It has been a long time since we have had many of the cloudy days that Western Washington is known for until just recently when the clouds rolled in for a quick reminder of the grey skies that typically blanket our region. I was fortunate to be travelling across the state on this overcast day which would take me to the sunnier skies of Eastern Washington. However, upon my journey, I found a new appreciation for the clouds in the sky simply by a shift in my own perspective.
the view FROM BELOW
As I drove to the airport under a grey layer of ‘nature’s sunblock’ it was a natural impulse to think to myself: ‘When will these clouds ever clear up?’ Ironic isn’t it? How quickly the negative thoughts can take over, considering we have just had one of the longest and sunniest summers on record.
At this point in the day, I can already feel the disappointment in myself as I allow an outside force to change my mindset so quickly.
However it will not be until after I get to the airport, cattle my way through security, cram myself into an airline seat, shut down all portable electronic devices, clench my fists through take-off and at last look out the window, that I will have the epiphany of a change in my point of view.
the thoughts GET WORSE
This is the danger of negative feelings, one seems to attract another: grey skies, no view, tight seat, close stranger.
As the plane ascended into the sky there was just a moment or two of watching the houses and cars get smaller and smaller before clouds seemed to enrobe the plane and nothing was visible but a complete murky haze. They say things do get worse before they get better. So this was my chance to remember how uncomfortable the seat was and how close the person next to me seemed to be (We were practically touching thighs and I have personal space issues, but I will save that for a separate post and counselling session). This is the danger of negative feelings, one seems to attract another: grey skies, no view, tight seat, close stranger. So I settle into acceptance with headphones in, legs pulled together to avoid accidental touching and eyes drifting solemnly into the haze, imagining all the uncertainties that could be hidden behind the curtain in the sky.
the view FROM ABOVE
My mind had just started to numb when things started to break up. The sun started to break through, and Mother Nature was changing my perspective for me. It was hard to come around at first. The sun was brighter than I had grown accustomed to on our ascent and I wondered if I should pull down the cover to stay in the comfort of darkness I was creating in my mind. But then, as I looked down to the view pictured here, my breath was taken away. We were now above the clouds, looking down on what seemed an endless flow of down pillows framing the view of the Cascades and Mount Rainier as we crossed over them. I completely relaxed, started having positive thoughts and though I do not know for sure, I may have even accidentally touched a thigh and not even noticed.
moving BEYOND THE CLOUDS
Could they be staring up seeing these as dull as I was earlier, or are they thinking about how breathtaking the view might be from above?
It was in this moment that I was able to really think about my current circumstances. There were thousands of people at that very moment viewing these same clouds from below as I had just been seeing them a couple short hours before. I thought back to how I was not able to think about what splendor they might be creating from a different point of view and wondered if anyone on the ground could imagine what a beautiful heaven these same clouds were creating up here. Could they be staring up seeing these as dull as I was earlier, or are they thinking about how breathtaking the view might be from above? I began to see this as proof that a simple change in point of view in any situation is very powerful. Same clouds. Same day. Same person. Different point of view. New perspective!
change your POINT OF VIEW
How many ways can we apply this in other areas of our lives? How many situations have you experienced where you feel like the clouds are closing in on you and the situation is getting pretty grim. It is those days where you wonder how long it will be before you see the sun again.
How often have you been able to look back once you are through the situation with a new perspective and appreciation for the dark days of the past?
I urge you to keep these days in mind when you are in your cloudiest hours and know that your situation, with a simple change in perspective, has a positive outlook from some hidden vantage point. You never know what a bad experience could be preparing you for in the long run. Before you know it, touching thighs could turn into rubbing elbows and rubbing elbows could open up your next great opportunity. It is true after all that every cloud does have a silver lining!
Thank you for flying on this journey with me. Especially thanks to those around me who continue to keep my mind in the right perspective. Please be sure to share your point of view in the comments section below. As always thank you for ‘liking’ and ‘sharing’ with your friends.