Last night, however, a little voice in my head said, "why is it always shining over there and not ON me." In the pictures, the beam of light shines down on someone, illuminating them. Immediately another part of my mind responded, "perspective."
It is much easier to see the beam of light shining elsewhere. For one reason, the dust particles in the air help create that defined beam. Also, the contrast from the shadows making dark and light appear drastically different plays a role. The actual solar rays are still coming through even if we can not see the distinguished beam. We need the distance and angle to more clearly see its defined "edge".
I hear people comparing their lives to the lives of their friends and acquaintances. As a coach I frequently heard that Facebook and other social connection site were "causing" a client to feel bad because everyone else seemed to have their life together or their lives seemed so much happier. One person told me her friend always took amazing vacations and her kids were always so happy in the pictures, not complaining and whining the whole time like when her family went anywhere.
It isn't Facebook. It is perspective. Why post a photo of kids whining on vacation? Don't we say, "smile!" right before we take a picture? It is not always one hundred percent accurate, it is simply how we want to remember the moment. We like to remember it happy. And we like to share our happy moments with Facebook.
Sure, some people post their dark moments too. But rarely do people post all the mundane moments. We post the worst, the best, the moments we want to share or the moments we need support. We see the moments of our friends life that they are willing to share, not the whole picture. We see it through a filter of dust, without being able to distinguish there is any filter. It looks perfect from a distance and yet from where they are standing they may think the same of your life.
I'm grateful for the question that came to mind last night as I drove. I'm grateful for the answer following and the subsequent research to understand how this effect happens. I'm grateful to see the symbolism in life and the comparison to something so commonly used as Facebook. I'm grateful for Facebook in allowing me to stay connected to people over distances and watch their kids grow. I'm grateful to not get pulled into comparing my life to others in a critical way. I'm grateful to just observe, as I observe my own life and make changes when I feel they are needed. I'm grateful to know the power of perspective and to find reminders everywhere.
What is your favorite reminder of perspective? How can you release comparison and just celebrate the sunbeams wherever they seem to fall?
May today support our knowing we are all in the light. May we celebrate every life without comparison. And may we choose the perspective that brings love and peace to this world. Have a beautiful day!