Put on the Right Pair of Glasses (Attitude Matters)
Before I had Lasik surgery on my eyes five or six years ago, I was blind as a bat. I couldn’t even recognize the facial features of a person standing 10 feet from me. So… for 30-plus years, I had to wake up every morning and put on a pair of glasses in order to function properly in the world. But I couldn’t just put on any pair of glasses — with six people in the family all needing prescription eyewear, I couldn’t just pick up any pair that was lying around the house and put them on. I had to choose to put on the glasses with the right prescription that helped me see the world clearly. (Ever try looking through someone else’s glasses? You will see a very distorted world!)
Our attitude toward life and its challenges is like a pair of glasses — We get to choose each morning which pair of glasses we will put on — we can choose whether we see the world through the lens of pain or the lens of hope. We’ve all heard inspirational stories of people like Corrie Ten Boom and Victor Frankl, who managed to thrive and inspire people even in the worst of circumstances — a Nazi concentration camp. How could they face such incredible hardship and not crumble, while others are defeated in far less difficult situations? If you read their stories, you will see that attitude played a crucial difference in what they were able to accomplish. They were in arguably one of the worst situations a person could be in — yet they looked for the good, they searched for ways to improve the situation for themselves and those around them, and they lived in the solution and not the problem.
I’ve had my share of pity parties over the years (if I’m honest — I still have them occasionally). When my husband was in and out of hospitals, treatment centers and jails because his PTSD, depression, and addiction were untreated and out of control, I had plenty of reason to feel sorry for myself. For many years, I woke up every day and put on the “Poor Me” glasses. But that’s not the “prescription” that God intended for me — so those glasses distorted the world and made EVERYTHING look miserable. I couldn’t find anything right with my life — even though I had so much to be thankful for, above all — my two beautiful children.
Oh how much pain I would have saved myself if I had learned earlier to put on the “Thank you, God, for what I have” glasses instead. Please don’t misunderstand — I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s heartaches with Polly-Anna “Just be Positive” nonsense. I know for many of you, your pain is very real. So was mine. But looking back I see that not one problem was solved or made better by my choosing the “poor me” glasses everyday. My husband still had PTSD. He was still an alcoholic. We were still financially devastated. I was still overwhelmed and heartbroken. And because of the lens I chose to view the world through — I was also without hope and without solutions.
Choosing a good attitude in bad times isn’t about denial and it isn’t about quick fixes and miracle solutions. It’s simply about choosing not to add to our own misery by choosing “glasses” (attitudes) that distort what we see and make it even harder to find a way out of our troubles. It’s a choice we all have to make every day — which pair of glasses will I put on today?