Signposts

Author's note: A story from many years ago. My, how life has changed! and it all began with changing my perspective.

"Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all."
- Dale Carnegie

Just a few blocks away from my home, there is an empty warehouse with a large ditch on the side of the building. For months, I have walked by this unattractive ditch - noticing the broken bottles, discarded shoes and flattened cardboard boxes, heavy with rainwater and stuck in the terrain. Small tufts of grass appear to struggle and gasp for air in between the trash and bumpy landscape.

Every day, I walk by this ditch, and every day it's the same hopeless and forgotten ditch.

That ditch reminds me of the place I was not too long ago. I was in a rut. A really big rut. More like that ditch.

At that time, all of my attention was focused on my frustrations and disappointments. I had been working long and hard to make some progress in my life, and it seemed that nothing was moving forward. Even though I have much to be grateful for, all I could see was the debris that seemed to be stuck in my life - a job situation that wasn't changing, a sense that there would never be that special someone in my life, and a business that didn't seem to be taking off as I had hoped.

The tape playing in my head looked a little bit like that defeated neighborhood ditch.

The other day, as I angrily marched my way down the sidewalk, my frustration growing, I noticed something different as I approached the ditch. It appeared as though it had turned into a field of daffodils! As I got closer, I saw that it wasn't daffodils, but dozens of plastic sticks stuck in the ditch. At the top of each plastic stick, there was a yellow flag attached to the top.

Curious, I walked closer to the flags. Each flag was a yellow sticky note, labeled with a different plant name.

Rose. Lavender. Sage. Oregon Grape.

Someone had removed the debris from the ditch and in its place there stood signs of a new perspective.

I thought about this change in perspective and wondered how I could do the same. Would it be possible for me to look beyond the debris - the things that seemed stuck in my life - and create a vision for what it could be?

Yesterday, I walked by the ditch, now a soon-to-be garden, and to my delight, noticed that despite the wind and rain the day before, those yellow flags of promise and light were still committed to their plastic sticks. Firmly attached to the idea that beauty and joy are on its way.

As you look at your own perspective, notice where you place your attention. If your focus has shifted to your disappointments, see if you can look beyond the debris and create a vision of new possibilities, bright with hope and expectancy of the beauty to come.

© 2003-2010 Lisa Ann Edwards