I have been thinking about perspective a lot recently.
Perspective makes it really hard for me to be unhappy with small inconveniences, worry, fear, and my life in general.
However, it cannot erase any of those things from my life, or change the fact that my emotions are still affected.
Also, at the same time that perspective is helping me avoid becoming depressed over my own issues, it makes me extremely sad about so many other things.
Recently, I was freaked out about the possibility of a c-section. Yes, the idea of getting my stomach/uterus cut open was/is terrifying to me. Stupid, right? It would have had to happen to ensure a safe delivery of my new baby, who is a JOY to me no matter how he or she comes into the world.
Let me stop and put this into perspective for a minute. I have a friend who had her spleen removed in January, and will be having monthly medical treatment for the rest of her life to ensure her immune system is functioning properly. Also, today I babysat for a friend while she went to the hospital to have biopsies done on lumps in her neck...to find out she has cancer.
Now, what? I am supposed to use perspective to rejoice that my situation is not nearly that bad?
How can I possibly be happy at all?
All I feel is guilt for even being scared of a cesarean in the first place, then more guilt for baby flipping and being able to avoid a cesarean...and then sadness. I am filled with sadness for my friends who are having to deal with life altering medical issues that will affect them for the rest of their lives. All perspective does is change the joy of my blessings into guilt.
I am blessed to have many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ who were praying for me and my anxiety about my breech baby. I believe the power of those specific prayers helped me to avoid the risky procedures that I was in fear of. BUT, what if I would have been having those people pray, instead, that my friend's biopsies came back negative? I can't help but think that all that prayer was wasted on me, when it could have potentially saved someone else from such a horrifying diagnosis.
I really don't think God wants me to feel guilty about answered prayer. But, it is hard not to.
I know all these things are happening according to God's plan, but I am sick of perspective. I am sick of easing my mind by contemplating the unfortunate situations of others. It doesn't work. Perhaps I am supposed to feel guilty, and I am pretty sure that I am supposed to feel sympathy and compassion for these other people. But, I refuse to do those things by comparison. I don't want to compare my life to other people's lives, whether it be by coveting their lives or pitying their lives.
I will examine my life as it is, and be glad with it because it is full of blessings, not because it has less severe trials than the life of another. If something unfortunate happens to me, I will be sad about it and eventually get over it with the strength provided to me by my Savior...not by considering my troubles against a scale of who is worse off than me.
I don't want to compare anymore. Isn't that all perspective is, comparing?
I also, don't want to offer perspective to anyone else again. I know I have done it plenty of times, thinking I was going to help someone feel better by pointing out how much worse things could be. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. If someone is struggling with something, it shouldn't matter how much worse someone else is struggling. We need to overcome the things that affect us negatively by examining our personal relationship with God and not by examining other people.
I am currently meditating on the old Portuguese story in Chapter 11 of "Calm My Anxious Heart". I am going to try so much harder to see things as they are, neither a blessing or a curse, but as a fragment of God's plan. I am going to work on patiently waiting for that plan to unfold, and be grateful that I get to witness it.