Hitting the Blind Spot

Imagine being on your deathbed and suddenly the light goes on.  Your blind spot shines before you.  With clarity and defined detail, you see the dirt-devil you’ve been avoiding your whole life.

“Is that all it was?  Is that what I kept tripping over?  THIS prevented me from being who I wanted to be?”

With that thought, I’ve given permission to each mentor, spiritual director, and life teacher, “Please point out my blind spot when I’m tripping over one.”

Not one of those sages have stepped up to the plate.  No mystical voice has said, “Oh, here’s what causes you to fall on your scabby nose, Amy!”

Oh the temptation to be delusional, “Am I seeing my blind spots?  Maybe I’ve been managing them all along!”  Delusions are dangerously comforting.  They allow blips to grow into blimps.  The added “m” stands for “misconception”.

Self-esteem houses the courage needed to look at that mirror, to be willing to reposition and re-view the angles.  What if there’s a monster in there?   If there is one, it’s been fully functional without your management.  The fear of adjusting that mirror?  Usually it’s loss of control.  Good…that kind of control likely needs to be dumped.  The benefit of adjusting that mirror?  Gain a new form of management that leads to healthier living.

Want to look for your bind spots?

  • Pick one area of life that continuously puts a knot in your stomach.  Think of times when a resentment rises quickly and easily.
  • Check your intuition.  Our souls know the cause.  Have the courage to look at the habit or belief system causing the stumble and decide what you need to change.
  • Test your hunch.  Put the change into practice.  Respond differently to old button-pushing events.  Observe the changes in you AND others.
  • Assess your success.  What differences did you experience?  What feelings arose?
  • Keep the Adjustment in place.  Assimilate your new approach into your life.  Make it such a habit that it becomes a trusted response.
  • Check the adjustment.  When knots begin forming again, either the positioning has been shaken out of alignment or you’ve discovered a new blind spot.

Of course my mentors would not define my blind spots.  They wisely gave only direction.  Direction came when I asked the right questions.  Even then, they occasionally only answered with a question.  They let me fall, bump, scrape and rage.  Thankfully, those “hoarders of honesty” were not fixers.  They encouraged me to adjust the angles of my mirrors. My memory is 100% reliable when I have to get into action and adjust the mirror myself.

Not only are the angles and degrees of adjustment mine, I know I can manage the mirror.  You can, too.

We can actually come to love our blind spots as much as our gifts.

I suspect they become our gift.

What's here that I don't see?

What’s here that I don’t see?

(If you’re interested, I’ve adjusted the rear-view mirrors in my car so that blind spots are effortlessly available to me while driving.  The LINK IS HERE.)

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38 thoughts on “Hitting the Blind Spot

  1. I’ve got so many blind spots, I wonder sometimes if I see anything at all. One thing I have learned–and this was difficult to swallow–is that look for the quality or behavior I find most annoying in another and that is the very same thing that I possess and must work on myself. Others around me are my front-view and rear-view mirror.

    • Yes, Lorna…the lumpy adage about “You spot it; you got it” As you have discovered, it is a trusty flag. Sometimes I have to wallow in a bit of self-righteousness before I’m willing to remember!

      I really do believe that these blind spots are gifts. Otherwise, since life is opposites, I’d only want to focus on the good stuff. The dark side would be bursting at the seams. (I remember being ticked that Scott Peck would dare write a whole book about the dark side! 😀 )

  2. I really like the way this is presented….I wonder sometimes if they’re blind spots or things we just refuse to see…the elephant in the room…in any case…a fine post.

    • Sometimes when I really want to break through denial, the blind spot persists. I want to see something, but don’t – which means an adjustment on my part to finally GET IT. It’s a bonus when time revs up my visual acuity. I like to avoid the “paralysis of analysis”.

    • Because of the depth with which you write, SuziCate, I’m not at all surprised you are adjusting mirrors. I’ve always respected your willingness to take a good look at yourself.

  3. Well…..heck. I’ve had folks in my path who were more than willing to call it on me. I THINK I must have a different ego system at work. LOL. Of course I do….cuz I’m “special” *gak!!* Seriously. My experience was the direct polar opposite of yours. While none of the WPIML fixed sick ’em for me, they weren’t short on instructions or educating me on a different way of doing things. I had plenty of blind spots but no means of doing the self introspect. Bit busy trying to control others and the world cuz I knew better than….well, everyone! Including G-d. I didn’t get educated early in life…maybe it’s not my fault? LOL. Worth a try! 😉
    Yes, well…, today things look different. I’ve managed to shush up long enough to learn a few things. (I like your pointers!) And I’ve done a whole lot of mirror adjustings…no doubt more are required, seems that’s something I get to do as I go along my merry way. But I still rely on those people around me to call it and shove me in the direction of some very basic things that seemingly fall out of my brain. I’m soooo much better at being willing to do the adjusting. But boy…I need those people around me that will point and yell ” Dirt Devil!!!!” still.
    Like you, I gave them permission long ago. Unlike you, the boogers took me up on it! LOL. Thank goodness, eh?! 😉
    And interestingly enough I followed the link….and broke up laughing. ZACKLY the way WPIML taught me to do it!

    • Well, Mel, if my mom was still alive, I’d be able to get some honest feedback delivered in a package so tactful that I’d believe I thought it up myself! She spoiled me, perhaps.

      One thing I appreciated about marriage was the opportunity to have edges sanded with friction and love in everyday life. Benedictine Monks taught me the word “thlipsis” which is Greek I believe – their word for that state of sanding the edges. Knowing about it helped me accept the process.

      In retirement, I have had to find new ways for a lot of things – and certainly for reading responses from others. Work place responses are gone. Now that I have time, responses sound, feel and arrive so differently that I find it confusing. My well-tested and familiar standards for reading people are either unavailable or unreliable. Consequently I, too, respond differently and confuse family and friends.

      I use the people around me to gain “readings” as well, Mel, but there are times when I question my ability to read others. I’ve had spiritual people dealing in truth for many years that I feel a bit handicapped when dealing with the masking that goes on in the world. At times, I’m not sure I can recognize the difference between charm and truth. My Sufi training would say it doesn’t matter…learn to not need anyone’s input, positive or negative. However, I still have to wear the world – even if I never get the hang of it being a loose garment.

      As you can see, I’m in the throes of adjusting my mirrors. (No wonder I felt so satisfied doing the car mirrors! 🙂 )

      For all things there is a season. However, this older age season comes with surprising differences. Invisibility is not only mental, emotional, spiritual and physical; it’s the sum of them – loaded with several layers and degrees.

      Thank the Universe for my community involvements! Be they ever so humbling. They are the outlet I need to express myself in person!

      By the way…have you got an Allen wrench that works on soul mirrors?? 😀 Nice to be able to spout. Thanks for listening, dear woman!

      • I think I might have enjoyed having a mom like yours. Truth is I’m SILL available for adoption purposes. LOL. I have no takers at this point and I’m choosing to not personalize that! 😉
        I do think I’m graced to have a network or two around me that aren’t tied to my employer….I’ve not joined the retirement world yet…but it’s gonna come..LOL….someday!

        I think it’s difficult, as human beings, to gleen truth from whats warm and charming…who doesn’t like warm and charming! Ummm…..me?! LOL. I always go for the crankiest, most unapproachable one in the crowd. I adore the challenge. I also know how that works by my own life. More often than not…they end up finding me now. We attract that, for reasons, I’m sure. I only know what’s worked for me. And when I see myself getting put in circumstances similar to ones I’ve had to walk through myself, I count myself graced and know it’s an opportunity. Mine is to stay willing to be of service and love others. In that, many things get revealed….including blind spots. Amazing how that works, eh? I’ll take it any way it’s gifted to me…reveal it or shout ” Dirt Devil!!!!”….LOL
        ‘m greedy like that.
        😉
        ((((((((Amy))))))

  4. The knot in my stomach is my rear vision mirror! When I feel it, I know there’s something to work on… and I groan… it never seems to come to an end! there’s always more to learn and more challenges…inner work is hard work, and then it’s gone!

    • A reliable knot, no doubt, Valerie! I’m the same. When I feel disgruntled about people, places, or things, I know it’s time for me to get honest and see what I have to do. If someone has been blatantly obnoxious, it’s still up to me to adjust – like removing myself or speaking up. At times I’d love the luxury of blaming! I really love those times when I can genuinely shrug my shoulders and say, “It is what it is.” Unfortunately my strong sense of justice usually wants to kick in.

      I sense people avoiding me at times and wonder why. I asked my Guides. They told me it’s not me they’re avoiding – it’s the truth I speak. Oh dear. Now what do I do?!!

      • That’s a tough one Amy… I remember Jesus said “The truth will set you free”, but maybe he forget to add, and it will make you angry first!

        I know what you mean about the luxury of blaming … and not taking responsibility, or maybe, just resisting!

        It was an eye-opener to me when I realised that even complaining that all the traffic lights were red, was resisting !!!!

        Never a dull moment, eh?

  5. Love this post Amy. Yes, we need to identify the “blind spots” and your perspective of looking for what brings up the stomach Knots is a great one.But to release our attachment to the spot, we would need to inquire into the veracity of the underlying thoughts ( or shall we call them beliefs?). But we have been attaching to this thought for years and i suspect breaking free is going to be mighty tough. So we need to meet our thoughts with a lot of compassion and love. That would be the way to be able to confront them without fear of judgement. And this is where the power of inquiry comes in which could help us to achieve the desired turnaround.

    Blessings

    Shakti

    • As usual, Shakti, you bring a welcome, wise and valid adjunct to the table. Many thanks – it’s important to address the need for compassion and love as we face and weigh our belief systems.

      As one wise person wrote, about world conflicts, no country claims to be the attacker. Each country feels it’s defending its belief systems. We do not ask nations to review belief systems so as to discard, update or amend. We just keep fighting to make sure no one steps on ours. We all do it and to what end?

      On a personal level, these knots remind us of the presence of these beliefs that contribute both effectively and ineffectively. As you mentioned, breaking free is mighty tough. However, the longest journey is acknowledging their existence and their power over us.

      These touchy little spots can even determine our health!

      Blessings to you, as well, Shakti.

  6. what a great post, not to mention great link for adjusting rear view mirrors. I don’t know if it’s a blind spot for me, but what I struggle with the most is other people wanting things their way instead of mine. I’m really good at accommodating others, and not so good and having things the way that works best for me.

    • Oh Joss…I don’t know how you do that. I have to live in an environment of working out lots of win-win. Sure, there are compromises, but if it’s consistently expected of me, I’ll get off-kilter if we don’t work something out. So I hope you know your way deserves air time, too. Here I am being one of your cheer squad…!

      • a wondrous member of my cheer squad indeed. I think this was seriously highlighted for me the last couple of weeks during a visit from a friend which was highly stressful. Someone who needed/wanted things revolving around her and I kept the peace, or tried to. And now I’m left totally wiped out. I can’t have discord around me and I figure if you’re in my home, then it behooves you to be courteous to me and mine and helpful too. Sometimes friendships move on and we find out we have little left in common. That’s painful to realize. Off kilter is how I feel as a result of this two week visit. Anyway, needs to be sorted out and not dumped on others. Blessings to you, dear one, today and always.

        • When my husband and I first came to this island, we suddenly had “friends” we barely knew who just happened to have tons of spare vacation time. We had to learn very quickly how to nicely say “no” or to set firm boundaries. Otherwise, since this is viewed as a marvellous vacation spot, we would have been running a resort home for all and sundry. Some newcomers go through agony until they finally learn the same lesson! One wise ol’ farm lady used to say each spring, “Well, it’s comin’ up time for the summer complaints.”

          A two week visit is a very big deal, Joss. I’m amazed at people who plan a stay at someone else’s home to have a vacation. A visit, yes, but if “not helping” and “being entertained” is the goal, there’s plenty of hotels who’ll gladly take their money and do everything for them.

          I had a disappointment over two city women who wanted to visit for a number of days. I really liked both of them and, though I knew it would be hard to have guests during the rainy season for more than a few days, I looked sooooo forward to a visit. To be clear since I’m not a mom or a caterer and I live “partnering”, I told them they were welcome with two conditions: Think “comfortable camping” (they’re both city folk so wouldn’t think of going out and bringing in an armful of wood. Or putting on a sweater if feeling chilly.) and second, don’t expect me to be the cook – after the arrival meal. Neither offered to cook a meal and it seemed I was expected to provide the food. Being a health-focussed single, I eat simply – only fresh veggies, no processed food and no junk food. Other than chicken, I haven’t cooked any other form of meat for years. I’m very allergic to shellfish and prawns so stay away from seafood. Since there was no offer to buy whatever kind of groceries they’d like, we went out a lot. They left and have never contacted me again! All communication from them STOPPED. What does that say?

          I don’t have a friend who doesn’t have a hard time with company. The people who are most comfortable with visitors are the ones whose lives are so casual there’s a constant stream of people through their homes and who ask their guests what they plan to cook! 😀

  7. Ah, this is tricky! Just when I think I’ve been brave and looked at the things I need to change, and done the hard work…something shifts, and I have more changes to make! Maybe it’s a variation on the reality that we’re never quite finished with working on ourselves! Not that I expect to reach perfection, but it does seem that I often find myself re-learning the same lessons. Sometimes they come in slightly different packages, but sooner or later, I can recognize a similar theme. At least that’s the way my blind spots work! Thanks for the reminder to face the challenges! ~ Sheila

    • A couple of issues continuously shift change for me, too, Sheila. They have been here my whole life and I keep trying to find their centre so I can pounce on it. A friend, who happens to be a psychiatrist, mentioned something that really helped. She said these may be issues from past lives. No matter what we try to figure out within this lifetime, the “nub” is not here. So in doing past life regressions, I gained insights that finally clarifies one of the issues, but I now have to change my beliefs and attitude about it. That throws off relationships with people who are close to me – subtlety, but I certainly feel it.

      It would not be surprising if we discover that these pesky little dirt devils are the catalysts we can use to know who we really are. That seems to be one of the major jobs in this life so we can live from our hearts. Therein lies that prolonged journey from the head to the heart.

      Who knew we’d be sharing the journey in the blogosphere!

  8. Thanks Amy, I will be adjusting my mirrors this day. That was a really helpful video. As for this self of mine, I have realized that my personal mirrors need adjusting just recently, as one of my nephews asked could he stay with me till May and I said yes. It’s a long story but interesting what I am learning about me.

    • It’s frightening how quickly we learn to live on our own without the habits, practices and routines of others… I wonder how one can regain the resilience of youth during times when friction seems to exist too frequently. It’s hard to imagine you’ll miss him in May!

  9. For me, it’s useful to confront my strengths. Each one of them has two sides and often I find that the blind spot is on the other side of that where I feel strong.

    • Great concept, Tammy – one that can be easily overlooked. When I worked with The Virtues Project, this came to light. Amazing that too much of a virtue can become a blindspot of “irkdom”, but it sure can. I find myself curtailing enthusiasm on occasion…it’s a genuine response, but some find it hard to accept as authentic.

  10. Never looked at it quite this way before. I like the perspective. One thing I have learned as mentioned a time or two in the comments is when something in someone bothers me I must have that same irritation. I like your description “hoarders of honesty.” I’m not one of them. I’m too blunt sometimes (with people I know well) for my own good. I have to admit I wish people were that way with me, but they rarely are. Respond differently to button-pushing.. I try very hard to remember that.. takes a lot of effort.. it’ll be worth it when that becomes a habit. I finally found your rss feed and signed up. Every time I come to Write on Edge I think about it – well I’ve finally done it! Cheers, Amy

    • After I read your blog, I tried to figure out how to have you pop up in my Reader so I can “Follow” without having emails or RSS Feeds. Don’t know yet if I can do it.

      Great comment, Steph. I have some empathy because I’ve worked on “tact” forever. I find fluff insufferable especially when it’s more about manipulation than reality. However, when I give a comment or compliment, I often use the language of the Virtues Project. (I worked for the Project and loved every minute of it.) I see people looking uncomfortable – like they may be thinking they can’t live up to what I’m saying. The virtues project taught me that it doesn’t matter if the person holds 2% or 82% of the virtue, let the person know I see it.

      Because I sense discomfort after I’ve given positive feedback, I had a talk with my Guides. I asked if people pull away because I speak my truth. The guides said that others aren’t shying away from me, it’s the truth that makes them uncomfortable. And I was encouraged to continue…they can get over it. 😀

      I too appreciate friends and loved ones who give me the truth. It may sting intially, but it’s a gift – as long as they are a trustworthy source!

    • Aw – many thanks, Lidi! This means a lot coming from such a cosmopolitan and talented human being as you! I’ve been honoured with my fair share of awards. Therefore, a while ago I decided it would be a good idea if the kind-hearted, award-giving bloggers would find a new blog that needed the fabulous encouragement that comes with these awards. Thus, I wonder if you have a new subscriber who you could pass this on to in my place. Just mention that the request comes from me and I’ll feel doubly blessed.

      As you know, I thoroughly enjoy your blog too. I love your artistic eye, soul and capture.

  11. Great post, Amy.
    I often speak with clients about “themes” – call them “life themes.” Those little adversarial layers of onion after onion that we keep trying to peel away, to no avail. Best to learn from them, because the alternatives may be far worse. “I hate my job” (for job after job after new job) may be a far better nemesis than losing your children. You get my drift.

    • I believe I do understand, Bela. I haven’t been too willing to “settle”. I want to face stuff flashing through the blind spot and make a decision about it. Sometimes the decision is no action. I’m not sure if the fiascoes caused by “not settling” helped win the peace I possess or if I was hit with an “attitude adjustment” while shivering in the trenches. As I get older and more accepting of who I am, my gauge for action lies more in the consequences. If I’m

        legitimately

      not hurting others or me, does it really matter?

      • I can’t answer that, but I CAN say that I agree on having far more peace as I get older, thank the gods. It’s what I’ve written about my past 2 posts, in fact. Glad you’re experiencing the same thing.

    • I think we do spend a lifetime adjusting if we care about giving back to life. I count every realignment a victory, Johanna, even though I know it may need realigning yet again down the road.

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