Category Archives: Blessings in Disguise
Yesterday was a very windy day at the Hollywood Beach in Florida. I experienced Mother Nature’s ferocity while being repeatedly whipped by her gusts and blasted by her sand. Until I changed my perspective.
I decided to reframe my circumstances in that moment: instead of feeling the wind thrashing me, I imagined the wind caressing me. Immediately I felt calmer, more peaceful, cared for, and content. Amazing.
When a gust of wind sent sand flying my way, I laughed and imagined being the recipient of a very special massage.
Struck by a BFO (blinding flash of the obvious), I realized that changing my perspective – and thus my experience – was simply a thought away.
I asked myself (and now you), “How and where might changing our perspectives bring more joy into our lives?” I first considered several people in my life. Might it be equally easy to shift my perspective about them and, in turn, create even more enjoyable relationships? Of course! I do it whenever I practice the Revolutionary Agreement “to see the best in myself and others.”
What about troubling circumstances? To shift my perspective about those, I realize all I need to do is apply the Agreement “to look for blessings in disguise.” Could it be that simple? Why not?
While taking my sunrise walk on the beach, it began to rain and then pour. I headed for shelter. Wet but safe from the cloudburst, I contemplated what the blessing in disguise might be for this morning’s interruption to my peaceful walk. The answer appeared immediately: I might be fortunate enough to witness one of Nature’s stunning rainbow arches. I eagerly headed back to the beach as soon as the rain subsided.
As I looked around, I thought about the people who wouldn’t see the rainbow because they weren’t looking for it. That led me to ruminate about visitors who don’t stand still long enough to gaze unhurriedly at the ocean and yet they say, “I haven’t seen a whale yet.”
Whether we wish to see rainbows, whales, prosperity, love, or any other heart’s desire, we must be looking for them. At least that’s what I thought. Until today.
Continuing my walk along the ocean, my mind went on to other ideas, and I forgot about looking for a rainbow. Just then, a nice-looking, fortyish man approached me smiling. “Did you see what’s behind you?” he asked. Oh my! There it was. Nature’s palette in the sky.
One hundred years ago, Eleanor Porter brought 12-year old Pollyanna to life. Years later, someone twisted Pollyanna’s gift of infectious optimism into a perversely negative connotation. Now we often hear people say with scorn, “Don’t be such a Pollyanna.”
My contention is that the world needs more, not less Pollyannas.
The character of Pollyanna is neither blindly optimistic nor without struggle. Instead, she is a model of living two of the Revolutionary Agreements: seeing blessings in disguise in the midst of adversity, and seeing the best in others—releasing the light and love buried in the hearts of even her most crotchety community members. (You can enjoy her book free online: http://www.literaturepage.com/read/pollyanna.html)
I knew someone like Pollyanna in real life: my dad. He rose above seemingly insurmountable struggles to become a beacon of light for all those who were blessed by his presence. And today, on Father’s day, I honor him with all my heart.
“Honest Abe” was a model of positive thinking in action. Because I never heard him complain, I had no idea what a challenging life he had had until his sister sat me down to tell me some stories when I was in my thirties.
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