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On a recent ride through the country after a rain storm, my husband abruptly stopped mid-sentence to point out the rainbow off in the distance. I found it quickly and reflected on its beauty. We continued our catch-up discussion and while making a point I took off my sun-glasses, gazing off in the direction of the rainbow. Weird….it had disappeared! I continued talking and put my sunglasses back on. Voila! The rainbow was as clear as it was before. Took my glasses off again and the rainbow disappeared. Now that is weird! And profound! How many times have I seen similar oddities from our tinted car windows or through a mist of water in a fountain?

Dan took off his sunglasses and found that for him, too, the rainbow disappeared. Well you can imagine the conversation that ensued when we started comparing that incident to people who wear rose-colored glasses throughout their lives and those who refuse to put them on.

And, of course we argued (kindly) over who would write about this parable of life. Obviously I won.

I know lots of people who scoff at living life with rose-colored glasses. It’s impractical. It’s living in denial. It’s not being realistic. Ok….so because I believe that my life choices greatly influence whether I see my days as living a great adventure or enduring this hell on earth I choose to be impractical, in denial and unrealistic. I’m going to keep on my sunglasses! In fact, metaphorically speaking, I have had those sunglasses on for many years and I am quite comfortable with them.

In the same way having a positive attitude lets you view things more favorably, tapping into the rich resources of your right brain also helps make the world brighter, more vivid, more defined, more exciting! It is the ultimate in wearing rose-colored glasses! Being creative brings rainbows to my life daily. Metaphorically speaking, of course!

I vividly remember when we took our daughter, Ashley, to the optometrist at age six because we were notified she might not be seeing things well at school. When I discovered she couldn’t make out the big E on the first line of the eye chart, I was mortified that I had waited so long to notice she was greatly myopic. A few days later when Ashley walked out into the daylight in her new thick-lenses I shed tears when I heard her exclaim, “Wow! Look Momma! That tree has beautiful leaves! It’s SO pretty!” My mother’s heart just came undone as I watched her look with awe at a brand new world.

Sometimes we need new lenses to see more clearly what is right before us. I don’t buy the fact that some people are born looking at life optimistically and some are not. That’s like saying some people are just destined to be failures and some are not. Sorry, I simply can’t buy that theory. We all make choices. I believe whole heartedly that if we want something badly enough to do the work to get it or make it, plant it, paint it or write it, it will happen.

Those areas that encompass my imagination, my love of fantasy and mystery in life, encompasses the same part of me that embraces faith in a Creator that I can’t see or feel or smell or hear except through the very creations placed before me in my walk every single day. I want to have a chance to better define, better enhance my ability to experience my Creator in a way that shouts, “WOW! LOOK AT THAT AMAZING RAINBOW!”

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Comment by Yvonne Palmer on November 16, 2012 at 8:34am

Joanne,  there is a lot of wisdom there.

In  regards to being born looking at life optimistically or not. I agree with your statement. However , unfortunatley, optimisim can get squashed along the way. I think that one way we can help one another is to be optimistic and encourage it in others. Spening time with children can certainly keep that battery charged :)

So when are rose colored glasses get dirty, we should just clean them not throw them out :)

Group Leader
Comment by Jen McDonough "The Iron Jen" on September 25, 2012 at 8:28pm

Thank you for this wonderful article Joanne! It's very inspiring and motivating! We all undergo through some phase where we're getting tired doing the same routine that we don't enjoy life as we should have. We easily get bored and unsatisfied. Let us learn to enjoy every minute of it and just be thankful for everything. I love, love, love your quote, "In the same way having a positive attitude lets you view things more favorably, tapping into the rich resources of your right brain also helps make the world brighter, more vivid, more defined, more exciting!" What a great description of what life CAN be like for all of us when we CHOOSE this attitude! What a great treat to read. 

Live Beyond Awesome
Jen McDonough
Twitter: @TheIronJen

Comment by Ann Musico on September 17, 2012 at 5:31am

Awesome, Joanne!  Rainbows have a very special meaning for me so the post really drew me in!  What an incredible thing to only be able to see the rainbow with your sunglasses on!  That's amazing.  Your analogy to needing new lenses is so true.  In my coaching and my book I call it refocusing your lens.  And it's definitely a choice and a habit - not something only some are born with!  What a great reminder on this Monday morning!

Comment by Jay Lode, CPA on September 16, 2012 at 1:19pm

Great analogy. Are you doing a seminar on this soon? LOL. Amazing how powerful perspective is, and how often beauty is there, just waiting to be seen. 

Comment by Leslie Chukwuma on September 15, 2012 at 10:52pm
Hi Joanne,
I have never thought of rose-colored glasses from this view point before.
Thank you for sharing this.

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