The View from Here

August 25th, 2008

I’ve been thinking about how easy it is for me to see life sunny side up, to be optimistic, passionate, creative when things are going well, but as soon as I encounter obstacles, my first instinct is to crumple, to view the world through morose-colored glasses. Twelve years ago I had major surgery to remove a tumor in my lung, and although I recovered completely and didn’t require any treatment, every time I have a pain, or even a twinge, in my back, I panic and go into a kind of deer-in-the-headlights state. Then I have to talk myself down off the ledge of my own fear. I have friends who seem to right themselves so easily after an upset, like those clown toys that you can knock over but they always bounce back with a smile on their faces. They see the same world no matter what occurs day to day, but my view of the world shifts and mutates and shivers minute by minute, according to what someone says to me or the pain in my [fill in the blanks] or my failures or the state of my bank statement. So tell me…what keeps you right side up, what helps you look at life without flinching?

10 Responses to “The View from Here”

  1. Kathleen says:

    I don’t know if looking at life without flinching is possible. At least for me. I do try to let my emotions and feelings wash thru me without judgement. Kind of like the weather. One day sunny, the next a storm approaches. The storm moves on. As does everything in life. If I let go of the resistance to what ever I am feeling and just feel it, it passes through much easier. Loved your photo. For a moment, it reminded me of Venice!

  2. Pat says:

    Well, I seem to flinch…sometimes in a big way, but after thinking a bit….I straighten up and keep going…after all, no matter what has happened to me….much worse has happened to other people and they keep going. So, I feel sorry for myself a little bit….then get back to work and try to do what I’m supposed to do…when I know what that is!!!! You hang in there. pat

  3. Linda Woods says:

    I think not losing your sense of humor is the key to survival.
    Yeah, some days just suck. Some weeks suck, some years suck, but there is always something to laugh at in the middle of the suckiness.
    I always try to have something to look forward to, even if it is just a cookie.

  4. notmassproduced says:

    your blog is beautiful

  5. carl says:

    Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art”…but u already knew that…

  6. Jane says:

    “They see the same world no matter what occurs day to day, but my view of the world shifts and mutates and shivers minute by minute. . .”.

    I am not a bounce-back-easy sort of person either, Nikki, although it depends on what there is to bounce back from. What other people may consider minor often feels defeating to me, but I seem to be better with major crises than most.

    I think, for me, part of the morose lens comes from experience, and having had more than an average share of unhappy or negative experiences. While some people believe a “think positive” attitude will always win out, the viscera knows, it remembers, and to prevent pain, and protect the spirit, it even tries to predict.

    Perhaps some people, too, are just better at compartmentalizing — work stays at work, home stays at home, news is forgotten when it’s over — whereas other people don’t have that dividers and wouldn’t feel whole or quite right with them.

  7. Miggs3 says:

    I just remember how much my mother would have loved to live and have my worries and angst in life. Or maybe it is just in our DNA how we cope! Very interesting article in Newsweek about kids and how they compartmentalize and cope. (I’m making the leap that kids become adults of course.)

  8. danette says:

    Reading Martha Beck’s new book, Steering by Starlight has me remembering truths I once knew about life. That whole “being in the moment” place, which Martha certainly does not pretend to pioneer, is a place I’ve been many times, long ago. I’d forgotten what it felt like to really be there.

    All we really have to deal with is what is in the “here and now”. As I write this the cliche of these words already fail the sensation I hope to describe, one that I believe we all know (if not always feel).

    Right now I am writing a comment to you. Right now you are reading comments from people who enjoy what you do. There is nothing more to survive right now.

    Of course I “get” the theory. The challenge is putting it into practice when I’m in the waiting room of a doctor’s office, or riding turbulence on a plane, or facing the possibility of rejection. That is where I try to remember to connect with the sensation of the moment, and know, there is nothing more than this.

    What really keeps me trying, is the knowledge that it is my choice whether I want to spend a lot of my life worrying about things that are out of my control, or not.

    I figure it’s a great practice to practice.

  9. Di Mackey says:

    I never do … I can have a million moods in a day and I can be sad for weeks, under the surface, worrying about this pain and that.

    I figured it was the price for art and all kinds of other things. A mobile mind that is SO big and makes other things SO big.

    I need to catch up on all your news now that I’ve finally reconnected with your comment over on my blog. I made a note to follow you over here then got lost in the chaos of my life.

    Here I am, must link 🙂

  10. Izzy Herriette &; Co says:

    I battled severe depression all of my life; even as a child. Laugh, if you will, but I gave myself to the Lord in 1979 and my life hasn’t been the same since. Even when there’s no hope – He’s the only true stability there is in life and He never leaves or forsakes. If I’m with Him in that place, which I am, then I can’t be shaken either. The Bible is absolute reality, when one steps into it’s pages. No more ‘shifting’!