The Voice Of Fear

Perspective


I know I can't feel any worse.

Really? Slide me over that hammer.


We all know that perspective means how we look at things. But what we sometimes don't understand is what creates our perspective. How many times have you had something negative happen and someone says to you, “Well at least you have your health”? This saying rarely does much to change our perspective. Yet if we were lying in a hospital bed we would gladly change our perspective if it meant we could be healthy again. Understanding that we have a choice in our perspectives doesn't often help in changing our perspective.

 

The reason for this is because fear is in charge. Fear doesn't care about you having your health, it only cares when you have lost it. Fear puts no value on what you do have, it only sees what you don't have and what you need to have. In order to control the creation of your perspective you have to move into your heart and silence your fear. Your heart will see the abundance of your life. It is the classic choice between seeing the glass half full or half empty. Fear always sees it half empty and the heart always sees it half full.

 

My first lesson on perspective came at an early age.

 

I played in my first junior golf tournament when I was 11. I didn't play because I cared about competition or winning, it was just what kids do when they are young and play a lot of golf. As fate would have it, I won. I beat a very competitive kid by one stroke. He was really upset when he didn't win. I remember his parents consoling him as he walked off the green. I picked up my little trophy and waited on a bench for my mother to come pick me up.

 

As I waited, an older man sat down and greeted me. He saw my trophy and congratulated me on my success. I thanked him in a low, shy tone.

 

“You don't seem very excited,” he said.

 

“Yeah, I guess so,” I responded.

 

“Do you know why?” he asked.

 

“No.”

 

“Because you don't like creating a loser,” he said.

 

I looked up at him after this comment.

 

“You don't like making people feel bad when they lose,” he added. “That kid you beat, he didn't take it very well, did he?”

 

“No. I guess you're right,” I said, perking up at the realization.

 

“How would you have felt if you had lost?” he asked.

 

“I wouldn't have cared,” I replied truthfully.

 

“Well I guess you will have to decide if coming in first is worth dealing with how people feel when they lose.”

 

My mother drove up and I said goodbye to the man. All the way home I thought about what he said. My whole perspective on competition changed in one afternoon. My heart didn't care about the outcome of the competition, I just wanted to have fun. If having fun was coming in last then I was going to be the happiest loser anyone had ever seen. For the rest of my competitive golf career I had a little secret: I played to be happy and gave my competitors what they needed for their fear to create a positive perspective. 

 

When I started competitive golf it was supposed to be fun. My heart could not reconcile making people feel bad while having fun. When I looked at the game differently I could have fun and make people feel good. I became an expert at losing by one stroke or whatever it took so everyone was happy. They were happy from the perspective of their fear and I was happy from the perspective of my heart.

 

My second great lesson with perspective came during the summer before my sophomore year in high school. My parents were out at some function and I started to feel ill. By the time they got home I was rolling around on the floor in pain. They rushed me to the doctor instead of the emergency room. This turned out to be a big mistake.

 

The pediatrician wasn't sure what was wrong but didn't want to give me any pain pills because it might mask some symptoms. He told my parents to take me home and let him know if  I was better in the morning. I spent the night in a living hell. I begged my mother to kill me as the waves of pain hit. I don't know why it took them so long to decide to take me to the emergency room but after eight hours of torture they finally did.

 

In the hospital they took my blood, did some tests and found the problem. They rushed me into surgery before my appendix burst. During my eight hour ordeal I told myself that if I could get through this pain I would never complain about another thing the rest of my life.

 

I have kept that promise.

 

Any time my fear wants to create a perception of the glass being half empty I just remember that night, smile and create the blissful perspective of not being in mind-bending physical pain. 


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