What do I not see?
Willful blindness is an idea with which I’m quite taken. Our tendency to ignore what’s right in front of us because it would inconvenience us, or in some cases hurt too bad to acknowledge, is an undeniably all too human trait. We do it with situations, relationships, or anything that we don’t want to admit isn’t what we want it to be.
We’re friends with those who we think reflect what we consider our best selves back to us. We like to hang out with people who make us feel good, not bad. And that makes sense. Almost no one likes to feel less than wonderful about how they’re doing, but having a critical eye applied, or applying a critical eye toward oneself is not always a bad thing. Getting feedback is how we learn. I’ve looked back on different stages of my life and wondered why no one took me aside and asked me what the hell I was doing. There are several things I wish someone had called me to the carpet for.
Today I wonder what I’m ignoring about myself, and of what I need to take inventory.
I’m a highly critical person. And the criticism starts with my inner voice, which it is often unloving at best. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have blind spots, and plenty of them. It’s ironic that my critical nature doesn’t allow me to be critical of my critical nature, isn’t it? Truth is, I need to be.
Though it comes in handy doing the work that I do, it is a blessing and a curse — I often feel like I see and hear nothing but what is wrong. And I’m afraid I’m not shy about letting everyone know it. That saying about how you see the world is how you see yourself? True, I’m afraid. Seems I feel like myself is a bit of a mess most days. Though I sometimes feel the world is the most exciting and perfect and incredible place, I spend too many mornings hurriedly sweeping the patio clear of the mess the birds made getting their food out of their feeder than being mesmerized that they come to it just because we put it out there for them. There is no “bless this mess” cross-stitch hanging in my kitchen.
I’d love to see the world and everyone and everything in it as perfectly imperfect. But I don’t want to cover my eyes when it comes to myself. Maybe my search for lovingkindness, which I know has to start within, requires that I take a clear look, that inventory I talked about earlier, and admit that I am not always what I want to be. And that makes me wonder — is there such a thing as willful forgiveness?
Happy Wednesday, Y’all.