Today a picture flashed in my mind. It was similar to a dream, but I was wide-awake. In the picture I was standing on a hill, one high enough to gain altitude over everything else. I could see two different ways.
Those ways represented different attitudes in my life. Those attitudes produced different results.
In the first view I saw all the places I wanted to go and never went, the “good-paying” job I wanted, and never got, the experiences I used to envision myself having and never having them. When I looked that way I felt bitterness and a corrosive resentment boil up inside.
Then I turned to look at the second view. There I saw all the places I did go to (like Niagara Falls!); all the books and stories I’ve read; all the jobs I had, the relationships and what I learned on the jobs; all the experiences I’ve had, and what I gained from them. As I looked that way I felt rich. I had no reason to feel bitter or resentful.
The lesson from the picture in my mind is plain to me: my feelings depend on what I focus on. I can look one way and see what I didn’t get, or didn’t have, and be angry or in despair; I can look the other way and see what I got, and what I have, and be grateful and hopeful.
What am I focusing on?
What are you focusing on?