My daughter got married last Saturday. There was rain. There was a power outage. There was an unexpected illness. What did it mean? It meant that no matter how many painstaking hours went into the year-long planning, no one could predict a perfect outcome.
But even with these unforeseen setbacks, the event was perfect–in my eyes, anyway. Because I chose to look at it that way.
How do you choose to see things? I remember a line from the movie Pollyanna, where the main character quotes Abraham Lincoln to her pessimistic minister, “When you look for the bad…expecting to find it, you surely will.”
Wow…what a concept. If we go looking for the bad, we surely will find it. But if we look at situations–even negative ones–with goodness, grace, and gratitude, every situation becomes a gift.
The Jamaica Inn, where my daughter and son-in-law (first time I’ve typed that) were married, is a stunning resort. Beauty overflowing–from the lushly terraced landscapes, to the sparkling beach, to the azure Caribbean. Each day, gardeners tend the grounds with meticulous care–pruning, raking, and sweeping up a barrage of blossoms, leaves, and branches.
It is quite unusual to see a lawn or path that is not immaculate. But if you look hard enough for disarray, you can find it. It’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
How we look at things (and other people) says a lot about us. According to a study recorded in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the tendency to positively assess people and situations is linked to “our own enthusiasm, happiness, kind-heartedness, politeness, emotional stability, life satisfaction, and even how much others like us.”
It’s amazing how my husband and I can be looking at the very same thing, yet we both see something completely different. I guess we all find what we are looking for.
Some of you know I collect heart-shaped rocks and shells. If my husband saw this pile of rocks, he’d just walk right on. I, on the other hand, would hone in on this.
It may be a stretch for some, but the center stone looks like a heart to me.
It’s all just a matter of perspective.
In the path of life, what are you looking for?
Well, if you are looking for the outdoor tub…here it is!
Thank you, Jamaica Inn. For the memory of a lifetime. And best wishes to Becky and Andy. Love, Mom.
“People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for.” –Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
Sharon, this is a beautiful post. I so agree with you. If we look for the negative, we’re sure as heck going to find it. I’d rather look, hear and see the positive, the possibilities, the gifts every situation brings, no matter how “imperfect” it may seem. The wedding picture of your daughter and son-in-law is beautiful and I’m sure the wedding was magical. So happy for you.