“It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves.”
— C.G. Jung
Here’s a lovely story that helps explain the power of shifting perspective to get a bigger picture that frees us.
An aging Hindu master grew tired of his apprentice complaining, so one morning, he instructed the unhappy young man to put a handful of salt in a glass of water and then to drink it.
“How does it taste?” the master asked.
“Bitter,” spit the apprentice.
The master then asked the young man to take another handful of salt and put it in the lake. The two walked in silence to the nearby lake, and once the apprentice swirled his handful of salt in the water, the old man said, “Now drink from the lake.”
As the water dripped down the young man’s chin, the master asked, “How does it taste?”
“Fresh,” remarked the apprentice.
“Do you taste the salt?” asked the master.
“No,” said the young man.
The master explained, “The pain of life is pure salt; no more, no less. The amount of pain in life remains exactly the same. However, the amount of bitterness we taste depends on the container we put the pain in. So when you are in pain, the only thing you can do is to enlarge your sense of things… Stop being a glass. Become a lake.”
— Unknown Source
How can this story support us? Let me share my own experience.
My computer crashed recently – my own version of a glass of salt water! As I got back on track, I transformed the glass into the lake when I reminded myself that…
• This too shall pass – it is only a little blip in the unfolding of my life
• I had the money to buy a new computer – I could solve this problem.
• New computers are less expensive but more amazing than ever before.
• I have John beside me to help tackle the challenge. You get the picture.
Any time we can shift perspectives to see our pain in context in the bigger picture, we free ourselves from that pain.
” We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view.”
— Mao Tse-tung
A free Perspectives Tool – Change your perspective and you can change your life.