Of all the things I have learned about myself I would have to say the most, uh, eye-opening has been understanding how I look at others. Having issues with trust explained why I looked at others with reserve but, beyond that, I guess I had somewhat of an arrogant attitude.
Why do I say arrogant? Because there was a definite cynicism underpinning the way I saw others – haven’t you ever noticed the way arrogance tends to nip at the heels of a cynic? Having such an outlook not only helped me keep people at arms length, it helped me from being one of those people who look at life through rose-colored glasses.
I mean, after all, I looked at life, and everything in it, realistically, ahem, something those in their rose-colored glasses couldn’t do. My vision was 20/20 and able to see things oh-so-clearly. And, as is the running theme in my ongoing education on life … boy was I wrong. That’s spelled with a capital W-R-O-N-G.
Good vision wasn’t my problem … it was my perception that needed adjustment. All the years of walking around, beating my chest and roaring because, ROOAAAR!, I wasn’t being duped into feeling the warm fuzzies about life because of seeing it through a glowing facade shaded in that pinkish hue. If I was talking to a friend that could only see the good in life I would invariably point out the naiveté of looking through rose colored glasses. I would think about now you agree that arrogance was, indeed, a good word choice to describe my attitude.
This has been somewhat of an watershed moment for me. What I thought constituted realism – using life experiences as a benchmark – only served to make me cynical. What I failed to realize, and this is the part I really hate, is what I thought of as being realistic was really being judgmental.
So, let’s see. Earlier I attached cynicism with arrogance and now I add judgmental – all of which I have admitted to being. You know, if my sister, CJ, were here she would tell you that I switched to wearing rose-colored glasses so no one would recognize me. In a way it’s a bit funny because, while I couldn’t (or didn’t) see myself so clearly, I sure thought I could see everything/everyone else around me crystal clear.
Now I can, uh, see the gaping hole in my reasoning on the whole ‘life through rose-colored glasses’ attitude. My perceptions were being influenced, shaped, by everything I have ever experienced in life. Of course, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – learning from life experience – and, actually, is quite normal. What I failed to see was how to use what I had learned in a responsible manner. Part of that responsibility involves what I choose to scrutinize, to examine, to compare, in any given situation. And that’s where those rose-colored glasses prove to be the most helpful.
I guess I thought rose-colored vision prevented you from seeing reality; however, it only softens what is harsh in reality. Think of what it’s like to look at your face through the eye of a camera. Yikes! Every little flaw, blemish, wrinkle, vein, pore seems to be blaring at you. Now, add colored filters, make-up shading tricks, special lighting and, oh my!, talk about ugly duckling to swan transformation. And yet, every little flaw exposed through the harsh lens of the camera is still there – you’re just not zero’ing in on them. You’re seeing reality …. just in a different way.
Yes, I’m seeing reality but in a different way. I have learned my life experiences have helped shape the person I have grown up to become, however, I no longer allow them to influence how I view life. Besides, have you noticed any time you look to experience as a way of sizing up a person, place or thing it always, or almost always, tends to be negative … it will point to why you shouldn’t trust, like, use, want, etc.
So, now I am looking at life through rose-colored glasses and talk about everything coming up, er, roses. Well, okay, that is a bit much but it has had a positive affect on my attitude and that has impacted my friendships, my relationships, in a way that I could never have imagined. Would you like to know how they have been affected? No? Oh, okay ……
Pardon me, my glasses slipped for a moment …. stay tuned because this conversation will continue in the next post. In the meantime, if you have anything you would like to share regarding your own way of looking at life the comment section is below.