If you could take a photo of your life today and then zoom in on something special or important which part of your life would you choose? Would it be something that is causing you distress or something that is an exciting memory or a special relationship?
If your still picture was a movie, what title would you give it? Would you like the experience to continue or do you wish it had never happened? If you could relive this part of your life again, would you? If not, why wouldn’t you?
Imagining our life as a movie or a photograph is a good way of examining our life and the things in it we like and the things in it we would like to see changed. When we give important life experiences a name, we can focus on the important events in our life and especially on those ones that continue to influence us today.
Have you ever noticed when you take a wide angled shot of a scene you see a lot of picture but very little detail and when you zoom in on one part of the picture you miss out on the big picture, though you get a very good view of one part of the picture that really interests you?
We often look at life like this. We look at the big picture and forget the details that bring beauty and interest to our lives, or we focus on one thing and forget the bigger picture. Either way, we risk losing our perspective if we only look at life from one or the other perspective. We need both perspectives to understand our life experiences and that is the purpose of giving a name to the scene.
Revisit your photograph memory again and rethink the situation you were thinking of earlier. How different does the picture look close up and how does it look at a distance. If the picture is distressing, close up, try to zoom back and look at the picture from a distance to give you a big picture perspective. Does it change the picture at all?
Sometimes when we focus on things in our life we feel distressed, but when we see it as part of a bigger picture we can deal with it, even gain and learn something important from it. Similarly, if we focus only on our life from a distance we forget to appreciate the individual and special things that make life unique for us.