Life is in the Eye of the Beholder
Life is in the eye of the beholder.
It remains constant through the ages,
But changes with each person’s view.
The pixels of your life’s image
Are formed and determined by you.
The lens we choose to look through
Is the filter that determines our fate.
Blessings abound for those with humble hearts;
Misfortune for the proud awaits.
Curses and gifts are wrapped in the same packages;
Their contents are named when opened.
Curses will find those who feel entitled;
Gifts will present themselves when chosen.
Be patient in judgments.
Let the season pass before crying out your dismay.
What often begins as terrible weather
Ends as part of a beautiful day.
Trust that there’s meaning in the madness
Or mad you will become.
A glass is either half-full or half-empty,
And your happiness to bound to either one.
Life is in the eye of the beholder.
Its blessings are as numerous as the stars,
And its scars outnumber the droplets of the sea.
The choice is given in the pair of glasses
From which you decide to see.
-Poem Written by Justin Farley
About the Poem
There are events in life that are clearly tragedies and others that are clearly blessings, but most of what happens to us is determined by our expectations and our viewpoint. In my life, I’ve dealt and deal with many things that could be considered misfortunes – addiction,anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder. At the beginning of this week, my anxiety was very high, and I found myself in pity mode, asking, “Why me? Why does it have to be so hard? Why has my life been robbed by mental illness?”
The only person I could seem to find blame with was God. If God is in control, he is the one to blame. Sometimes when you’re brought so low by something outside of your control, it’s hard to trust and believe in a God of goodness and mercy. But one of the blessings of Christianity is that He knows that. There is no shame for us at times to feel abandoned and confused, for Christ himself shouted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
But the danger is staying in that place too long and not looking at the big picture of life. The danger is turning away and not seeking council through prayer and patience. I received an answer when a thought popped into my head asking who I would be without the struggles I have had in life.
There’s no doubt that I would have more worldly success without mental illness and addiction. But when I thought about the type of person I would have become, I had to admit that I would likely be extremely arrogant, prideful, hateful, feel no need for God, and have none of the good qualities and values that I’m grateful for. I am quick to blame God for pain; yet know, as stubborn as I am, often times it’s the only way to get me to listen.
The pain in life is not enjoyable and often feels hard to bear. For me, the error lies in my assumption that I’m entitled to feel no pain. I’m entitled to have complete control over my life with no consequences. I’m entitled to have a smooth life with no struggles or battles. The reality is that our character is formed by those hardships. The hardships are what force us to do the things we don’t want to do, but know we need to do. What we label as “misfortune” is often a blessing that stirs within us the question of “why”, calling us back towards God and off the dangerous path we’re on.
There are times too when there is no answer and our circumstance is too terrible to see anything good in it. The only thing we are called to do is to wait, be patient, and trust that God will work goodness out of darkness. Often, what seems like unbearable tragedy is looked upon as saving grace years down the road.
Goodness and blessings occur everyday, but it is up to us to find them. It’s so much easier to notice all things that are wrong with our lives instead of cherishing the abundance of blessings and goodness. Our outlook on life isn’t going to prevent us from ever going through pain, but does keep things in perspective and allows us to have joy even when we’re not happy temporarily, knowing that our joy is not bound by the ups and downs of this world.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my poem, “Everyday Miracles”, about finding the presence of God everyday in ordinary things.