Blind Spots

Posted on August 24, 2011


I recently went looking for a used car to replace my already excessively used car.  I checked out several vehicles before finding one that I really liked visually from the outside.  It was a 2004 Lexus Rx330 (Side note: the only Lexus I could afford is a seven-year old one).  Even though it was a bit dated, it had many of the fine accoutrements associated with Lexus.  My joy diminished the moment I sat in the driver seat and checked the mirror for visibility.  I noticed my rear view visibility was extremely limited and the rear supports pillars seemed excessively wide.  I opted not to purchase the vehicle, as visibility is crucial when on the road.

Trees of Mystery

Majestic Redwoods

It started me thinking about blind spots, not just those in cars, but blind spots that we carry throughout our life.  We all have blind spots.  They are situation or issues where we are either too close emotionally to fairly evaluate or we’ve become too invested in our current position on the subject to see it objectively.  We make some assessment and then write it off as done, refusing to reexamine or reconsider our view on the subject.  Most people seem blissfully content to remain in this state because we do not like changing our previously written off positions; mainly because many of us see doing that as an admission of wrong; we take it as a personal loss and our egos cannot accept that.  We therefore choose to stubbornly cling to outdated notions, refusing to reevaluate them against new evidences.  While this may make us feel strong and confident (not to mention a bit arrogant and intolerant), we are really blinded by our own desire to be right.

Part of the solution is having patient, loving and wise people in our lives willing and close enough to us, to point out our blind spots.  This reinforces this nagging and growing sense I have that for us to be truly emotionally healthy, we need to acknowledge (and be open to) our dependency upon others.  Here comes the challenging part.  Our lone wolf (nod to Leonard Kosnowski) lifestyle, especially us men, works against us from developing the type of close relationships required which empowers others to be willing and able to speak into our lives and for us to be open to receiving from them.

We need each other’s involvement or better yet, investment in our lives.  A general willingness to engage us in a conversation lasting more than a few minutes and dealing honestly with issues more personal than how the latest Harry Potter movie compared to the book.  Who is willing to engage us long enough to draw knowledge and awareness out of us and challenge us to see something in a brand new way or better yet, cause us to question previously held assumptions?

It is therefore in the enemy’s (feel free to interpret this term as any being that is invested in keeping us ignorant and apathetic) best interest to keep us isolated physically, emotionally and spiritually.  It’s even possible to be in a crowd on a regular basis (family, school, sports,  church, etc.) and still remain emotionally distant and isolated.  Why is that?  Is it just that we are afraid of being fully known?  Perhaps we also fear fully knowing someone else, as once we become aware of their suffering, wounds and pain, we become accountable for what we do or don’t do to help them.  In the end, it seems much safer to keep folks an arm’s length away. After all, we often sacrifice intimacy with others and opt for safety; looking good in front of others and seemingly having it all together – though inside, we may be dying. Therefore, we effectively handicap ourselves and our ability to grow.

Point goes to the enemy.