I helped paint my friends TV room last year. To encourage her to think with fresh eyes, I told her to not only take everything off her walls but to fill in the nail holes as well. The idea was to get her to think more creatively. If she left the same holes in the same spot, she’d put the same things back on the wall.
Sometimes we have to get everything out of our sight before we can think. Numerous studies have shown, for example, that clutter creates chaos in our mind. Clutter is almost always in our line of vision. Having every wall covered with “stuff” or every horizontal surface filled to the brim, doesn’t give our eyes a place to “rest”. Many paintings follow the same principle, leaving a space for the eyes to rest, except for a Pollack painting which even if you like his paintings, you wouldn’t want more than one within your field of vision.
We need “fresh” eyes about so many things. About our homes. About our circumstances. About some of our views surrounding politics, life, religion. About our personal style. We might very well end up coming full circle in some areas. For me, I try to examine some of my political views now and then in light of what is happening in the world. Sometimes I change my views but other times I decide that my positions are still my positions.
I like knowing my beliefs have stood scrutiny and evaluation. I like knowing that I’m not afraid of facing my beliefs full-on.
Many people though voice opinions they’ve never even thought through. They offer up their views and I wonder sometimes if they ever hear their own words. Oops, I’m digressing. We’ll save this discussion for later.
Back to my friend’s TV room.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that when we are redecorating, we need to give our freshly painted walls an opportunity to stay “nekked” (the southern word for “naked”) for a while. We need to look at accessories and paintings in other rooms and see if we can use them in our newly decorated space. It’s my belief that adopting a different perspective about something as visual as our living spaces can carry over to the not-so-transparent issues of life-the ones that really matter. A new perspective in one area often spills over into other areas.
It works for depression as well. Changing the living spaces that we look at every day somehow subtly short circuits that part of our brain that has gotten used to our familiar, though perhaps negative, environment. That change ever so subtly reminds us that our moods are more in our control that we thought. That maybe we can change something here as well. We feel just a little empowered.
Action in one area almost always prompts action in another area.
Remember this commercial saying? “The body in motion stays in motion. The body at rest stays at rest”? (Something like that.) This message is absolutely right-on, even if it is a commercial.
If you try this concept, you will intuitively feel the truth of it.
We can become too comfortable with too many things.
Sometimes we don’t realize just how comfortable we’ve come with some things or people who are harmful to us. We get so used to our life, our habits, our attitudes, we don’t even see the possibility of change.
Depression is much like this. Depressed people often get so comfortable with their depression that they don’t see the possibility of getting better. They’ve become comfortable in their depression. It has become their habit. And, yes, depression can be a habit, just like having a bad temper.
So we went from changing up our spaces to changing up our lives. It just all works together. Remember, change in one area is a catalyst for change in others.
God bless and I hope you have a good day.