Keep Everything in Perspective

When I was in seventh grade, I received the greatest Christmas gift of all: My dad bought me and my three siblings each a new set of luggage. I loved my new three piece set from the moment I saw it…it was sturdy, red, and it was all mine! I loved it even more as I unzipped each section and pocket and discovered several fun gifts neatly wrapped and stuffed inside. Christmas kept giving, as I opened up the last pocket; inside were airline tickets to Mexico! We were taking a family vacation to Mazatlan, Mexico!!! Boy was I excited!

After our fabulous time in Mexico, our Christmas break was coming to an end, and we returned home to snowy Colorado. When we were taking our luggage out of the trunk of our car, I noticed something quite disturbing: My brand new large carry-on piece had “Black Nasty Goo” on it!
My heart sank into my stomach. I felt immediately sad and angry, as I knew by looking at it, that the stain would remain forever there.

In that instant, I had a choice to make: Either I could rant and rave and leave a mess in my wake…or I could put the situation into perspective. Even at that young age, hormones and all, I chose to put it into perspective.

As a child, I often theoretically put myself in outer space and “looked” back to Earth and my life. The situations we think are so important and devastating are really not so much! Taking yourself out of a situation and looking at it from a different perspective gives you clarity. It takes the emotion out of it. It allows you to cool your engines and take a fresh look at the situation at hand. When you “look” at the Earth and your life from outer space…you will realize they are both so small in the big scheme of things. The “Black Nasty Goo” is microscopic compared to the Earth and to my awesome life!

We all encounter “Black Nasty Goo” from time to time. It comes in all different forms. What is your Goo? What is it that sets you off? What is it that gets your blood boiling? Whatever it is, if you really think about it, shifting your perspective will make it not seem so big anymore. Ask yourself, “Will this really matter in a week, in a month, in a year?” Most situations can be answered with a confident NO!

Do you think I was upset that my luggage was ruined? Yes, I was! Is it healthy to express disappointment and hurt feelings, anger, and sadness? Yes, it is! What isn’t so healthy is to blow situations out of proportion and to make other people feel guilty and badly about something that really doesn’t affect much. How do you think my dad would have felt if I blew up over this stain, after he just took us on a fabulous vacation to Mexico? How would my siblings view my reaction? How would that reaction make me look?

I love the book of Proverbs in the Bible. I glean so much wisdom and thought provoking passages that make me think outside the box and ultimately help me to be a better person. Here’s one that I just love:

Proverbs 29:11
A fool gives full vent to his anger,
but a wise man keeps himself under control.

This really says a lot. Seeking a healthier perspective gives us the power to remain in control of our words, thoughts, and emotions.

Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s mentally journey into outer space and remember my example and this verse next time we encounter a “Black Nasty Goo”! Let’s shift our perspective and remind ourselves that most things we get upset about are really no big deal!

Because Together is Better,


  1. So important to watch your perspective. It really is a choice how you feel. Too often we feel like our emotions happen “to” us, and forget that we can actually change how we think to change our feelings…

    • Teri, I totally agree with you. We are in complete control of our emotions. We need to use them to guide us, not control us! -Deanna

  2. Great thoughts about keeping things in perspective! I’m going to relate several things to nasty goo now! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your insight!

  3. Wait… Now I want to know how you handled your goo! Did you get new luggage? Great piece on putting things in perspective, though!

    • Nikki, I love that you asked about the black goo and my luggage. I left it there and had this luggage for many years. It was a great reminder that my life is awesome! 🙂 -Deanna

  4. Gina Davis says:

    I love thinking about looking down on earth from an aliens perspective.

    We can be so grateful about our blessed lives, then something goes awry and it throws us off our path. I think the faster we can get back on our path to gratitude, the better. Then, the aliens won’t think we are so weird.

    • Gina, I love this! Yes, being in gratitude is such a powerful emotion and it really helps us put things in perspective. I love that you think the aliens think we are weird! 🙂 -Deanna

  5. Reading Marshall Rosenberg’s book non violent communication was a real eye opener of how not being connected to how we feel and what our our need are, gets us to a place of imbalance and often anger. You can find out more here
    Nonviolent Communication Part 1 Marshall Rosenberg …

  6. I agree it is good to put things into perspective but I completely disagree with keeping oneself under control.
    I treat so many people who feel ill, so stiff or empty, even depressed or with ME not realising they feel that way because for so long they have hidden their feelings away, kept everything under control.
    I end up having to teach them how to release their emotions in a safe way for all concerned and yes sometimes it is quite violent. The thing is you can’t feel love, joy, passion peace contentment if you put a lid on anger, pain, grief, sorrow… they all live in the same place in us like a pressure cooker and if you keep the lid on one it keeps the lid on the others. To be fully present to the wonder of life you have to be present and honest to everything it brings. This does not mean that you have to beat someone when you are angry but you do need to express it.

    • Julie, thank you so very much for sharing your perspective. I agree with you, as those you work with are dealing with severe situations. I agree that we must express our feelings in a healthy way. I am talking about blowing things out of proportion. The black goo on my luggage should not warrant a rant and tantrum. Putting things in perspective is a healthy way to have self control. Now, if my luggage somehow really hurt me, that would be a different story…I would then need to process and communicate my feelings. -Deanna

  7. this post just totally hit home for me. I had a similar experience just yesterday. My daughter agreed to dog sit two dogs at our home, a really large dog and an average size. I didn’t want them here but being the kind person my daughter is she had already agreed before telling me, so I reluctantly said yes. the weekend turned into two weeks, only to discover that they ruined the wood floors in my laundry room (brand new floors, and BADLY). I was angry! I was already angry at this lady for dropping the news on my poor daughter that they needed to stay for two weeks. Your post might help me get through this, as I am actually still pretty upset.

    • Veronica, I am so sorry about your floors, that is upsetting! But if you put yourself in outer space and ask if it will matter, I think you will find that it doesn’t. Floors can be fixed and replaced, people can’t. Now, if the dogs hurt your child, that would be different! You see? -Deanna

  8. It’s a good reminder to not sweat the small stuff…luggage is a nice gift!

  9. What a great story! I always love how you have such a positive attitude! This makes me smile!

  10. I definitely have had problems that when I look back didn’t matter as much as I thought they did. I love the perspective that you have about mentally journeying to outer space. Great way to look at it!

  11. Stephanie Clopton says:

    You have such a great outlook on life and lives obstacles.

  12. Traci Henegar says:

    I think this is a fabulous post to make us really think about “is it that important for me to get that upset about”.

    • I agree Traci! So many times we can get upset and end up regretting things we say and do. If we can stop and think we can usually put in perspective. -Deanna

  13. Lisa Hodges says:

    I totally understand where you’re coming from and love the spin you took on it at such a young age to make it positive.

  14. Jim Striegel says:

    What a great way to look at a goo’y situation!

  15. Dov Shapira says:

    I just love the idea of going to outer space to look at things on the earth.
    What a great article 🙂

  16. Great post! You’re absolutely right. There are many times that I get upset about something and make a big deal about it and then when I think back on it I find it silly that I even got upset in the first place. No use crying over spilled milk I guess. I definitely need to take your advice and not let the little things in life get to me. Thank you!

  17. My mom used to always say we shouldn’t make a mountain out of a mole hill. So true. The more we can brush aside the small stuff, the better off we are!

    • Laurel, I agree with your mom. We sometimes overreact when we feel stressed or out of control. Taking a deep breath and looking at it from outside our emotional bubble is healthy. -Deanna

  18. Wow. Feels like this post was meant for me. I tend to over react on the little things. For example I had a HUGE blow out with my hubby last week (tears and all). In the moment it really felt like it was a big deal but now that I think about it, I realized that I’M the one who made a big deal out of nothing! Really need to breath and count to 10 when things are happening before I react. Thanks for sharing!

    • I love that this spoke to you Marielle! I am also glad it helped you look at that situation a little differently…thank you for sharing! -Deanna

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