Those who look at life through the lens of compassion will see opportunities for healing and wholeness.

Those who look through the lens of gratitude will see opportunities to celebrate life’s blessings.

Those who look through the lens of courage will find opportunities to encounter their essential strength.

The opportunities we see in life depend entirely upon the lens we choose to look through.

Those who look through the lens of freedom will see new opportunities for movement and expression.

Those who look through the lens of love will see opportunities to connect with others in the deepest and most meaningful way a human being is able.

Those who look through the lens of happiness will see opportunities to smile, to laugh, and to enjoy the many gifts available in every moment.

With all these many lenses available to us, why would we choose lenses like anxiety, frustration, and despair?  Through these lenses we will see reasons to be angry, suspicious, covetous, or resentful. We will be consumed by emotions that drain us and drain the people around us.

Each of us is free to choose the lens through which we look at the world.  This is not a question of blind or naive optimism. This is truly a question of self determination: What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of experience do you want to have in life?

There are people who have lived through devastating tragedies, but whose lives have not been destroyed, and who ultimately emerge with more light to share and to offer. Why is this? Because they have chosen to determine their fate — not by circumstance — but by their choice of their lens. These people become our family touchstones, our neighborhood heroes, our cultural icons. They have not been defeated by life’s circumstances, because they have chosen lenses that have allowed them to see spiritual lessons shining in the most difficult and challenging events.

The hero’s journey is a journey of self-determination and it begins with a simple question: What lens will I look through?