A few weeks ago I moved into a new apartment. As I moved my belongings into my room I opened the blinds to let the sunlight through the window.
Right off the bat I was a bit disappointed with what I saw. My last apartment had a window facing lots of greenery, and I could see my friend’s apartments from my room, which I enjoyed. My new window is just a sidewalk away from the parking lot, and just across the parking lot is a street. It wasn’t a very nice view. I began imagining how annoying it will be to have headlights blaring into my room as people pull in late at night. And, the window is facing east, and as a bit of a night owl, I was not looking forward to the sun waking me up early every morning. Basically I just decided to buy heavy curtains and never open the window to deal with it.
Well later that day I had my eyes opened. A few good friends came by to see my new place. One friend in particular opened up my blinds and exclaimed, “Oh wow! You have such a great view!”
With my sense of humor, I assumed she was being sarcastic. But she wasn’t. She was being totally genuine about loving the view that I hated.
“What? The parking lot is a good view?”
“No! You can see the mountains!”
I looked again. I couldn’t believe I had missed it! Sure enough, beyond the parking lot and the street was a beautiful view of the Wasatch mountains rising above the valley. I had been so focused on disliking the parking lot view that I had totally missed the mountains.
I took some very important lessons from this. First, we all need to surround ourselves with people who can point out the good things and lift us up. I was very grateful to have a friend who could see this when I couldn’t. Second, think of how much happier our lives would be if we could see past the parking lots and appreciate the view. Everyone passes through hard times. Everyone suffers “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” But will our trials make us better or just bitter? I know that happiness comes when we choose to see past the parking lot.