Monday, December 12, 2011

Perception in Circumstances

Today it is raining in Los Angeles.  There was a time when I couldn't handle the rain.  On rainy days I would shut down.  I became angry, irritable, and overall just too tired to accomplish anything.  Everything I ate on rainy days always upset my stomach.  I hated going outside on rainy days because it was so uncomfortable to walk back into the house or get into the car all wet and with dirty shoes.  They say there are people who are addicted to sunlight, that when the sun is not out they fall apart emotionally.  For a while I thought I was indeed one of them.

Although today it is raining, I do not mind it so much.  I used to try to reason with myself, saying that a day is a day, and just because the sun isn't out doesn't mean today is any different from another.  And yet, I could not use substitution, I couldn't break the fact that the weather just made me feel awful.  I couldn't pretend today was just like any other day.  The reason now I don't mind rainy days so much is because instead of focusing on what I hated about them, or what rainy days lacked in comparison to sunny days, I now focus on what's good about them.  Rain and clouds are a like a barrier the sky puts up between ourselves and the sun, and the need for that barrier is so we can see the day differently.  Rainy days are a time for reflection, if the rain is out we stay indoors; it's a metaphor: to go inside means to look inside.  In other words, rainy days can be used as a time for reflection.  Although I still dislike going out in the rain and getting wet, I find it quite wonderful to stare out a window and watch the rain fall.  I find it inspiring.  It gets me thinking on a deeper level about what I have been going through lately, and so I truly believe that is the beauty behind a rainy day. 

The beauty behind a rainy day.  Essentially that is what we need to do for everything and every person that we dislike.  By finding what is beautiful about this thing or person, we come to understand its purpose in our lives.  Any sense of hate for these things if not right away, gradually fades when we consider what in fact is beautiful or even wonderful about the circumstances we are facing.  This is true of ourselves as well: when we can see parts of ourselves we once saw as ugly or undesired now as beautiful and essential to our existence, we can let go of the negativity we once had.  For example, it used to frustrate me that I was too short to be a model.  Rejection after rejection from agencies because of my height made me furious.  Eventually I admitted I can't do anything about how tall I am, so I needed to surrender.  So I asked, "what is good about my body?"  The truth is, I am just the right height for the platform heels I perform in because I'm at a height where it looks natural on camera.  At the same time I also know from modeling for drawing workshops that if you measure my body from head to toe, I have near perfect textbook proportions in relation to the measurements one does when drawing or painting with the pencil.  Seeing that I am perfect at the height I am for those reasons, I now fully appreciate my stature.

It's all about perception.  How you see the situation you're in determines whether you have a positive or negative experience with it.  So learn to see the good in what you're going through, not only is it simple, it's the best thing you really can do.

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