My daughter sent this photo to me yesterday. I really liked the image…it’s colors, depth and serenity. I let her know how much I appreciated it. She said that if I turned it upside down it looked like a bridge over the water. Ah ha, yes it does. And I remembered a sentence by Ursus Wehrli: “I like to turn things upside down, to watch pictures and situations from another perspective.” Yes, I like to do that, too!
Then the thought came about how different all scenes and situations look and feel when we look at them from a different perspective, and mentioned to my daughter how interesting it is when we take a life situation and see it in reverse or from a different standpoint. As in her photo: a dock becomes a bridge, or a challenge becomes an important lesson, a closed door reveals another open door that leads us to something better, or a misunderstanding leads us to the truth.
That reminded me of a conversation I had with a young girl this week when I was explaining to her what we mean at Scholars Together when we talk about our True Nature. We talked about the qualities that are true about all of us, our innate nature regardless of whether we see these qualities expressed in the moment or not. They are the qualities that really embody who we are…grace, peace, wisdom, responsibility, gentleness, joy, wholeness, and so many more.
As an example, I shared with her that on that very day it was cloudy outside, that I couldn’t see the sun at all. And yet I KNEW it hadn’t disappeared. I knew it was right where it was supposed to be, doing exactly all the good and important things that the sun does, even though I couldn’t see it happening at that moment. All I had to do was to remind myself of that fact. We shared with each other that there may have been times when we did not feel happy or honest or calm, but that right there in the midst of that sense of not, joy, honesty and peace were really there and were who we really were and are.
We each chose some True Nature qualities from the list we use at STLC that we thought would be helpful to each of us for that day. We chose qualities that didn’t feel so evident right then and then affirmed them as our true nature. We agreed to acknowledge them several times in our day, which would be sort of like watering them and nurturing them…agreeing with that view of ourselves. We both felt happy to have this kind of view of ourselves, kind of like a fresh start.
Then that got me to thinking about another quote that I think of quite often: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts.” Mary Baker Eddy
I am so grateful for all the ways that we share helpful thoughts and pictures with each other…thoughts that lead us to a new perspective and to the core of who we are. Thanks, Zoë!
by Tien Stone Langlois, Scholars Together Learning Community
photos by Zoë Stone-Hess Valentine and Jay Langlois