Fiction vs. Reality: We See the World Not as It Is, But as We Are

Jul 17, 2023

Do you ever have moments that force you to re-think how you see the world? Moments that challenge your attitudes, perceptions, and very way you think. 

I do. And they kind of suck.

They're hard because it usually takes something painful to shake me out of my reasonings and justifications for how I see and act. (Or react) 

I think that sometimes God, or the universe or whatever you want to call it, gives us this proverbial flash of lightening that illuminates something right at the edge of our peripheral vision. And when that happens, we kind of jump and go "What was that?" 

But usually the moment passes, and we can get back to viewing the world through our own  lenses.

But because we all have perceptions, experiences, and frameworks through which we filter the world, inevitably "life happens." Our "reality" is challenged, and we are pushed to see things that have been hidden to us before. Not because they were truly hidden, but because our perceptions, agendas, and sadly to often our ego and pride, keep them hidden.  

These experiences are disconcerting, even painful.

What if I don't have it right?

What if I'm actually kind of wrong?

What if I'm totally wrong!




I'd rather keep my comfortable lenses that filter out the harsh lighting and continue to see "through a glass darkly.

Of course, we don't say it like that. We don't see it like that. We can't. It's a blind spot. That's the definition of a blind spot. Something we don't see correctly/clearly.


When we get glimpses at the edge of our understanding, we have two choices.

1. Do our best to ignore it. 


2. Choose to get uncomfortable and try your best to move toward it. 


The first option is easy. It takes minimal effort. The problem never really goes away, but trying to ignore it IS an option. 

The second option is hard. It takes getting uncomfortable. And it absolutely takes more work. But it also makes us more capable of change. More able to understand ourselves and others. Gives us more ability to act, and not be acted upon. It will also bring us more freedom, and more peace.


It's hard at first to move toward something we can barely see, let alone understand fully. But if we earnestly persist, eventually it starts to come into focus.

At first, it's still at the edges. You don't have a full picture, but if you crane your neck, you can tell it's there. 

Keep going and it starts to come around into your view a little better. It's still pretty far to the side, and pretty easy to ignore when you're feeling tired, stressed, or hurt, but when you can calm down and focus again, it'll be ready to be picked up and examine more closely.

Eventually, if you keep at it, it'll be something you can look at head on. Keep going and you'll even be able to focus in on different aspects of it. Be able to examine it from different angles. But it takes a lot of effort, and usually a lot of time going back again and again to examine it from a new perspective. 


I have an area in my life that I want SO BAD to see differently. It's something that has caused myself and those I love, too much hurt.

For many years it was hidden to me, and I blamed everyone and everything (except myself) for "the way things were." (I couldn't see it like that obviously, or even admit that to myself, but it's what I was doing) But over time I have begun to see that perhaps the problem isn't so much the way "things are," but the way I see it, and the way I act, and ironically foster and perpetuate by my actions. 

If I'm honest, I'm not actually sure where I'm at in my journey to pull it out of it's blind spot... Sometimes it feels like I can see it clearly, like I've got it figured out. But then a pattern repeats itself and I'm left wondering, "What happened? How did I get here again?!"

And then the moment of truth arrives and I can choose to try ignore it (and blame everyone else) OR I can take responsibility and admit that there must be a lot more that I need to learn...

It's tempting in those moments give up, because it feels like it's back to square one, that everything I thought I learned still got me right back into this hole again, so what's the use in even trying... 

But it's not true.

When I can calm down and take stock, I recognize that I'm actually building upon a thousand "failures" and getting stronger, wiser, and more capable.

So, I do my best to not give into self-pity, and get back at it again. I lick the wounds to my ego, and I go back to the metaphorical chalkboard and start learning again. 

This time a little wiser, and a little more committed to learning the lessons I obviously still haven't learned yet. 

Okay, let's wrap this up:

How to discover your blind spots:

If you're up to "doing hard things" here are two suggestions on how to tell where your blind spots are. And yes, you do have them. (Period, full stop)

But that's okay. You're in good company with the rest of us.  :) 

1. Whatever area/s of your life are still causing you a lot of pain, is a blind spot. 

(Meaning there is still more to learn/do) This could be your health, your finances, your relationships with spouse, children, friends, or co-workers, it could be that behavior or habit that you still struggle with, etc.) Whatever it is that is still causing you regular "pain" and has been for years, that's a dead ringer you have a blind spot there. There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. But lessons are repeated until learned!

2. Ask someone! 

If something is repeating itself in your life or relationships... there's a blind spot that needs to be discovered. Hint- those closest to you can see you better than you can see yourself! and if you're willing to accept their "criticism" to pull out the nuggets of truth, it's the quickest way to discover the hidden shortcomings in our thinking/view of reality.


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