Level Letters: Perspective


This is the same lake from two different viewpoints on the same day last summer.

It’s the same lake from perspectives separated by about 2,000 vertical feet.

Imagining the first picture (the view from the top) kept me taking the next step and the next step and the next step as we made the climb.

Was it hard? Yes, at moments it was, but it was worth every step—even with a (perhaps over-packed) 40 pound backpack.

Now, I’m not comparing serious, grief-inducing challenges to a backpacking trip–I understand the difference between challenges that are chosen and those that are not–but in all hard things, perspective is everything.

Sometimes, however, it is every bit as elusive as it is necessary. Usually, I’ve found the moments when I most desperately need perspective—the moments when I’m already tired from a steep ascent, but know I have further yet to go—are also those in which healthy, true, good perspective feels entirely out of reach. Lest you find yourself in one of those moments now, I have a few things to offer.

The first is simply this: you are not alone.

Second, when I am in those moments, I am not the best at finding my way to higher ground. Perhaps you are a far better navigator than I am, but in the event that you share this trait of mine, feel welcome to borrow some tools I’ve come to rely on.

  • Gratitude. It sounds cliche because it’s such a common recommendation, but guess what? It’s common because it works. If you can muster nothing else, write down one thing you’re thankful for each day. Bonus points for extras. You know what counts here? Everything. Examples: Tea. Coffee. Not having to make small talk with a coworker you typically avoid running into at the water cooler. The existence of chocolate ice cream. Wine. Good TV. Trash TV. A good book. A pet. Sunshine. A spouse who picked up their own socks today. Whatever works here, y’all. Roll with it.


  • Ride out your feelings, but for the love, don’t let them drive. You’re responsible for your actions, no matter how you feel, so find something that helps you work your way through your feelings and use it. No one is good at figuring out what “something” is when they’re in a swamp of sad/mad/frustrated feelings, so if you are feeling good in this moment, make yourself a list! Open the notes app on your phone and get it going. If you’re not in a place to make your own list, borrow from mine: bake something just for the heck of it. Play music. Write by hand, even if you have no idea what to say and repeat “I don’t know why I’m doing this” for a full page. Light a candle. Take a bath. Hit golf balls. Do your nails. Read a book. Put on music you can smile, or worship, or just sing along to. Watch a funny show. Do anything that will make you laugh especially when laughing is the last thing you want to do. I have more; I like variety and in seasons have relied heavily on “the list,” so it’s been growing for a while. You can send me a message if none of these appeal. We’ll figure something out for you. Then do one thing, or a few things, until you feel better enough to start making your own list. “Better enough” is the ticket. Better enough can get you just far enough out of the muck to feel the ground become solid beneath you once again.

Perspective. It’s the name of the game.

When you’re overwhelmed.

When you’re in the valley, getting ready for a climb you know will be hard.

When you’re staring down a challenge that brings up fear, anxiety, worry, or uncertainty. When you’re just not sure. When stillness feels impossible.

This is certain: there will be higher ground.

You’ve got this.

– LL


Fried Peaches on Pancakes
SO GOOD. Perfect weekend breakfast, or (in my case this time) Monday lunch. Inspired by this post from a long while ago and a Costco box of peaches – dreamy and delicious. Here‘s how mine turned out.

90s Sitcoms Before Bed
This week’s pick has been Dharma & Greg – what a time warp! It’s goofy, light, and a nice unwind with guaranteed chuckles before settling in for the night. (P.S. It’s on Hulu.)

Ice Cream in Yeti-style Cups
A perfect summer treat.
Apparently this week is food-themed! I love ice cream super frozen, not melty, and I eat slowly. This would be a problem, but NOT ANYMORE, FOLKS! Pop that ice cream into a Yeti/double insulated wine cup and you are good to go. Pairs well with your before-bed sitcom, I’ve heard 😉


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