Proper perspective in the face of life's challenges


By: Christopher Tolen Psy.D – Therapist and Director of Testing
Several years ago, a wise ecclesiastical leader of mine taught me a great lesson. He helped me to understand that a pebble held close to the eye appears to be larger-than-life, an object of gigantic proportion. With the pebble very close to your eye, it is difficult to see people and the world around you. It’s even difficult to see the pebble clearly for what it is. It becomes a large, blurry blob.  However, when the pebble is pulled away from the eye and held out at a distance, it can be seen clearly. When I get a proper perspective on the pebble, I am able to recognize it for what it truly is and know its place in my world.

Similarly, there are problems in our lives–trials and difficulties–that often take the place of a pebble held very close to the eye. These problems are seen as larger-than-life, monumental, and the center of our world. We are unable to see the world around us and we are also unable to see the problem clearly for what it is.  Fortunately, with a little bit of effort, some time, and maybe even the help of a guide or a teacher, we can put our problems into perspective and into their proper place, and find our direction in life. Once the pebble is removed from our vision, we are able to move forward, seeing the world more clearly, and perhaps place our problems in proper perspective. The problem is still there, but it is much more manageable and in its proper place.

photo Phirun Sam copyright Ascent Companies 2015