Years ago, when Susie’s car was new, she merged into traffic on a busy interstate highway and almost ran another car off the road because she wasn’t aware of the car’s blind spot. She learned pretty quickly where the blind spot was and that she had to physically turn around and look at what was coming instead of relying on her mirrors.
This is true of our relationships and lives.
We all have blind spots. These are places we can’t see that are tearing down trust and keeping us from connecting with others… And making life more difficult than it has to be. Most of the time we aren’t even aware we’re doing whatever it is we’re doing. These coping mechanisms are learned somewhere in your past with the unconscious idea that it will keep you safe. Maybe the pattern was necessary in the past and did keep you safe but now…
It holds you back from the love you really want. Our blind spots appear in various ways but here are a few examples… *Being controlling–attempting to change others the way you want them to be so you’re ok *Being passive and uninvolved–walling off intimacy–hiding away in work, a hobby, tv, sports, Facebook and being “busy” *Being codependent–saying and doing what you think will make someone else happy so you get the love you want *Not being willing to admit to a mistake, that you may not be right or your view may not be the only way to look at it *Constant criticism–of others or of yourself
How do you recognize these blind spots? Here are 3 ways to begin to see something new…
1. What criticism have you received in the past? While we’re not in any way suggesting you take all criticism to heart, especially from someone who is constantly putting you down… We are saying that from a non-blame, neutral space to run back through what you resisted believing about yourself. Within that “movie,” you might see a kernel of truth.
Early in our relationship, when Susie realized she had been telling Otto something like this…
“You need to ______________” She was coming off as a know-it-all, controller. And because his blind spot had been passive behavior in his previous marriage and he was determined to change it in ours… He angrily called it to her attention that this wasn’t a request but rather a demand. Wow–it opened her eyes to one of her blind spots that’s for sure and she saw how she could change how she communicated so we could keep our connection strong.
2. What have you been denying and resisting?
Our blind spots live in denial and resistance.
A clue to what you’re not seeing clearly is to see what you’re resisting believing that’s right in front of your eyes. One woman we spoke to didn’t want to believe that the man she’d been dating for 10 years didn’t want to get married. She kept hoping that he would come to his senses and change his mind even though he’d told her where he stood about marriage when they first started dating. Hope is good except when reality says something different–over and over again.
3. What is it you truly want?
When you get underneath blaming someone else for not changing or being who you think they should be… When you get quiet inside, begin to recognize your patterns that keep love away… You’ll see what it is that you truly want in life. You’ll see through your blind spots to the truth of who you are without the stories. You’ll see you’ve been guided even though you didn’t know it at the time. When you pay attention and allow yourself to see some new possibilities as a result of being able to SEE what you couldn’t see before… Life and your relationships just keep getting better.