Perspective is everything

After being pulled back to my writing after a short hiatus, I have just re read my last few blog entries with a pang of sadness. My last post was a hugely positive post about hospitals and how for me they are a place of hope and to be honest, right now I feel very differently. My recent hospital experiences have been anything but positive and to be frank, have at times bordered on being traumatic.

The last 6 weeks have been incredibly difficult, both emotionally and physically. I unfortunately did not have the surgery I was expecting to have and in fact have had to return to hospital a second time after it was apparent that something had gone awry after the first surgery. This means it has turned out to not be the final surgery in my surgical transition after all and this has been and continues to be, overwhelmingly  difficult to come to terms with. This hasn’t been helped by poor hospital care and lack of communication from my consultant as to what exactly has gone wrong and how its been corrected. I am fully aware that this journey is a difficult one with bumps in the road and set backs on route but strength to deal with that comes, partly at least, by being able to trust those whose hands you are in the care of. To top it all off my best friend suddenly died, he was found in his bed, appearing to have died in his sleep and we still have no answers as to why.

All this has left me rather lacking in the ability to feel very positive about anything at all and reading my last post now is a strange experience considering how different I feel. I want to get back to that place but I am just not there yet. However, on re reading that post, it strikes me that its less about my views on hospitals but is more accurately about perspective and in fact a fair few of my writing pieces are. This is a fact that has just struck me but does not surprise me at all.

The reason for this is because I have undergone a huge change in perspective which happened to me quite suddenly beginning in the August of 2010.  I personally see it as an awakening, and as someone who leads a spiritual life I do in fact see it as a spiritual awaking. The trouble is that this conjures up a lot of eye brow raising for people who don’t have the same leanings so I stick with the term change in perspective because they really are, at least as I see them, one and the same. This perspective change was such a shift in how I viewed myself, the world and my response to it, that despite it being 6 years now since this happened, it still astounds me daily just how different I am. This is then why it’s not surprising that most of my writing is centred around this concept, even if it’s not explicit.

Re reading my last blog entries and being reminded of the importance of this perspective change, has made me realise that it is not positivity I need to concentrate on, or worry about, or try to conjure up. Positivity or negativity is the outcome of perspective and this fact has just this second dawned on me.

To attempt to explain, I am someone who talks a lot about positive thinking, but I always qualify it by saying that positive thinking isn’t about sticking a false smile on your face and pretending everything is OK when it isn’t. I always say that positive thinking is about acknowledging the difficulty you are facing, allowing yourself to feel it, whilst at the same time focusing on what you can do about it, even if all you can do at the time is accept that the difficulty is there. In this way, you are presenting yourself with a choice, to fall solidly on the side of the difficulty, allow yourself to sink into the negative feelings of life being bad and it all being hopeless, or to fall on the side of, as in the example above, having to just accept the difficulty is how it is at this moment. Accepting in this way is active not passive and so presents a more positive approach. This choice of two options is perspective, you are giving yourself a different option from which to choose and in doing so, by deciding your perspective, this then has the potential to lead to the outcome of either negativity of positivity.

I believe you can always choose your perspective, but of course you first need to be aware of different views, to then have different perspectives to choose from. My initial perspective change was one I still cannot fully explain, it came to me as a result of engaging with a 12-step recovery program. I have a feeling it was in connecting to a deeper, unconscious aspect to myself, (which again for fear of alienating some readers I am going to attribute to finding a spiritual connection to a Higher Power) that paved the way. The perspective changes since have then snowballed due to actively working on my self – development and self-awareness and purposely seeking out different ways of relating to my emotions, to people and to the world.

Life is one of many ups and downs, happiness and hardship come and go and we cannot choose which one we get at any time. However, we can choose how we respond to each of these when they arrive which in turn then determines how we feel. The fact is that now I can choose my perspective and do so often, which is what has helped me to deal with difficulty, respond to events rather than react and to keep a largely positive way of living. With everything that has happened recently I think I forgot this fact, or maybe I chose to forget as I felt a bit sorry for myself and wanted a bit of wallowing time. I am not going to berate myself about that as it has been such a tough time and so is not surprising. Either way, it is time to stop worrying about my lack of positivity and instead concentrate on where my perspective lies.

This whole situation, in terms of my surgical transition journey, requires an active seeking out of different perspectives so that I have some to choose between. I think its likely that I had become so blinkered by my excitement at being so close to the finish line that I’d forgotten other less favourable outcomes were possible. And of course, although I wouldn’t want to choose the less favourable outcomes, accepting their existence is vital in approaching this surgery as it is an incredibly complex surgery with multiple potential risks and problems.

Initially in my surgery journey I was focusing on one stage at a time, I purposefully didn’t look ahead to the final surgical result as I knew that was too much of a leap ahead being that this surgery can take a few years to complete and would ultimately make the journey feel too daunting. I think this is a useful perspective to return to after all these recent complications with my surgery. My perspective choices now are that I can either look at it that my surgical journey was almost finished and I’m now a few steps backwards and needing extra surgery before my final stage, which is unbearably painful. Or I can choose to hold in mind that of course the ultimate goal is to be finished but right now I’m working towards a correction of the currently presenting issue so that the final surgery can be completed in a manner that will ensure good long term functioning. By choosing the second of these perspectives, It means I can find a way to see this recent surgery, and the extra unexpected one I will now need in a couple of months’ time, as positive ones as they are step forward in correcting the issues I currently have.

Even today I am seeing the benefits of remembering the value and power in choosing ones’ perspective, I have felt more at peace with all that has happened and have also surprisingly found things I feel positive about. I know that all this doesn’t mean I am now suddenly going to be OK, I have had a succession of high stress events, my mental and physical health have suffered, I will have to make a lot of changes to my plans and dreams for this year and its going to take some time to recover from all this but that’s where the balance I spoke about earlier comes into play. I am not trying to pretend everything is OK, I am not trying to force the positivity, I instead am working to accept that this is where I am right now and then look at small ways I can begin to choose a different perspective in order to be able to allow the positivity to return in its own good time

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6 thoughts on “Perspective is everything

  1. I couldn’t agree more about the perspective being everything, and your post has helped drive that even further home for me right now. As I sit in the waiting area to see my family doctor to discuss my mental health, I wonder how much of the issues I have been having are due to my perspective on the world around me right now. Finding the courage and the headspace to be able to embrace the right perspective is not an easy task, but knowing it and admitting it and understanding that good comes with bad, that’s a start. As you know, I watch ur vlogs and read your posts and have been following your journey for a long time. I feel a sense of loss right along with you as you are.going thru what you are and I send as much positive energy to you as I can muster. Your words help keep me grounded and your positivity thru all the things you’ve gone thru help me keep.my wits about me that there is nothing that we can’t conquer as long as we do keep the right perspective on things. I believe everything happens for a reason, and though we may never know the reason for happening at the time, eventually it will.all make sense (at least some.of it, I can’t speak for reasoning behind the loss of your friend, it’s much too devastating) in terms of your willy lol, as frustrating and deflating as this seems, at least they are working towards getting it right. There are so many docs out there who would have just fluffed off that “cul de sac” and went ahead with the stage three and it would have all been for naught in the long run. Finn junior will stand tall before you know it, and he will be better than you could have imagined because all the little.things will be fixed and proper. I know, another long winded post from me, sigh I think it comes with being a writer haha. Thanks for sharing my friend, whether good or bad I always look forward to hearing from you 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not long winded at all my friend, I do enjoy discussing these things and reading other peoples perspectives.

      It really is hard to chose, but choose we must for not to chose is choosing anyway, I think it was Neal Donald Walsch that said that and its stuck with me. I hadnt noticed just how off beam my perspective had gone, I was focusing on the positivity as the issue but in realising I had to start with perspective first, this really helped to make the choice I needed to, no doubt I will have to keep re making that choice though because this current situation is a tough one!

      Thank you so much for your kind compliments and your solidarity with Finn juniors struggles! You are wise in your thoughts about the cul-de-sac, in the long run I too think this has a good reason behind it and will ultimately result in a much better outcome.

      Thanks so much my friend

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very proud of you Finn. You put in the hard work and you turned the situation around. It was not easy but you walked every step of the walk. And you were thorough about it, no side stepping, or walking around it. You walked through it and came out stronger and more grounded because of it.

    I am very proud to interact with, to know, and to witness your Spiritual journey. I honour it because it is wonderful to see you explore your inner workings, to challenge yourself and build on your ideas, and to grow from the kind of connection that you have with yourself and the bigger picture.

    This choice in perspective that you speak of comes from someone who has a strong sense of centredness, and from that centre can hear and access wisdom that guides them in the ability to see perspective from the bigger picture and therefore invites a sense of empowerment with one’s Self and the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adversity is an opportunity for growth, I was reminded of this by my friend this morning. Its not easy to hear or apply that in tough times but it is indeed a choice to engage with. Its hard as there is a giant pull towards wanting to just wallow, stamp my feet and not put the work in, it seems a human issue to know whats good to do for ourselves in tough times but to not want to do it! I think accepting that feeling ok about this situation may take time and that I may well feel anything but positive for a while yet too, has allowed me to be a lot more relaxed about things and therefore given me the space to shift my perspective to one which in turn is bringing with it some small glimmers of positivity after all!

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  3. Hello Finn

    This is truly an amazing post and a fantastic revelation for yourself. I believe the same thing but I state it in a simplistic term… it’s not what comes your way in life that makes it good or bad, it’s how you deal with it. That being said, you are facing your tragedies and struggles head on with a tremendous strength that few realize for themselves. Stay strong and know your are a strong spirit who will survive.

    Kris Waters Canada.

    Liked by 1 person

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