It can be daunting to think about how someone else views the things that I do, especially when I am not aware of their comments. Good or bad, I imagine that I should know everything there is to know about me. The truth, is I do not. There are some things about me, be it personality or mannerisms that occur in my behavior without me being conscious of them. It’s uncomfortable at times to realize that I may need to work on things that have been familiar to my identity for years. Hearing about my 1 blind spot is probably the biggest emotional and spiritual challenge I have had to face thus far.
I asked one of my very close friends to tell share what she thought of me – the things about me that I did not realize I was doing. I asked her, because I trust her judgment. Not only has she seen my transitions over the years, but she has been a spiritual counsel through challenging relationships and life decisions. In discussing my blind spots, she first revealed that I was overly sensitive – reacting aggressively; I am more emotional than tough. She recalled moments in conversation when I would state that I was “over” a stressful situation when in fact I never emotionally dealt with it or got over the frustrations. I was now feeling fragile and embarrassed, but I knew this process could only help me.
She then proceeded to say that my actions sometimes suggested that I do not value myself – I do not defend myself or stand up for what I want out of my relationships. She gave examples of me not fighting for what I deserved and how I allowed people in my life to inadvertently make decisions for me. She felt that I used my physical up-keep to over compensate for this weakness – using my outer appearance as a disguise for security. My excuse was simply that if I looked the part, I would feel better about myself.
The last and most shocking disclosure was that I was inconsiderate. Not in the sense that I did not do good things for others, but that I was not mindful of peoples’ feelings at times. Apparently, I would find ways to redirect a conversation back to me instead of comfortably tending to another person’s feelings. I never thought about how self-centered I was being by taking away from the attention placed on someone else.
After hearing such revelations, I could only agree with everything that she said. I actually started to relive some of those moments in my mind. I became so aware of the moments I over reacted, did not fight for what I wanted, or was inconsiderate of someone else’s feelings. Shortly after that conversation I went into prayer. I needed forgiveness and I was sad that I did not “see” myself. I wept and meditated, asking for God to relieve my thoughts of insufficiency. It was then that I realized insecurity was my “thorn”, an emotional and spiritually draining reminder to look inward. I had not been dealing with the truth and I certainly had past hurts that kept me from being humble.
Even more, I realized how important it was to monitor and regulate my emotions because they preceded my behavior. I trusted that if I earnestly prayed for self-love, the compassion of God would recover the wounds in my heart and mind. Maybe I would not be immediately free of past hurts, but I would choose not to let them frustrate my spirit any longer.
Through this experience, God showed my 2 unknown area - the acknowledgement that I have struggled with just loving myself. Even though I was nervous to hear what I thought I already knew about myself, I learned that hurt not dealt with in my 3 hidden area can lead to emotional imbalance that is apparent to everyone. With forgiveness, that for myself mostly, I can reclaim my life and choose to be content. I am flawed, but I believe that this experience will help me to support the healing of someone just like me. It is through this process that my truths can flow freely to the 4 open area – a place where I will always be helped and supported.
Essay concepts inspired by a Johari Window communication activity.
1 Blind Spot – things unknown to you, but known by others
2 Unknown Area – things unknown by both you and others
3 Hidden Area – things known to you, but not by others
4 Open Area – things known by both you and others
*Photo provided by www.beyondblackandwhite.com