Under the arch

What creates that curiosity the leads me  to walk under the arch,  that  calm quiet place, where the sound of footsteps are  first ahead of me and then behind, noticing the paved ground, even and worn smooth with age. Looking ahead, at the framed picture of the courtyard beyond. Looking from this monochrome viewpoint towards flowers to the left and  a tree overhanging a house ahead.  The light, the colours and the fragrances draw me forward to wonder what is in that open square--- to imagine even before I reach that point what might be—why do we do that? We anticipate because we want to predict, so pre-guess what we hope or fear to find.

How often are we amazed by the beauty of what we discover or disappointed by what we see, why do we find it so hard just to wait and see what is actually there in front of us, why are we so impatient to know? Do we feel that we should know what is ahead before we can even see the full picture? Is it  the primitive survival instinct that makes us create whole pictures from scraps of evidence to fore arm ourselves against possible danger. Does the discovery of some benign scene in place of anticipated horror give us an added thrill?

Beauty is there to be found, often in unlikely settings, we know this but so often we assume the worst as a defence against being disappointed--- is disappointment such a horror that we should constantly presume it? Could we not learn to seek out the beauty in even the least attractive seeming vista, would that not be a great triumph, greater and more enjoyable than seeing only the messy negatives in everything and perhaps everyone?

Life is made from an array of positives and negatives--- we have the capacity to move the balance between those two extremes by the attitude we take; that which to one person is negative could to another be positive if we choose to find the positives in things we are happier. If we are happy we notice positives more than negatives. When we see  positives we are more likely to be open minded, imaginative and productive. We are able to innovate, develop and take control of what we see, hear, feel. But we need to believe that we can choose to see those positives in the first place and it is not necessarily easy to do that because, though we may not realise it, we are creatures of habit--- seeing negatives is a habit--- just as seeing positives can also be a habit.

I am not suggesting that we should all become “Spin doctors” putting a sunny view on the most calamitous scenes. I do suggest that by realising that it is a habit that leads us to view things in certain ways,  shows us that from time to time we need to stop and look at our habits and the beliefs that back them up. As spring approaches we can spring clean our thinking, throwing out ideas that are past their use by date, replacing them with clear fresh thinking that works well and fulfils our needs.  If you struggle to do this therapy will give you the tools to change your thinking. It’s worth a thought !


© Martin Williams 2013/15/16