It was a cold, misty, frosty morning.
I had traveled up the mountain, where mist, frost and sporadic sunshine were interacting with the environment.
I made my way over the frozen ground towards two trees that were barely visible in the distance. I set up my tripod and took a photograph, shooting into the sun.
The mist was moving rapidly, coming and going. At times, it was thick, reducing the visibility to a couple of metres. And then there were times, when the sun appeared, bringing with it beautiful light and clarity. There was an on/off process as mist and sun appeared and disappeared. It was a random dance of coming and going. There was no pattern.
Fifteen minutes had passed, since I took the first photograph.
I made my way around the trees and walked down a road that passed by the trees. The mist was retreating quickly. The sun was now 90 degrees to my right and shining brightly. I set up my tripod on the road and took a photograph. Soon after, the mist returned.
The visual reality in a landscape is constantly changing. The same could also be said about one’s own personal landscape.
I have previously written about how time and diversity have an impact on our experiences in our landscapes. Perspective, movement and change should also be considered when examining your experiences in your relationships with others.
If you are feeling stuck in a relationship, you will be locked into one dominant and rigid perspective of (a) yourself, (b) the other person, and/or (c) the nature of the relationship that you are participating in. In such a relationship, it will feel as if there is little or no movement (growth). You will most probably experience a predictable pattern of interaction that closes down or limits your ability to be flexible, playful and/or creative. You may have the feeling of walking on egg shells. Little or no new information will be generated and in conversation, the same things will be said over and over again. On another level, a lot will remain unsaid.
But how can you change your viewpoint in a relationship that you may find restrictive? Depending on the complexity of the issues that the relationship may be struggling with, this may not be easy to achieve. However, below are some guidelines that will help you shift your perspective, as well as offer you the feeling that there is movement in your relationship as you strive to open up new possibilities.
- Try to discard the assumptions you have of the relationship, since it is usually your own assumptions that limit and restrict your perspective. Your assumptions are the lenses that you view life through.
- In order to change your viewpoint, ask yourself to look for something new in the person who you are interacting with. Slow down and do not draw conclusions too quickly. A conclusion closes down a perspective. Instead, give yourself some space and time to look, without judgement. Try and understand more, without drawing any conclusions.
- Ask questions instead of making statements. This helps to open up new perspectives and encourages movement. Listen more, talk less.
- Breathe and let go of tension. Lighten and relax.
- Let go of your ego and one-upmanship. There are no rights or wrongs or truths. There are only perspectives, and these are subjective reflections of one’s inner world.
- Finally, since you have decided not to walk away from the relationship, be gentle, careful and loving. Remember that relationships are fragile.
When I walk into a landscape to take photographs, I do not have a preconceived idea about what the landscape will offer me. So I walk into the unknown with an open mind, which in turn, opens up possibilities in what I could see. While I am aware that there are an infinite number of photographs that can be taken, I find myself getting drawn into the landscape where the light is.
Move into the light!