Sunday, February 17, 2008

#3-Feb 17, 2008-PERSPECTIVE IS ALL

Just like the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) seems to be an enormous body of water, stretching out forever, with no end in sight when seen from up close, so our own trials and tribulations in life can seem overwhelmingly difficult, unending etc.when seen from our own small perspective. If we could just see the greater picture for a brief moment, we would realize how trivial and insignificant these events truly are in the greater scheme of life, just as my friend in the following story was completely surprised by her new perspective of the Kinneret when seen in its entirety from the heights.

This lesson begins a couple of months ago when I was visiting a friend in the Golan Heights and those few days in the Golan gave me a lesson in perspective not to be easily forgotten and which follows me here to Rishikesh where I now sit and write.

My friend and I had gone up a mountain ridge to get a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee, and do some walking. It was a brilliant sunny day and from the heights we could look out and see the Kinneret stretched out in front of us in all it’s glory. Asking my friend what was directly across from our ridge view, suggesting it was the city of Tiberias, her immediate reply was “No way, Tiberias is much further to the South…this is just the “top” part of the Kinneret…it goes much further off to the South and that’s where tiberias would be”.

Well, I wasn’t quite sure as it DID seem likely to me that we were seeing Tiberias, but left the discussion until later when we could ask someone.

As we walked further up the ridge, and began to look down from a higher perch, all of a sudden, the full panoramic view of the Kinneret was revealed to us, from South end to North end (only the small Norther tip is shown in the above photo) and of course, the city directly across WAS Tiberias. But what astounded my friend, deeply upset her bearings, was the fact that HER Kinneret was so SMALL! Unimpressive even. Certainly not the “big deal” she had always envisioned it being.

She was quite disturbed by the feeling and could not release her discomfort at her discovery of this new perspective she had seen and continued to express her amazement at how seeing something from a new perspective can change the entire way you always imagined something to be.

Later on, it became clear to me that this was an important lesson for all of us to remember.

We see our lives from close up, seeing one very small section of the full picture, and we put great stock in how we understand what we see. Each small segment of our existence takes on intense importance and meaning disproportionate to its true actual significance in the overall scheme of our lives. We tend to create dramas based on these small incidences and to project them into the future imagining ramifications which could be catastrophic, terrifying and frightening . We can never see the full picture of our lives , can never view the Kinneret in its full glory from the heights as it were, but if we could, we would see how very trivial most of the little, up close scenes we see actually are. When we realize that from the perspective of the heights, everything seems small and simple…not overwhelming and enormous. The Kinneret is beautiful when see in all its glory, and although it may loose some of the impact it has on us when see from up close, its TRUE magnificence is revealed only with the proper perspective.

If we can use this idea of perspective to get us through the small difficult periods of our lives, knowing that the full picture is glorious and simple and pleasurable and surprisingly breathtaking, than the difficult days would be so much easier for us to get through. They are after all just a very small portion of the whole, but they are all that we can see from up close. And then the part we don’t see seems overwhelming at times. When these days come, imagine yourself up on the ridge seeing the whole picture in all its simplicity and beauty.

And why is this here on the India Journal? I realize now that it was a lesson directed at me to help me find my way through these difficult days at the beginning of my journey in India. Being sick and miserable, it was very easy for me to fall back into old patterns , forgetting that the panoramic view of my time here in India is something I cannot see, but if I change my perspective, and relax into each day as it comes, the glory of the full picture will reveal itself to me by the end of the trip. And it will be no less surprisingly beautiful than seeing the whole Kinneret from the heights for the first time.

I am working on it, but I must admit it is not easy. Each time I feel the weakness return, and the need for sleep overcome me, I tend to become despondent…Remembering the Kinneret Perspective has been a powerful lesson and reminder for me to allow all things to flow, be open to accept them as they come and know all is for my Higher Good, even though I can never see the full picture.

So, although not an easy beginning, I joyfully look forward to each new day and whatever surprises it may bring.