“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Alphonse Karr
Lily of the Nile (shown here) are flowers that grow abundantly in my front yard and throughout Southern California. They are a common sight.
While allowing myself time to be present and explore the other day, I captured this image focusing on the delicate stamens. Even though these lilies are presently everywhere (’tis the season), I let myself marvel at this uncommon perspective. The lens I used (a macro lens) caught the stamens in tight focus while putting the rest of the flower in blurry depth of focus.
I thought of how often my own perspective is focused on difficulties, challenges, and even physical pain.
The degree to which I focus on these negative aspects of my existence is the degree to which they bother and affect me.
I’m just learning (again) that when I consciously choose to focus on the (many!) common miracles around me that my level of peace, contentedness, and even wonder expands and sometimes completely eclipses my discomfort.
What are some of those “common miracles” I focus on?
Three quick examples I can think of now include
- the intricacies of a flower,
- my now pain-free knee,
- or the fact that it’s been years (if not decades) since I was truly hungry.
Changing your perspective (about what you consider a miracle) then focusing on those miracles will not change your pain and discomfort! But it will change you!
Think about it — are you going to feel better focusing on a negative news story? Or will you feel better focusing on the fact that you can see well enough to drive when there are plenty of sight-impaired people who must rely on others to transport them everywhere?
If you concentrate and imagine what it would be like if your eyes didn’t see so clearly, then you can marvel at the convenience you enjoy (probably every day!) of driving yourself wherever you need to go whenever you want. Allow yourself to enjoy it just as you might long for it if you became blind.
“Oh, how I wish I could see again . . . just for one day! . . . to see again, oh, the things I would do . . . and look at so much more carefully!”
Then imagine you just got your sight back! And explore and appreciate all those things you would’ve wished for if you were blind.
What a miracle!!
A briefer version of this piece was first published on Kevin Bergen’s Instagram account on 6/26/2020.
To view Kevin Bergen’s other photographic work, go to www.BERGENphotography.com