How’s your day? Is it sunny and bright or overcast, dark and gloomy? You know, I must confess I have never been cheered up by an overcast day. That is until I became a commercial airline pilot flying jets. Man, did my perception ever change! I remember the first time I took off and climbed to my assigned altitude on an overcast day and suddenly, during the climb out, I broke out on top of that same cloud deck. It was incredible! Because then I was looking down on the clouds, the same ones that had created the gloomy overcast. But now they didn’t look so gloomy. Actually they were the brightest white clouds I had ever seen. Mind you these were the same clouds I had seen on the ground before takeoff. That was the day I really understood the value of perspective.
I wonder how often in life we only see one side of an issue and cast judgement thinking we see the whole thing. It may not be possible to actually see the other side at that moment. But just as that cloudy day I saw in flight, we have to know there must be another view even if we cannot see it at the moment. Frankly, I know such a change in perspective may be awkward, difficult or even impossible at that time. Circumstances can cause that to be the case. But the lesson I learned that in spite of what I may see I had to believe that there was another side to every issue. Those circumstances I mentioned could be caused by the intervention of others. But all too often I have discovered that in the past I have either created my own circumstances or I have allowed myself to imagine them either for the sake of expediency or because I was so inclined before I ever took the first look.
I have discovered now that I’m being unfair to myself and to the situation at hand if all I have is my own attitude, patience and desired understanding. I may not be giving myself a chance to realize the other side that may not be clear to the naked eye. So now, even when my eyes are not open, my mind is. And I can use whatever faculties I have at my disposal to realize the potential advantage, and yes, outright beauty of allowing myself to visualize what I can’t immediately see is worthwhile.
In the course of a lifetime I ask myself how often I have made this mistake. How much of life’s offerings have I denied myself a chance to enjoy. You know, I guess I’ve gotten to the point that it seems like very little, if anything, is truly dark and ugly. It may be that it’s my perspective that causes me to distort and misunderstand the other side. Sometimes it is very difficult to see and realize this. Let’s face it, it’s tough to see through a solid cloud deck and it may only be our belief that causes us to remember that if we would only try a little harder we just might be able to see all of this from a different angle even if it’s our imagination.
Now, this goes without saying that after using all the talents you have to truly examine the other side of the issue, you discover that it is fraught with a lot you don’t like and cannot accept. Things like deception, outright lies, disregard for others, deceit, threats and other outright nefarious activity. Then it is perfectly wise and fair to all to totally disregard it and only revisit it if you really have a good reason to use it as an example of a place you don’t want to go to again.
You know, this may be more difficult for the truly young. In fact, it may take living awhile and learning a lot to develop the skills necessary to recognize the great opportunity we may have. It may help us to establish more powerful and effective means of understanding. We could make the mistake of paying more attention to our initial view than to one which is based on experience and a sincere desire to give ourselves a chance to listen and learn. There may be a great deal more than what seems to be on the surface. So, I’m learning more about digging a little deeper and climbing a little higher out of the gloom and doom that seems to be on the surface and allowing myself to be reminded that there will never be a day that the sun does not shine.
We will find a great deal more happiness when we develop the art of flipping the clouds upside down if that is what it takes to truly feel the warmth and glorious beauty of the brilliant light of the sun of understanding. So, given all of this, next time you step outside and see nothing but gray skies, use your imagination. Find your sunshine. Pick up your step. Because you are going to enjoy a marvelous, bright day even if no one else does.
Have a nice, beautiful day.