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Perspective is Everything
Written by TOY !!!   
July 26, 2012
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Man missing half of body counting coins on subway platform

Early one Sunday morning a few weeks ago, I sat on a subway car for about 45 minutes... shoulders slumped and tears welling in my eyes, trying REALLY hard to feel sorry for myself;  for disappointments of the past, for things I can't change or control, for things I don't understand, for things that have nothing to do with me... (and for added effect, a few things that didn't even really exist outside my own head.)   The doors opened, and this man in the picture got on the train, walking on his hands. He had NO BODY below the waist... He looked up and smiled at me, lifted his "half" over my feet, opened the heavy double doors, and moved on to the next subway car with his money can in hand.   The tears welled up in my eyes, but they never fell. And suddenly, I sat up straighter than ever...


Sometimes, just like that, people come along and help you put everything into perspective:

  • In a purposeful life, there is no room for self-pity... Everything is for a reason...often reasons we may never understand, but in the end it all works together for our greater good.
  • Take all that you have and make the most of it. See yourself as having exactly what you need, instead of being crippled by what you "lack".
  • No matter how great the loss, always remember to focus on what is THERE.  Instead of dwelling on what is "missing", revel in what you have.
  • For everything you complain about, find something else to be grateful for... and ALWAYS HOLD ON to it. The first step to becoming greater is to be grateful--for everything! Be patient with yourself. Real transformation begins with loving yourself right where you are...

(I'm sure you've heard some version of this all before, but sometimes we just need to hear it all again.)

I exited the train and stood there for a moment on the subway platform. As I watched him empty his can and graciously 'count his blessings', a wave of embarrassment swept over me for my previous sulking.

Why do I sometimes choose to embrace self-pity over counting my blessings?

Well...  because for as long as I can remember, feeling sorry for myself has provided me with a convenient escape from owning my power. It is an ingenious distraction from taking responsibility for my own life. It is a comfortable, self-imposed intermission from doing the "heavy lifting" that will purge the soul, heal the SELF, and create room for miracles. It's nothing more than a pathetic crutch that will ultimately serve to divert me from my purpose. A miserable waste of energy.

I cracked a smile and shook my head.

Wow.... my whole self-pity jig is finally up, huh?

And a brilliant and oblivious stranger holding an invisible mirror is the one to blame...

To some, he was simply a man with a disability looking for change. To me he was an empowering beacon of light, and the personification of pure GRATITUDE.

See?  Perspective is everything.



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