So often in life we become so obsessed about something that we believe is essential for our happiness, that we miss the changes that lead to greater happiness. I was reminded of that a few months ago when I saw Kylie.
Kylie lived in a lovely leafy area. There were several houses nestled into a valley, surrounded by bush that covered the slopes around the houses. She had several beautiful trees in her own back yard. These were supplemented by the beautiful trees on the neighbouring properties.
Kylie could sit in her backyard, or look out the windows, and imagine she lived in the middle of the bush. This was important to her. She considered all the trees to be very precious. They allowed her to think she was living on an acreage somewhere in the bush. Something she could not afford.
One day a neighbour cut down the trees at her back fence. She was devastated. Suddenly she could see not trees, but her neighbour’s house. She was very upset and felt she could never enjoy living in her house again.
As she relayed the story of this devastating loss, she realised that cutting the trees down had opened the view to the wooded slopes behind the houses. This seemingly negative thing had opened a vista of the virgin bush on the slopes.
Kylie realised that she had concentrated so much on the loss that she had forgotten to see what she had gained was more precious.
Often in life we do that. We are so invested in what is there, that we focus on the negatives of losing those things we consider important. Yet, if we stop and consider, sometimes we discover that the new has opened possibilities for growth and greater enjoyment of life.
Sometimes is takes talking about our concerns and disappointments to be able to gain a new perspective. It is helpful to voice our concerns, in the presence of someone who is listening. Someone who will allow us to discuss what we are thinking and feeling. The process of putting our thoughts together and exploring them allows us to view them more objectively. When the listener allows us to explore the thoughts and feelings we will often learn many things about the distressing event. In Kylie’s case, she learned that the events she perceived as devastating actually had a wonderful benefit. She was able to realise the better view she now had. She was able to transform her disappointment and upset to joy and delight.
By visiting a counsellor, it is possible to be like Kylie. To be able to talk about the things that concern you. To be given the space to explore your concerns. To be able to see the concerns from a different perspective. And to find a way to move forward.