There’s the small picture, the big picture, and the big-ass big picture. Most of the time, we’re caught up in the small view, fixated on the little pictures in our own lives. We hit every red light, a project falls to pieces, we burn the buckwheat pancakes. These small situations can feel so big when we’re living life looking through the micro lens.
The micro lens is when you can’t see any wider than what’s in front of you. It’s when you’re so caught up in every action of your life that the bigger picture doesn’t come into view.
A Quick Li’l Story
Last week, I decided to take a quick early morning drive to the beach. I got swept up in traffic and ended up in the car for 15 minutes when it normally would have taken three. I ended up parking well down the beach just so I could get out of the car sooner and hit the sand. For a moment, it all felt like an inconvenience. I was lost in the small picture, my own micro lens.
But then after walking a stretch of the beach (that I only ended up at because of the traffic), I saw some-thing glorious. It was a Gray’s beaked whale, bobbing around in the water. I would not have seen this had I not been “inconvenienced” by the morning commute. The small picture was being irked by some momentary piece of my life that didn’t go as planned - the traffic, the extra driving. The big picture was getting to experience something I otherwise would have missed, had things gone the way I thought they should go.
And what about the big-ass big picture? I see this part of the equation as the massive overarching lens; the one that doesn’t always unfold in a linear way. Sometimes this really big picture doesn’t reveal itself for years to come, and sometimes we never know all of the subtle threads that must weave together to create the story of our lives. We must have faith though that there’s more to it all than meets the eye.
What I’m getting At Is This...
There is a different way to approach life that means more happiness, less stress, and more hopefulness. Instead of being consumed with all the tiny, nitty gritty details, there’s another angle that’s more liberating and full of expansiveness and possibility.
When you don’t get that job, when your relationship falls apart, when you miss the train and you’re late for work. Sure, there’s some suckiness involved in all of that, but who knows what the big picture is? So often there’s a lesson or a new opportunity presented amidst the life stuff that feels like chaos or disappointment.
What’s that quote? “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Meaning, you’re so caught in the little picture that you miss the big one altogether.
Have some faith that this universe is not conspiring against you. That sometimes, wicked gifts come wrapped in crappy paper. Step back, adjust your gaze, and try to use your macro lens. See more than what is directly in front of you. Right now, in this very moment, take a deep breath and look past your own nose to see how much magic there might be if you trusted in the process just a little bit more.Image credit: The Yoga Emporium