Perspective- How we see things
"Perception is reality" according to Dr. Phil. I don't always agree. What he is saying is that our personal understanding of things colors our view of reality. It certainly does affect everything we believe. Just because I believe something does not make it true; I need a standard to rely on when I am overwhelmed. And, our perception of things is affected by our perspective. How we see things can change when we alter our stance. What I choose to focus on will determine my mood or emotions. If I focus on being struck in traffic, I get very annoyed and frustrated. If I choose to put Jimmy Buffet's "Volcano" on in my car and focus on its lyrics, I am happy and entertained (try it sometime- but you have to sing with an accent!). Now my perception of the traffic jam is that of an opportunity to enjoy music. I have no power to change my traffic situation, but I do have the power to change my mood.
My perception of depression
When I was first diagnosed with depression (many years ago) I believed it was just a chemical imbalance that needed medication. I believed I had no control over my mood. I spent years going up and down with my different medications. Then I learned about the connection between trauma and depression. I was now looking at my struggle from a different perspective. I see factors that are not just chemical, but relational, experiential. I started challenging my beliefs about myself and my experiences, often relying on trusted friends to help me know which way was up (getting their perspective). As I processed my traumas and challenged my core beliefs about myself, I started to climb out of my depression. I started letting go of past hurts and forgave people for hurting me. I started seeing things from other people's perspectives and realized often they were just doing their best or what they thought was best.
Now I try to see things from God's perspective. He has the best seat and can see things that I can't. I check my beliefs with Scripture to have a solid foundation for my stance. Often He challenges me to examine what I think I know and many beliefs I once held have given way to new understanding.
I pray that we all examine our perspectives and see if they line up with our Creator's. He sees us as someone worth dying for, so I hope you see how valuable you are!