As we settle into the new year—2020 (a number that sounds a lot like science fiction to me (the older you are, the more you can relate), I can’t help but ponder the other use of the term 2020—representing visual acuity.
At this turning point, we have the opportunity to use our 20/20 hindsight to look backwards on our life’s journey with greater clarity and awareness than when we went through the process the first time through. Why would we want to reconsider what has already happened? In my observation, our ego-mind tends to label things as “good or bad” when they are happening. However, at that point in time, we don’t have all the information that we need to really make a clear assessment of the situation. Often, what we think is “bad” may not be as bad as we thought, and what we label “good” may have other elements, as well. In fact, many of the events of our lives tend to neutralize with time and perspective.
The late Wayne Dyer titled his last book “I Can See Clearly Now” and explained that looking back on his life from the vantage point of his seventies, he could see clearly now why every thing happened the way it did—the good and the difficult.
So I invite you to explore your 20/20 hindsight, and ponder those major events of life that caused you to form beliefs, assessments and attitudes. Then, see what happens if you reframe your beliefs as hypotheses instead of the truth. Changing a belief into a hypothesis allows you to open the door to consider other possible hypotheses. What else could be an explanation? What else could be the truth?
I would venture to bet that as you do this, you will start to see how many assumptions you have made, and how inaccurate many of them have been. I would also venture to guess that forming your beliefs around inaccurate assumptions has caused you pain and potential disharmony with others. Taking the time now to reframe your perspective, consider other possibilities, and form new beliefs (or better yet, new hypotheses) based on a broader viewpoint may set you (and those you are in relationship with) free from pain. You may find yourself in forgiveness, compassion and even gratitude.
A simple example of this is when we text someone and they don’t respond. Without any additional information, we tend to try to make sense of why they didn’t text us back. That is when we make up stories that often go quite askew. “He is ignoring me.” “She is with someone else.” “I’m not important to him.” etc. etc. With new information we may discover that the other person’s battery died, or they were in a meeting, or driving, or waiting to discuss the matter in person. Reacting and responding from the misguided perception can cause a lot of problems. If we take the time to look at this in retrospect, we stand the chance of learning how to avoid doing this in the present moment—and in the future.
What beliefs have you held that caused you pain?
Do you know they are actually true? Is there another belief or explanation possible?
In retrospect, is there anyone you want to forgive or ask forgiveness of?
Is there another way to view things when they happen that will set you free more quickly?
My motto (in progress) for the last few years is to “Trust Faster.” My logic is that I would rather “see clearly” the rhyme, reason and blessing right away instead of having to wait until my seventies to understand. By putting this concept to practice in the moment with things that I think are “bad,” I’m given the freedom to move more quickly into understanding—and greater freedom from suffering.
At this turning of the year, and the decade for that matter, we also have the beautiful opportunity to apply our 20/20 hindsight toward the future to develop our 20/20 vision, metaphorically speaking. To some extent, this is the ability to realize that events are not what make us happy or miserable, but rather it is the way we respond to those events that leads to those results. When we truly realize that, and choose to respond differently, we create a different experience.
20/20 vision is also an opportunity to look forward, envision the life we want to create and make steps in that direction.
What do you want your life to hold?
What are you here (in this life) to practice/master? (It is doubtful your soul incarnated to practice impatience, judgment, anger, jealousy, self-doubt—so mindfully choose instead what you ARE here to practice)
I encourage you to determine what you are aiming for (happiness, health, loving relationships, financial security, spiritual awareness) and assess every thought, belief, word and action to see if it is moving in the direction of your intended target, or leading the opposite way. Then a deep breath and the choice to realign will allow you to more powerfully be a co-creator of your vision—your life.