looking at the world through rose-colored glasses


Looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, what does this mean exactly? I’ve heard the expression a handful of times, and so, for once and for all, decided to find out where those words originated. It seems though that no one knows the origin, and explanations tend to vary. So perhaps the origin is not as important as looking through those rose-colored glasses.

Years ago I picked up a very simple and very small book written in 1940 by Frances Wilshire in which she gave a no-nonsense reason for looking at the world through rose-colored glasses. I liked what she wrote, and so I tried it out. Now some people think that when you see the world this way you’re creating a lovely little la la land for yourself, and that you’re somewhat of an idiot. No matter, I try to keep them on because what Frances Wilshire wrote rang true for me. Will they ring true for you? Well, you can only know by looking through them yourself.

When we were at the Jersey Shore Sumi gave her copy of O Magazine to me, and as I turned O’s pages, there, in wonderful big red letters, were the words, “In Praise of Rose-Colored Glasses” and under the caption was written: “The world we live in is a hard, scary place, and only getting worse. So do what Martha Beck does: Get out there and enjoy it.”

In the article Martha Beck writes of feeling guilty for looking at the world through rose-colored glasses when all systems on our planet appear to be going to pot. And so for years she couldn’t sustain a happy feeling when looking through those rose-colored glasses.

Then she wrote: “But over the years, as I’ve seen what leads to positive change and what doesn’t, I’ve become a sort of joy hound. I now agree with the poet Jack Gilbert: ‘We must have the stubborness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world.’ and she wrote: “This isn’t narcissistic pleasure-seeking. It’s the way to make your own life work and give your best to the world.”

To the above, I say, Yes! Because when we’re steeped in fear, in negativity, our life becomes heavy, and a negative pattern promotes more negativity. On the other hand, focusing on the good that we see in the world tends to bring more of the same.

I’ll quote another passage because I can’t write it any better. Here it is: “. . . We must admit there will be music despite everything.” Or as Pablo Neruda wrote,

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.
…it opens for me all
the doors of life.

And this, “The more you defy your innate negativity bias, building from your strengths, finding relief, and embracing delight wherever you can, the more you become a walking cyclone of peace. The repercussions of one person living in stubborn acceptance of gladness are incalculably positive. Become that person, and you’ll find that in spite of everything, there is music. . . .”

Read the entire article (don’t skip, “the so-called 90-second rule”) in the September 2011 issue of O The Oprah Magazine, and then test out those rose-colored glasses

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“To enter the Spiritual World, in imagination put on rose-colored glasses, and through them you will be able to expand your thought of beauty into fuller expression, by seeing everything in the color and hue of perfection. Then you are seeing in the light of beauty, with Spiritual vision.” – Frances Wilshire

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