Which Side of the Fence?

On an early morning walk, I came upon a house on a corner with a partially painted picket fence. From my first vantage point, I was looking at the back of the fence – the side facing into the yard. It was largely unpainted with drips of white paint leaving thin trails on the tired, grey wood. As I turned the corner, I glanced to the outward facing side of the fence – it was painted completely white. Curious. What was the story behind the scenes? Had they run out of paint?

It occurred to me in the moment that the homeowners had provided me with a perfect metaphor for contemplation.

By carefully painting the side of the fence that people saw from the outside, they created the illusion of ‘everything is good in our lives’. When they looked out from inside their house, they would be faced with an incomplete project. Why had they prioritized the view from the outside? Why did they not improve their view from the inside?

And that got me thinking. Which side of the fence am I focused on? Am I more worried about others’ view or my own? When I make choices, do I come from the inside out? What would happen if I did?

By no means am I suggesting that we should boldly disregard the exterior view. I am simply suggesting that we acknowledge the value of the interior view. In fact, I may even recommend that we start there. What if we made choices from a place of wholeness? A place where we considered ourselves and our needs as part of the equation?

I thought of an example from my own life. I have some accent pillows for my bed and, while I make the bed each day, I would only add the pillows when I was expecting company. What was the point of doing it for myself, I had thought. As an experiment, I began putting the pillows on every day and I discovered that I really appreciated the look of my bedroom every time I walked into it. I chose to paint the inside of this ‘fence’.

There are so many examples like this. Good china. Nice towels in the bathroom. Drinking the ‘good’ wine. Time and effort spent on clothes, makeup etc with little regard for personal development. Being seen as making the ‘right’ connections in networking circles. Driving the ‘right’ vehicle.

Once you become aware of the choices you are making and why, you are in a position to make new choices ~ choices which best reflect who you’re becoming. With that awareness, you are then able to dance in the world of possibilities. What if you used the good china for an everyday meal? What if you considered your innate connection to someone new rather than focusing on how she/he could benefit your image? What if you listened to your own thoughts first and considered outside opinions second?

Curiosity Q: The brush is in your hands. Which side of the fence do you choose?



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This post was written by megan