On my way back to my car after class I watch the sidewalk and listen to my iPod. I almost always park in the same place on the side of the road in a neighborhood near the college, so I have taken this route many times before. While I walked back to my car the words “Look Up” popped into my head.
I looked up and there wasn’t anything looming over my head threatening my safety or any amazing heavenly sight. What I did see surprised me though. I saw beautiful patterns near the rooftops on the old houses that had probably been hand carved by skilled carpenters. I saw the wonderful colors of green, brown, red, orange, and yellow in the leaves and the trees. I saw the sky and the clouds and how beautiful they were at that time of day. I saw birds flying about and chirping in the branches. I saw. I gained a new perspective on the simple nature of walking and seeing my surroundings. And that sight was a wonderful gift that I received that day. I saw what was up. And up was beautiful.
Looking up can refer to many things in our lives. Sometimes we feel trodden down or ashamed because of something that has happened. When we look up, we look heaven-ward. We see something beyond our shame and doubt. Whether we find solace in God or nature or just in the beauty around us, looking up can set a wonderful tone that will change us. When we look up, our lives start to look up and our situation starts to look up. Until we take the action of looking in a new direction, everything will still be down.
Upward looking tends to be discouraged in our society. We have hoods, hats, cars, roofs on buildings, houses, street signs, advertisements and many other things that keep us looking in a downward direction. Sometimes we are told to “keep our heads down and out of trouble” or to “just put your head down and plow through it” during difficult situations or hard times. This thinking can damage our potential to see the good in others and in the world around us! If we ignore that negativity and look up, whether physically or mentally – or both – we will find more peace and positivity in our lives.
I suggest we take a moment to slow down and look up. Instead of becoming better acquainted with our shoes and the sidewalk, we should look upward and outward, to something bigger than ourselves.
Look for a higher purpose. Serve those around you. Smile and wave at passing strangers. Enjoy the presence of loved ones at a family dinner. Marvel at the subtle yet powerful beauty of a sunset. Acknowledge and enjoy the beauty and quiet of mother Earth. Appreciate what is up.
I learned in that moment to appreciate the beauty around me. Be in the moment and literally, spiritually and emotionally “Look Up”.
P.S.: don’t practice looking up while crossing any busy roads or while driving.