I was talking to my friend Jim, checking on how he was feeling after knee surgery. He had been struggling with pain – something that he “put in its box” to deal with it – for two years. He was only a few days post-surgery when we talked about how he felt and how he hoped to feel soon.
He often says wise things as a matter of course in conversation. One of his comments on this occasion has been rattling around in my head ever since. Speaking of the pain he had, and hoping for pain relief once healed, Jim said, “I don’t remember not feeling this way.” He went on to elaborate, but those seven words reveal much about how we lose context, perspective and opportunity in life when we can’t remember life any other way that it has been “recently.”
One of the outcomes of my LIFElines book and workshops is to help provide a higher-level look at life that provides views otherwise unseen. Jim’s comment verified the importance of such a view.
Some people face a downturn in life after years or decades of good health, strong finances, secure relationships etc., with fear, panic or depression. They have forgotten that life has peaks and valleys, ebbs and flows, yin and yang. Some people feel trapped in negative situations because they’ve forgotten that they ever had a life without disease, abuse, sadness, loneliness, etc. The right viewpoint reminds us of the context and perspective needed for the humility, courage, optimism and strength to maintain joy and happiness in life’s complicated journey.
No matter your situation, it has not always been that way, nor will it be.