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Are Your Shadows Casting a Burden on You?

As I walked along the beach this week, I could feel the heat of the sun caressing the back of my neck. With the glow of summer making its impact, I looked up to see my shadow stretch in front of me on the sand.

Walking in the other direction towards me were a man and woman, their faces seemed to shine brighty and their smiles exhuded a sense of peace and tranquility. I looked at them in awe and then it struck me that they had no shadows stretching in front of them.

My shadows represented the burdens that I was carrying. The doom and gloom of life. If I would let myself wallow in a sense of self-pity, then I could easily fall into the pit of despair that would irrevocably ruin my day.

But all I had to do was to turn a full 180 degrees to face the sun and the shadow would disappear. I too could be walking around with the sense of achievement and accomplishment that I saw in the couple in front of me…

So I thought that it all depended upon my perspective. What am I willing to do to change my point of view to allow myself to see the positives instead of the negatives?

Here are 5 points of view for you to consider as you go about your day to day activities:

  1. Am I willing to ‘walk in someone else’s shoes?’ Before you judge somebody, put yourself in their shoes. Once you understand where they are coming from, you can be more more empathetic to their situation.
  2. Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to their Chapter 10. Before you compare yourself with someone else, realise that they are probably on a different journey to yours. Since you don’t know their circumstances, it is foolish to assume anything about them.
  3. Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Stephen R. Covey, in his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ comments that communication is one of the most important skills to master. Your ability to listen becomes key in your ability to understand others.
  4. Turn the other cheek. When you find yourself being picked on, become the bigger person and supress the urge to retaliate! If you can respond to hatred with love, you might just do enough to turn the person picking on you to your point of view.
  5. Stay true to your core values. I believe that we shoud be tolerant of others and their views. This doesn’t mean that we need to buy into their viewpoint. But do not become a bigot like them because that only draws you down to their level.

As you look at the shadows you are casting, take the time to turn a full 180 into the light of this world!

Nsanz GSF