This morning I was grooming my hanging petunia baskets and noticed that some of the blossoms were half gone or missing parts. As I looked closer, I saw definite signs of a caterpillar, but I couldn’t find it. I scoured the plant as I continued removing dried leaves and spent flowers, but saw no worm. I turned to begin tidying another petunia plant and immediately saw a green caterpillar clinging to one of the stems of this next plant. I saw it clearly because I was farther back from the plant and had a different view from the one I had been scrutinizing. I removed the green offender and then turned back to the previous plant. I stepped back and examined from a distance. Unbelievable . . . I found two caterpillars out in the open, not hidden, not under the foliage, but right where I could pick them off and do away with them easily.
Of course, I started to think how little I see when I am in the midst of some personal issue or problem or a difficult relationship. I experience all the offending signs that something is wrong but am incapable of removing my highly charged emotions from the situation. The only remedy for this is to get a new perspective. I must step out of the situation, put some distance between myself and the offending problem, and look at it from a different position. For me to be able to do this, I must be reflective. Instead of scrutinizing the issue, I scrutinize myself. I ask myself a new set of questions like “Whoa, what is it about this that is causing my blood to bubble?” and “Where do I feel that boiling in my body?” and “What is so important to me that I am out of control emotionally?” and “What in my thinking needs to change here?” and others relevant to whatever my condition happens to be at the time. These and other questions seem to help get the new perspective that I need when I am unable to see the worm for the petunia.