wise Skinned Horse character describes in the story.
“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all because once you are REAL you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
I used to consider a good day as one when addiction had my full and undivided attention. Back then rationale for unhealthy actions never wavered. I wouldn’t allow myself even an inch of wiggle room for reconsideration or change in perspective. Once I’d read, seen, or heard something I was done. Case closed.
That is not my life today. After much emotionally challenging self-investigation and a detailed, brutally honest review of past experiences, I came to believe open-mindedness might be of benefit to me.
The next time I’m asked what helped most to overcome addiction, I’m going to think of my little rabbit friend from that cherished book and reply, “When I finally became willing to see something old with new eyes.”
A Moment to Breathe…
Take some time to think about what you might see new again. Consider your relationships or that project you just can’t seem to finish. Do you need someone’s help or a different perspective to better understand the situation? The benefits you receive may far exceed your resistance to ask. I’m interested in your feedback. Feel free to leave a comment below or share your thoughts with this post on your favorite social media forum.