The whole picture? Or mentally myopic?

Things often seem really dire when you’re up close. 

Like when you’re pregnant and sweaty and starving and you think your husband looked a little too long at a hot, un-pregnant woman on the street.

When you accuse him of not loving you anymore, you’re looking at the situation a little too close up.  Just like sitting too close to the TV, you don’t get the whole picture. Things are fuzzy and you draw wacky conclusions when you only see a partial picture.

Or when you get an idea in your head and you replay it over and over, ignoring everything else. Maybe you need a new dress for the wedding next weekend.

Must have it. Must go now.  It  feels so important you literally don’t even see all the dresses hanging in your closest. You can’t look around and see that it’s time to work, not shop. You’re not seeing the whole picture—you’re nose-to-the-glass about the damn dress.

Is there a solution for being mentally myopic?

When something has such a grip on you that it’s all you can see, you know you’re there. Step one…stop. Don’t act on it. Acting on it always makes it worse. Don’t scream at your husband. Give yourself permission to do it in 5 minutes—the delay will serve you well. Drop your car keys. Give yourself permission to shop later.

Step two…step back. Way back. And look around. Use your peripheral vision, literally and metaphorically.

One of my mentors calls it “soft focus”.  Don’t hone in on anything; instead, soften your focus and take in as much as you can. See the whole scene and give yourself a minute.

Soft focus is the way a cat looks when they’re lying in the sun. Eyes barely open, lazy and relaxed, soft, just gazing all around, not fixed on anything.

When you’re mentally myopic, take a step back and be the cat.  It works wonders.

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