There are two amazing tools that scientists use, but each for a very different purpose. With a microscope one can look at very small objects and make them appear to be very big. Something as small as a germ can look like a monster when viewed through a microscope. In contrast, with a telescope one can look at very large objects (which are miles and miles away) and they will appear in a "manageable" size for us to examine. Through a telescope we can look at the moon as easily as if we were holding a 4 x 6 photo. In simple terms: with a microscope small items can look big and with a telescope large items can look small. So when it comes to your problems, through which scope are you peering?
One of the main principles of Solution Focused Brief Therapy is that, "what we focus on grows." If we focus on our problems, they will grow bigger and bigger. When we focus on our anxiety, our anxiety tends to grow. When we focus on the negative traits of our spouse's personality, these traits become magnified. When we focus on the challenges of a life situation, these challenges tend to become overwhelming. In short: What We Focus On Grows.
But what if, instead of looking at life through a microscope, we could look at life through a telescope? What if, as one looks at the wonders of the stars, we could focus instead on a vision of a preferred future? The result, I believe, would a perspective that sees our problems as ones that are manageable.
When small things look big, they tend to scare us. When large, glorious things, come into view, they tend to inspire us. So I would encourage you, as you continue your journey into 2020, to stop focusing on all of the little problems of your life. Stop allowing them to capture your attention and time. I would encourage you instead to look at life through a telescope and focus on a big vision of a life that is meaningful, manageable, and enjoyable. I think the difference you find will be amazing.
Dr. Allen Schneider is a United Methodist pastor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist presently serving the Sapulpa and greater Tulsa communities.