I recently came across a 'musing' by Marc Bourassa called "How life enhancing is being open to change and reality?" He states that people are 'wonderfully complicated'...
I thought that was very refreshing. Often people being described as 'complicated' is taken as a negative thing or an excuse for something else.
He observes that some of our conflicts (within us, and with others) stem from our "unvalidated" and "distorted" perceptions of reality. These 'realities' support our beliefs about how life should be, and we have to leave our comfort zones in order to accommodate the actual reality when it confronts us. Healthy people, he says, are able to 'adjust' their world views by accepting alternative 'realities' and change their thinking. If we adopt an attitude that within life there is a general 'fairness' to be had, we are more able to grow and flourish.
He makes the lovely analogy of landscape planners who repeatedly put footpaths around, and leading to, buildings in places where they feel people should walk, without considering how people themselves want to use the space – resulting in the heavily trodden paths across grassed areas which we have all become so familiar with. 'Keep of the grass' signs are ignored as people follow paths of convenience and practicality. He even cites a designer who halted his plans to see where people would walk before laying down the paths... a seemingly obvious concept!
Earlier this month Jen Rolfe wrote about facing fear by thinking through anxieties, using objectivity, bettering personal control and focusing on benefits within a situation. If some of our 'realities' help sustain our fears, then if we are to grow we need to challenge our thinking away from only our existing pathways.
How many 'keep off' signs are we hanging onto? Where could we walk? Can we embrace the perceptions of others in a spirit of expectation, rather than hesitation? Can we be optimistic about possibilities within new 'world views' rather than seeing the things that will get in the way? New attitudes can energise and encourage us to push our comfort zones further and rid ourselves of both social and personal fears.
Naturally, all of us have a veritable maze of deeply trodden routes of thought however, the option of exploring a 'new paths of potential' principle isn't just interesting, it is liberating... and along the way we may very well get the added bonus of increased resilience.