A Change In Perspective

What is perspective? Well, honestly… it’s everything.

But why is it everything? What difference does it make?
It’s everything, because it changes everything. The difference, is what you make it…

Consider this: When we look around each day, at the world in which we live… do we see what’s really there? Or what we choose to see? Do we see a world of beauty? Or of cruelty, pain, and hatred? Do we see endless possibility? Or a cage of circumstance? Do we turn our eyes toward hope? Or shield them from the suffering? Does our perception match reality? Or does reality take the fall?

Well, either way, reality is irrelevant. Because what really matters…the only thing that matters… is how we choose to view it.  And how we choose to view it… is perspective.

Perspective is a choice, but a choice that’s rarely made. Because instead… we just believe that the choice has been made for us…
By our genetics, our circumstances, and our experiences.
By our geography, our scenery, and our associations.
By our beliefs, our passions, and our purpose.
By our strengths, our weaknesses, and our in-betweens.

And so… perspective becomes an absolute, instead of a shift in mindset. A burden, instead of a gift.
A prison, instead of the purest freedom.

It’s funny… the only way to change your perspective on perspective… is to change your perspective.

Many times in my life, I’ve been broken by the world. And, in most cases, my heart takes the hardest hit. But as my heart suffers… so does my mind. My attitude changes. My thought process alters. My optimism shatters.
Thus, my perspective is damaged… as well as everything else in my life.

When perspective is narrowed or impaired, the entire world is different… The sunlight fades, the beauty diminishes, and the joy dies. Our evaluation of the things around us becomes tainted, one-sided, and ultimately… detrimental to our existence.

Through our damaged lens, we only see the evil. The very evil… we wish to avoid. Our eyes focus-in, landing solely on the negative… and through our faulty viewpoint, we are blinded by despair. The irony of this perception is that it ensures our greatest fear: The world will appear every bit as dark, empty, and hopeless… as we tell ourselves it is.

Because, as perception becomes reality… reality becomes truth. As reality becomes truth… truth becomes life. But when our core truths… rely on mistruths, then our life becomes everything… we hoped it’d never be.

While there’s no denying the presence of cruelty, sadness, and despair, we also can’t deny that the opposite is true. Because also in this world, exist beauty, hope, and joy… with endless possibilities... of dreams, goodwill, and love. But if we only see the negative, we close our minds to possibility. If we only see the hatred, we deny our hearts of love. As our perspective shuts out hope, we miss out on the journey, because we fail to see the very things the journey has in store.

In rejecting possibility, we refuse all opportunity. In refusing opportunity, we disregard our purpose. In disregarding purpose, we deny ourselves fulfillment. In denying our fulfillment, we eliminate all joy. In eliminating joy, we exclude ourselves from love. And in excluding ourselves from love… we remove ourselves from life.

Far too many people miss out on life, as they walk through this world blaming circumstance, misfortune, and tragedy for everything in their path. But what they don’t realize… what they can’t see… is that these events can only have power to ruin our happiness… if we let them.

Ultimately, every life event can lead to a change in our perspective. Love can open our minds. Hatred can shut us down. But in truth, the event itself didn’t change our outlook at all… we did. Because when our perspective shifts to encompass a new reality, the outcome is less about the reality… than the way we choose to view it.

There’s no doubt about it: certain moments in life have the power to change everything. But the way everything changes is up to you. Sometimes when you least expect it, fate throws you a lifeline. A seemingly small event… that’s nothing short of huge. If your mind is closed to change, you’ll likely miss that moment. Or you’ll simply neglect to see it, for what it really is. But when you're open to opportunity, your heart can see the truth. Because, within that very moment… lives all the hope you need.  

When hope finally arrives, and your perspective sees the light… follow that hope with abandon… and never let it go. When misfortune steals your dreams, and your perspective darkens… fight your way back… to that hope you had before.

Because we must never forget, that on the other side of despair…there is light; there is hope; there is love. But you have to find it. You have to see it. And you have to let it in.

The decision is yours, and it always has been. And therein lies… the beauty and the curse. Because we never want to believe, that it’s truly up to us. We want to blame, point fingers, and deny… that we hold the power… and that we really always did.

Life is what you make it. What you make it… is perspective. And, honestly… it’s everything.

*Thank you for changing my perspective. It changed everything.


  1. Very well written, you have realized something most people never do in a lifetime! No matter what is happening outside of you, the one thing you can control is your reaction and how you feel. There is always a bright side to every experience you encounter!

  2. Wonderful, wonderful thoughts on perspective.. So very true and refreshing coming from a young person.

  3. Thanks y'all! That means the world to me!

  4. Wow! Very true and very well said. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Thanks I have really had a bad day and I guess that is my fault because I have let my perspective get out of line. Thanks for sharing and let me continue to read and hopefully use your words of wisdom

  6. You need to submit this to the Tiny Buddha! Very wise! Thank you!

  7. I was just thinking about the word "perspective" the other day, and how it's such an important, powerful word....you've just enhanced my thoughts.

  8. I had been so caught up in the "Subway" boycott b/c of Vick......I didn't sleep for almost a week. I couldn't close my eyes without seeing and knowing what I'd read about. I had to step back for a minute and not let myself be sick over it all, and I want to do as much as I can. I walk dogs at our HS, we have fostered and we have our rescue girl, "Maddie", probably a puppy mill girl. I loved this post. Your actions and words are so comforting. I put you at the top of my forever donation list b/c I think you are the greatest of heros. God Bless you Ashley.

  9. Really.. thank you all so much! If you only knew how much it means to me that anyone at all reads anything I write. But you always have the most amazing words for me. Thank you!

  10. Never doubt your ability to put feelings into words. You have more ability than you may think and just as your unselfish concern for our fur-real, fur-babies, shines and succeeds so does your on target blogs. Don't stop doing either because you're a breath of fresh air in this otherwise smoke-filled world.

    Bonita (aka: momtoo2005)

  11. Love you Ashley and what you represent.

    Deb from Tampa FL

  12. Bonita, thank you so much. It's hard to put yourself out there sometimes, but you're right... I shouldn't doubt myself :)

    Deb, I'm so touched! thank you!

  13. Ahsley, you are one of the one's in the light!! giving a positive perspective

  14. I don't even know you and yet you're one of my favorite people in the world. :) Very well said!

  15. Hey Ashley--You have more compassion and perspective in your little pinkie than most people will ever have in their whole bodies in a lifetime. We should all strive to be the loving and caring person that you are. Always know that you are on the right path and what you do matters to a lot of people and a lot of precious dogs too.!! Julie :0)

  16. As I read and re-read your article on perspective, I was amazed at your insight into the human condition. Honestly, you should share it on a larger scale. You described a road to self-actualization which is refreshing, invigorating and beautifully composed. It definitely spoke to me and my experiences in life to date. You are blessed to discover where truth lives and how it can be perverted if we allow ourselves to be defined by the world we live in. You gave me an "ah ha" moment that I really needed! The only way to thank you is by recommending (if you haven't done so already)a book written by Eckhart Tolles, "The Power of Now." He talks about discovering the freedom and joy of a life lived "in the now." If you find his message resonates with you, you may want to read his follow-up, "A New Earth." To paraphrase Tolles, you are here to generate consciousness through your daily activities, through your interactions with others as well as through "just being." By doing so, you "...can endow the seemingly insignificant with profound meaning." Live in the moment, keep sharing your perspectives with others and YOU WILL HELP TO BUILD A BETTER WORLD. You are already doing it, you just did!

  17. So Awesome Ashely. I have read it many times.
    You do help our furry friends above and beyond. As I said before you are their Angel. I feel blessed to have met you thru fb. Sending many Prayers and blessings to you my Angel friend.

  18. Mickey,
    I am touched beyond words. I wish I could tell you how much I appreciate everything you said. All I have is "thank you" which doesn't feel like enough :)

    And to the rest of you, thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  19. All I can see now is the darkness, Ashley. Hate, despair, evil, the destruction that the human race has done to this planet and everything that lives on it. We should be purged from this planet and Nature allowed to shape it again as She sees fit.

  20. Chris, maybe you should read this again :) There's more to life than just the darkness, I promise.

  21. sometimes it takes just one Angel to put those perspective glasses on the eyes of a desperate soul. Every time this magical transformation happens a new spark of joy is lit in the darkness. Some choose to do this. You do, Ashley. Thank you from a dark world. Cinnamon

  22. Ashley you are inspiration. Your positivity is refreshing. This world is so self absorbed, expecting things to always be easy and go their way. They ask why me? Instead of why not me? The last few weeks have been hard for you, yet I have never read anything close to complaining. You take your lemons and make the best of it. Everyone could learn a thing or two from you. I myself wish I had your positivity, the ability to look past your troubles to the good. Your amazing, don't ever forget that.

    I have been reading the Hammitt's blog Bowen's Heart (http://bowensheart.com/). Bowen is the Hammitt's son, they learned early in the pregnancy that Bowen had a life threatening heart defect. Their blog is about their journey with Bowen. Matt Hammitt, Bowen's father, is lead singer for Sanctus Real and before Bowen was born he started writing songs for him. The first single "All of me " has been released. It reminds me of you and how you give your whole heart to each dog even if it breaks. They are worth every falling tear. Matt explains the song in a video here: http://vimeo.com/m/#/24355556 . If you like it or want to hear the whole song I'll figure out a way to get a copy for you.

  23. Ashley you are my hero, my idol... thank you for what you do. <3

  24. Brilliant post, from a girl obviously wise beyond her years. Very refreshing. I am printing this and I will read it often. I will keep a copy in a desk drawer at work, as well as hang it on the fridge at home. In this world I know I'll need to refer to it often. But without hope we have nothing and all it takes is us to change our perspective to come back to hope again. Bless you!

  25. Beautifully written, Ashley. Profoundly moving statements that set the mind in motion.

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