Saturday, March 29, 2014

Perspectives

When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It's all a matter of perspective. ~Harvey Mackay 

I had a conversation with some sisters over the Christmas holiday. It was interesting to hear them talk about their experiences growing up. The siblings share the same father but different mothers. They grew up in separate households, while they dad bounced back and forth between the two homes.

The interesting part of the story is the two sisters had two different perspectives. The older sister saw how their dad basically had two homes. She would go with her dad to the other woman's home. Through the years, she had resentment for the other woman. It was because she saw first hand the heartbreak of her mother. Her mother never talked about it to her, but she knew something was not right with her dad being gone a few days and nights a week. As the oldest child, she felt the weight of this family dynamic on her.

The other sister had a totally different perspective. She knew her family makeup was not normal, but she did not have any ill feelings about it. Her dad (and both women) instilled in all the children they were siblings. It wasn't this is my half-sibling type of thing. They were sisters and brothers period. Regardless of who was the mother. She loved having another set of siblings. Growing up, they would visit each other. As teenagers, they went to the same high school and developed a stronger bond. I recall the younger sister saying, "Looking back, how we grew up was really different. Yes, there were fathers who stepped out. However, the parents usually split up and the children rarely interacted with each other. Our parents made sure we had a relationship with each other. I realized now that is not normal." I agree its not the norm, but it appears it worked for the children to know each other and to love each other as if they shared both parents.

As adults, their bond is still strong. Most of them live in the same area of town. Their children goes to school together and play together. Their children even visits their "other" grandmother. It is a beautiful thing to see the focus was on the kids having a good relationship even when the parents were going through their mess. Now two generations have formed strong ties and family memories. 

One of my Delta nieces, Princess Warrior, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). She received the news the day before she celebrated her Sweet 16 birthday. Her parents were willing to cancel the birthday weekend celebration, but she wanted to keep the festivities. They had activities all weekend long! She has gone through chemo, blood transfusions, and surgery to remove the tumor from her knee. All the while she continues to have the most upbeat spirit. She knows she is not in this fight by herself. Her family is surrounding her with love, support, prayer, and whatever else she needs. And her village (extended family, church family, school family, parents' friends who are like family) are constantly praying, supporting, visiting, fundraising, and lifting both Princess Warrior and her family. This page has been created to raise money and give updates as Princess Warrior kicks bone cancer's behind! 

Now Princess Warrior could have easily had a major pity party instead of her Sweet 16 celebration. She could have complained and start acting sick since she truly is sick. However, she keeps a positive perspective. She said, "This cancer is not about me. God is using me for somebody else. Who? I don't know." And she has jacked up everyone's faith level! Being around her doesn't leave you a choice otherwise! 

Many people people remember the snow storm Atlanta had in January. The decision makers did not heed to the weather reports given a few days earlier and was caught with many people stranded on the freeways, schools, jobs, and many other places other than their nice warm homes. Understandably, many were quite upset. Much of the anger was misplaced by blaming Mayor Reed for ALL of the mess. He is responsible for Atlanta. There are plenty other mayors in Metro Atlanta and the state government who needed some of the blame. I remember reading quite a few posts of people complaining about the snow, being stuck in the house with their children, being stuck on the road, people selling food on the freeway,etc. However, there were quite a few people who saw the positive of the shutdown. It gave people time to stop and rest, have real talks with loved ones, and do some things around the home we are too busy to do. Here is one of the best posts I saw that gave a unique perspective. "Many of you have heard about the Snowjam 2014. I've officially have been stuck for 24hrs, yet I'm enjoying myself. It's almost like a winter freaknic! The wonderful people you meet, even free food. And on a side note, if I see Governor Deal or Mayor Reed I'm doing an ol school WWF flying kick off the top of my car on their ass!!"  

Now that is how you make the best of a horrible situation!

All of these are wonderful examples of looking at a situation from different perspectives. You feel so much better when you can look at any situation with a positive spin. What situation in your life can use a different (positive) perspective?

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