Shifting our Perspective to Strengthen Inner Vision
I’ve been thinking a lot about how our vision is strengthened when we can easily orient our eyes from close-up to far-away, the adjustment dial fluidly moving like a camera lens. The same is true for our inner vision. Our inner vision and spiritual clarity is strengthened when we can fluidly shift our perspective from wide to narrow and back again.
Widening our perspective can be incredibly important when we’re wallowing about life or ruminating on a story or holding resentment. When we feel stuck it can help to feel into the wider reality that holds all life. We can know that we are also the stars, the trees, the wind, and every other human around us. That we are all interwoven together, all made of the same essence.
Akin to shifting your gaze from your hand to the horizon line, this gives us broader perspective, helps us see more than we could see before, and helps place us within a community of life around us.
And when we narrow our focus and zoom inside ourselves we can tend to our exquisite, messy humanness. We can tend to our real pain and emotions rising, or real material needs in our lives. We tend to our bodies and their beautiful inherent limitations. We can be with our anger or fear or grief without judging ourselves.
When we can hold both our limited form and our more-than-humanness, this is the sweet spot.
Getting stuck in either end of the spectrum, I believe, is harmful.
When we remain too narrow in our thinking we can get short-sighted, closed-minded, individualistic, or stuck. We can focus so hard on one aspect of our lives or our experience that we forget we are a part of something greater than us, and we can lose a sense of broader meaning and purpose. We focus on the thread instead of the tapestry as a whole. We can also fall into a trap of the victim, blaming outside circumstances for our hardships, and not taking responsibility for our wellbeing overall. We focus on fighting an external enemy and forget to look at the wider foundation that created the circumstance in the first place. When we remain too wide we miss the very details that inform our human connection, and we can enter into spiritual elitism, spiritual bypassing, entitlement, or narcissism, believing we are “higher” or “more evolved” than those not on our same path. We can also deny and judge real human nature. We bypass the shadow, and can easily judge our anger or grief or inner child for being afraid when they’re really just needing to be seen and held and acknowledged.
The entire breadth of human experience is real. All of it is true and all of it is important to some degree. Our spiritual nature, our interconnectedness does not negate real human suffering that occurs and vice-versa.
I think it’s important to train ourselves to move fluidity between these realms, between the near-sided and far-sided vision. In that way our eyes are strongest, and we have the capacity to see both the details and the wider periphery of our lives.
We can then not abandon those most harmed by real systemic programs of greed, hatred, white-supremacy, and patriarchy. And we can take physical and material actions to help shift those systems from the ground up. We can honor our each and every emotion, feeling, and pain. We can meet the needs of our body. And at the same time we can recognize that we’re all colluding to form this current reality, that we're ultimately in charge of our own reality, and we can hold a higher vision for all of humanity. Where does your vision tend to get stuck? Too wide? Too narrow?
I challenge you to strengthen the muscle of your lens, opening and closing it in every situation to gain a full breath of vision, especially when feeling stuck or disconnected.