Two dogs walked into the same room. One came out wagging his tail while the other came out growling and snarling. A woman who was watching the dogs went into the room to see what could possibly have made one dog so happy and the other so mad. She found the room filled with mirrors and could only guess that one dog had seen thousands of happy dogs looking back at him, while the other had experienced thousands of angry dogs snarling in his face. They actually saw themselves as others see them.
For most of my life, just like those dogs, I had no idea that I was reacting to my own reflection or that everything that happened in my outer life was a reflexion of my inner thinking. But then I met a lady and had an experience that made me wake up to the fact that, if I chose, I could begin to see myself differently.
Her name was Mildred and she was a very spiritually-connected lady. The world that Mildred looked out from (and that reflected back to her) was a gentle one, filled with beautiful colors, loving people,and blessed experiences, and that was the way she experienced everything that happened to her.
For a long time, I didn’t understand Mildred’s world. My world was either black or white, good or bad, kind or unkind and the contrasts were sharp – the reflections were very clear. And then one day, I got a glimpse of life through Mildred’s eyes when I ran into her unexpectedly in a parking lot.
“How are you today, Mildred?” I asked.
“Oh, Lauren, I am so blessed,” she said. “I had a flat tire this morning.”
I started to comment on exactly why I wouldn’t view that as a blessing when I heard myself say to myself – “Just shut up, Lauren. You’re about to learn something”. So I simply stood there among the parked cars and listened.
She went on to tell me that the day before, she’d been scheduled to teach two classes and had prepared a lot of material for those classes. As she was loading her car that morning, she let her thoughts about her classes distract her and she drove straight away from home, leaving her purse on her kitchen table.
“All day long I didn’t have my purse and that was very inconvenient,” she explained. “My last class didn’t end until 9:00 last night and I then had to drive home in the dark and the rain. I was scared half to death so when I got home, I just made myself a cup of tea and went right to bed. Then when I got up this morning, I looked in the garage and there was my car with a flat tire.”
Completely perplexed, I asked, “So – just how did your flat tire bless you, Mildred? “
“Well,” she asked me patiently, “What if it had happened yesterday when I didn’t have my purse or last night in all that rain? It was such a huge blessing to have it happen right in my own garage in broad daylight, don’t you agree?”
Strangely enough, I did agree. She did make me see the difference between her perspective (I am always blessed) and mine (if something can go wrong, it will) and I knew I liked hers better.
And right there and then I made a real “Conscious Shift”. Through the 30 years that have passed since then, I’ve become much better at “reframing” the situations that happen in my life every day. Pretty quickly now, I’m able to see life’s “on-going-stuff” as blessings (although sometimes in disguise) instead of curses and to be very, very grateful whenever my “emergency” situations happen in convenient places such as right in my own garage.
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