Saturday, 23 January 2016

Perspective Matters: A Mini-Post

Check out this sign for a minute. What would you think if you saw it? Would you be surprised? Confused?

We actually came across this sign one day as we rounded a corner. At first, we could only see the one portion of it (the part shown above). We were both caught a little off guard and thought it was really strange. We kind of said “What?!?” We had to go back and have a second look. Then we laughed and realized that this is an example of how seeing the whole picture really makes a big difference! You’ll be able to see the whole sign at the bottom of this post, but first we want to share a few thoughts.

We all have moments in life where we have a tendency to hyper-focus on one aspect of a situation, but looking at the bigger picture can change everything. What does this have to do with reclaiming life from pain? A lot, actually. In the pain course we were at in October we all had to describe pain. One group described it as looking through a paper towel roll at life. Pain demands attention. It can be like losing your peripheral vision, or in other words, the ability to fully engage in other aspects of life.

This can happen whether you’re the person in pain, the supporter, or the health care provider.
  • As the person in pain, the other aspects of your life can get overshadowed by the pain.
  • As a supporter, you may find it difficult at times to keep your perspective on who the person really is. This is especially true when they are not acting like the person you know and love, and it can be difficult to understand what they are experiencing.
  • As a health care provider, it is easy to get ahead of your clients and give them an amazing plan with all the tools to succeed, then get frustrated that they aren’t following through. But if this happens, you may need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Keeping a holistic view leads to appropriate goals, which lead to recommendations that can effectively address the client’s needs.

If your situation makes about as much sense as the “free gun” sign, then maybe it’s time to shift your focus. We’re not trying to tell you to put on rose-coloured glasses, ignore reality, or expect a perspective change to be a magic cure. Basically, what we’re suggesting is: sometimes it’s worth re-examining your perspective and assumptions.