Seeing from Both Sides 


This week, we finally finished a project that’s been on our workbench for years—a cross. With Easter approaching, we put in a big effort to complete it. Specifically, it’s a crucifix with a ‘Risen Lord’ figure on the second side. This illustrates Jesus’ love for us when he died on Good Friday and his overcoming death when he rose on Easter Sunday.

Completing this project sparked a conversation about “seeing the two sides” in life, beyond just our own viewpoint. During our routine walks, we often ponder which direction to take, recognising that each way offers a different perspective. It’s like experiencing different walks, reminding us of the value in seeing things from various angles.

Similarly, in relationships, understanding others’, and particularly our partner’s, perspective is crucial. In our vows, we promised to love and cherish each other, which starts with genuine listening and understanding. One of the super-learning points we took from Brendan Thompson in a presentation by Catholic Voices, was about ‘reframing’. That is about emphasising the importance of seeing life through different lenses, different windows or ‘frames’ of life. When irritation arises, reframing helps us to remember our love for our partner and to try viewing things from their viewpoint.

Paul says “personally, I find it easiest to overcome irritation when I intentionally remind myself of my love for Annette. Seeing her amazing perspective was what initially attracted me to her. Now, why wouldn’t I try to see things from her viewpoint before letting my irritation take over?” Plus, sticking to my own perspective won’t look good if I appear like a ‘sour puss’, to borrow Pope Francis’ words.

As we enjoy the Easter sunshine, the spring blossom, the warmer April, and we meet others, let’s radiate our joy. It might inspire them to ask about our perspective, our hope, and our joy.

Paul (and Annette) O’Beirne

Equipes Notre-Dame – Teams of Our Lady

Catholic Voices is worth looking at:

Here’s the crucifix with both sides that inspired this reflection: