I am still learning to love the parts of me that no one claps for.
I was listening to myself speak lately and I realised that I was carrying a lot of unspoken stress. The emotions that I felt caught me completely off guard and I wondered why I allowed my environment to silence my inner voice.
I want to feel that I am living the best life possible.
I want to think that I am comfortable with my choices and that they are intentional.
I want to believe that I learned from previous mistakes and experiences.
I want people to experience me as a free spirit with an eclectic view on life.
I am so comfortable inside my own identity that I did not give appropriate attention to the blind spots in my life.
Blind spot: an area where a person’s view is obstructed.
“the rear view mirror eliminates blind spots on both sides of the car.”
I had to take a few steps back and re-examine my life … again …
Did I turn a blind eye to some things? Did I ignore something and pretend not to see it? What could have influenced me to be less attentive to my attitude and environment?
I searched within myself and realised that it is easy to manipulate my daily decisions to suit my own needs. I mean really, why rock the boat? I figured out that I was able to filter information to confirm the values that I treasured most. I could create a bubble where I felt safe because I did not challenge the status quo, a safe space where I could consciously, or unconsciously build my own sense of self-worth by manipulating events so that they would be compatible with my own value system.
The problem with this way of living is that perceptions shrink. We think we are safe in the bubble, but we actually put ourselves in danger by becoming powerless. Everyone favours themselves and dissolves into the abyss of the anonymous.
Why did I experience the frustration?
Because a group mentality doesn’t really offer fertile ground for creativity.
We make ourselves powerless when we pretend we don’t know.
I pondered on the influence of power. Would I turn a wilful blind eye if I fear someone who has authority over me? Would I really speak out if I feel uncomfortable with something, or would I suppress my turmoil to ensure that I do not disturb the equilibrium?
The fact is, if I turn a wilful blind eye, I deliberately choose to ignore information.
My introspection took me into a space where I had to admit that I tried to rationalize the things that did not make sense.
I chose to soothe my conscience by fabricating reasons why I could still function in a situation where I hoped that the choices of others would not influence my direct sphere of influence.
I could finally identify my discomfort, and I was set free.
I did not have to wilfully turn a blind eye.
I could do the right thing, even if it was only for me.
If there is knowledge that you could have had, should have had but chose not to have, you are still responsible.
I am responsible for my own moral and ethical landscape. When I turn a blind eye I limit my thinking; it influences my family life and my working environment; it distorts my relationships; it grows into me turning a blind eye to moral and ethical mishaps; it becomes difficult to recognise a conflict of interest; uncertainty brings with it hesitance to make the right choices; it forces me to disengage.
Yet the question remains, why would I do this? Why would I ignore the promptings of my heart?
Yes, I want to be perceived as a free spirit, but I am completely bound by the Spirit of God. I am free in Christ, but I am bound to His will.
It is uncomfortable to confront myself. It is scary to examine the content of my heart. Nevertheless, I want to do it. Continuously.
I want to experience joy and hope.
I want to be brave through the Holy Spirit.
Take a common sense stand in a way that the world can see, understand and participate.
I do not know what you are facing. We are constantly bombarded by news of gender inequality, discrimination and abuse. You might be working in a toxic environment where your voice became silent a long time ago. However, I want to encourage you to search for your blind spots. Even if you have to open yourself up to hear how others perceive you.
Examine your environment and ask the hard questions. Why would people nurture their blind spots?
They might be so blinded by denial that they become aversive to change. We must have the intention to open our minds so that we can receive input from others. We have to be willing to act on good ideas that someone else brings to the table.
They might be blinded by disobedience, where they know about the facts but wilfully choose to ignore them.
Keep me from lying to myself.
(Psalm 119:29 NLT)
Freedom comes when we speak the truth. Even if our voices shake.
You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
(John 8:32 NIV)
They might be blinded by their own selfish entitlement. When we function from a space of humility we get to a place where we can appreciate diversity. We can serve each other better. We can serve God better.
The worst thing that can happen if you are the victim of someone else’s blind spots is that you can detach yourself from the situation. It is easy to operate on your own but the isolation robs you of the opportunity to live out your God given purpose. We experience intimacy through our relationships. We are comforted and supported by our communities.
Anyone who loves another brother or sister is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. (1 John 2:10 NIV)
If I detach myself from a situation, I open myself up to bitterness that can lead to resentment. Scripture offers us a promise where we can find rest for our souls.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
We are constantly growing.
We are constantly changing.
We are yearning for freedom in the Spirit!
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalm 139:23-24, MEV)
My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding; yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.
(Proverbs 2:1-6, MEV)
When the truth is revealed, a blind spot becomes a weak spot. If I am aware of my weak spots, I regain the power to work on them. I am no longer governed by unconscious behaviour.
I am no longer powerless.
I no longer live in desperate defeat.
I am not immobilized by my own mistakes, nor the mistakes of others.
I am a free spirit!