Getting a New Perspective

Getting a New Perspective

Many years ago, when I still had children living with me, I came home one day to an unusual sight. I pulled in the driveway and almost ran over one-half of a head of cabbage!

When I went into the house, my daughter who was a senior in high school, explained that she had to take some pictures for her photography class. So, she had purchased a head of cabbage, cut it in half, and placed it in the sun to capture it with film.

The image that my daughter captured became very meaningful to me as a counselor—so meaningful, in fact, that it was framed and has been hanging in my office to this very day. What is so fascinating about it?

My daughter had taken such a close-up picture that the edges and the roundness of the cabbage could not be detected. From that vantage point, it was extremely hard to decipher what it actually was. Through the years, I have shown the image to many people who have had a tough time guessing what their eyes are seeing.

I have used this image to talk to clients about perspective. Often, we get so close to a situation in our lives that we can no longer see it clearly or see all of it. Once it becomes distorted, we begin to have poor judgment and then struggle making decisions.

In therapy, I often “pull the lens away from the cabbage” to help clients see things more clearly. For example, recently a client presented to me a situation with another person with whom he was struggling. I could immediately see that he was “too close” to it. We worked together and within a few minutes he had a clearer perspective. He left our conversation with a “name” for the situation, next steps to improve it, a timeline for doing so, and referral sources to help him. All of this happened quickly because the client agreed to “back up from the cabbage” so he could see the entire situation.

Maybe there is something in your life that has you stuck because you are too close to it. Try moving yourself so that you can see the bigger picture. If you need help with this, feel free to call me and I will be happy to assist you.

Life is too short to spend it staring at things we cannot discern!