by Wendy Keller, mother of 3, 1 child still living
Recently, I heard my former husband describing the circumstances surrounding the car accident that killed our first two children way back in 1991. He was not severely injured, so his perspective is one of someone who could walk around the hospital, see things from an upright perspective and interact with hospital staff. I was flat on my back and critically injured.
That got me to thinking about perspectives.
Perhaps there’s a circumstance in your life that you just know happened a certain way. Someone said or did something that hurt you and you recall every single detail. No one could ever convince you otherwise. But did you…
know that brain researchers now believe that memories are stored in fragments in different parts of the brain and get hastily reassembled like a jigsaw puzzle when you call on them? If you have siblings, you’ve probably noticed that they recall some events from your childhood differently than you do: no, that chair at Grandma’s was definitely blue; no, that’s not what Dad said that day; and so on.
On top of the fact that each person filters data input through the 5 senses differently, we also attach meaning differently. When my mother arches just one eyebrow, it means “Back Off!” to my brothers and me, even though we’re all adults. Someone who wasn’t raised with her could easily miss the warning signal.
If there’s a situation in your life – or a person – that has caused you harm, it might change your perspective to listen to theirs. It’s a mark of maturity to be able to calmly ask, “How do you see this?” or “How did you interpret this?” or “What did you mean by this?” and then be able to listen to the answer without becoming defensive.
You just might find there’s a whole different perspective and that by understanding it, or at least knowing it, you can glimpse the world through that person’s eyes and resolve the conflict. Try it and let me know how it goes!
When you’re ready, please help yourself to this comforting, helpful eBook
Stop Hurting and Start Healing