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Davis Journal

Our field of vision

May 16, 2024 12:05PM ● By John Waterbury

Life appears to be an orchestrated process in which we eventually discover that the very best of things and the very worst of things are not really measures of our success or failure, but tests that are designed to teach certain lessons and instill certain principles.  And two of the most important of these principles are faith and fear.

Ultimately, we build a life on these principles; we are the deciding factor in the equation.

If we live a life based primarily on fear, then we relegate ourselves to a self-imposed prison. 

Our field of vision narrows and anxiety becomes our universe.

As a result, we may literally become incapable of appreciating the beauty of the sunrise because we have become immobilized by the darkness of the night. But if we choose to live a life based primarily on faith, (faith in ourselves, faith in natural laws, and faith in God)

then our field of vision expands and becomes a powerful influence, with an intensity and a clarity that serve as the foundation for freedom.

Because of this, when we are about to step off into the great abyss of darkness and uncertainty, we can be confident that one of two things will happen.

Either we’ll find stepping stones that have been uniquely prepared for us to find, and they’ll lead us to higher levels, or we’ll find that there are no stepping stones........and we’ll learn to fly!

When we consciously decide on a faith-based philosophy of life, there will be many benefits, but none of them will immunize us from the pain and problems that are a natural, and necessary, part of our existence. Instead, this new philosophy will generate something of even greater significance: peace of mind.

For when we have peace of mind, we don’t need much else.

But if we don’t have it, then it doesn’t really matter what else we do have.

Unfortunately, our perception can become so easily distorted 

that we may settle for less than what we are capable of becoming.

And that’s why it is so important to remember that we are not just human “beings,” we are human “becomings.”

We’re not done yet!

That’s probably what Shakespeare was referring to when he wrote, “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

Life is filled with a series of cycles that are designed to help us evolve to higher levels. Each cycle is time-limited, and each has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And while discomfort is a natural part of this process, the discomfort won’t last forever.

The key to success in this endeavor is to move as fearlessly as possible 

from one cycle to the next,  

remembering who we are, expanding our field of vision, integrating the lessons,

and being thankful for having the opportunity to do so.   

John Waterbury is a retired Clinical Mental Health Counselor who has lived in Utah since 1984 when he moved to Bountiful with his wife and four children. Since then, he has written a weekly column for several years for the Davis County Clipper titled “The Dear John Letters” which was also used throughout the intermountain West focusing on addiction and mental health problems. This new column will focus on mental health and life management issues.