Look Beyond What You See, by Rachel Affiong Umoh
This is simple, although it sounds tricky, but when you look beyond the words, you could relate.
As a writer and reader of inspiration, I have learned to look at the bigger picture of situations. I do this to gain insight; I navigate around what the challenges could be and the preferable solutions that align.
Using the mind’s eye to see gives a clearer vision than the physical because all that matters at the end are credible results based on the judgment of our thoughts. A typical example is staring at the image of a flower. When you just look at it, you see a flower. But when you look closely, you see so many things just in that single image. This is when you begin to see its true beauty, identifying what flower it is, the color and its significance, its position, and probably what the artist meant to say through the image. That’s how life works; the first stare is not enough. In fact, the first stare may push you back, but your quest to know more proves resilience, and we all know resilience never fails.
When we look beyond, we explore some personal qualities that strengthen our relationship with people. It enhances our communication skills. We become attractive and reasonable; we listen to understand before giving a response. As the saying goes, “Think before you speak.”
In a way, it helps to be more calm and patient. Being at peace with oneself, going with the flow, and allowing life to take its course. I did an experiment on this in a mental health support group for women. One Sunday afternoon, we held the session in a park, and the focus for the day was a meditation exercise. I gave them an exercise; I told them to walk around the park and fix their gaze on something of their interest for five minutes. Some of them preferred to look at the beautiful flowers; others watched the birds, listening to their chirping, while others fixed their gaze on the artwork and sculptures of animals. After the five minutes elapsed, I pressed the buzzer, and they all returned. The conversation that followed was beautiful. The ability to be self-controlled, listen carefully, and the interaction of the mind and eyes was the goal of it all. This relaxation technique is another practical example of looking beyond what the eyes can see.
In terms of diplomacy, it is important to understand boundaries and work out relationships for the better. In a situation where someone says, “I do not like the inception of working from home,” instead of condemning his or her opinion, you can simply say, “That’s interesting; I would like to know more. Your opinion is surprising because nowadays most people work productively from home, and it is easy.” This shows that you respect his or her view, and even if you don’t agree, you are open-minded to know the reason beyond his or her opinion. It also proves good communication skills because you are not avoiding the conversation; you are less of a troublemaker but rather an interesting person to interact with.
Finally, to look beyond what you see is not thinking too much; rather, it is a wake-up call to see through conversations and circumstances so you can be wise enough to make proper judgments.
Rachel Affiong Umoh
Mental Health Advocate