Focus on the White Space

I read a story once about a professor who handed out a piece of paper to his class and asked them to write about what they saw. It was a white piece of paper with a black dot on it.  Once his students were done, he collected the papers.  To his surprise out of all of his students only one wrote about the white space.  Every one else wrote about the black dot.

As I walked to chemo yesterday for the first time,  I realized how it was a black dot in my day, and cancer, is a black dot in my life.  Yet as I walked beside my mom to my appointment we walked along a soothing river, the birds were chirping, we walked through green grass.  There was so much beauty around us to soak in.  I also received loving texts from family and friends throughout the day and had some incredible interactions with people I met here in Boston.  I got to FaceTime my husband and kids last night and hear about their day.  There was a lot of white space around my black dot.

But I know the opposite quite well.  When I was in the pit with my anxiety and depression back in 2009, the dark was so blinding I could hardly see any light in my life.  It can be so hard to focus on the smallest of light when the darkness is so consuming.  Yet as I renewed my mind and surrendered to receiving the help I needed, the white space grew and the darkness shrunk.

Those struggles were a stepping stone for me for this new battle I fight with cancer. I don't want my eyes to be so focused on my black dot, cancer, that I forget to see all the white space.  Yet I know it doesn't just happen.  I need to be very intentional and directional with what I look at and listen to because what goes is to my mind matters.  I am focused on feeding myself encouraging words every morning, meditating on truth and love,  writing down all that I am grateful for, seeing outside myself and praying for others and their black dots.  The white space isn't just available to me, it is available to you as well.

In invite you to take a moments to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

Ask yourself, how do I view my problems?  Are they little with a lot of good around them or are they consuming and you are having trouble seeing any light?

If you are able to see the white space, the blessings around you, keep focusing on those but if you are having trouble seeing the light I encourage you to focus on one positive thing in your life today - it may be as simple as "I am breathing."  I remember when I started this path getting down to the basics of breath, food, shelter, clothing, shoes, etc. were my daily starting point.  

We all need to start somewhere.  

Find your starting place and then as you walk through your day today purposefully seek out things to be grateful for.  A flower blooming, your car starting, a green light, the sunshine, a child laughing, etc.  

May we all choose to see the white space, the blessings around us today.

With love and hope,

Shawn

"Be transformed by the renewing of your mind." - Romans 12:2