We all have them.
Things the people around us can see, that we just – miss. That we not only don’t see, that we somehow *can’t* see.
“You’ll never find your own ghost,” my grandmother used to say, if she saw one of us looking in a mirror.
I wonder if the things we can’t see are really us?
We see this person, and that person, and the location, and the situation, but we can’t ever quite see ourselves.
Maybe that’s part of why we do selfies, hoping to see what others see, or what we haven’t seen, or can’t see.
And if you don’t do selfies, maybe you think you’ve already seen all there is to see. But that’s another type of blind spot. When it comes to ourselves, maybe we’re not meant to see, but are meant to look.
I was asked by a female friend recently why men make clumsy sexual advances to women online. My response (as the apparent representative of all men everywhere) was:
“Men strongly desire sex, but we have only the vaguest idea why women might want it. So we literally try everything and anything, hoping maybe something will work at random.”
Sometimes, this unfolds in comment sections on blogs, acted out for all to see in its awkward, ham-fisted glory. It’s another type of blind spot, where we (and I’m talking to other men, now) attempt either to say the magic words or to perform perform the appropriate acts of buffoonery that will somehow press her “attraction” button.
This has seldom worked anywhere, so far as I know; and, in fact, is usually a rather strong turn-off. Women, of course, will already know that.
The fact that women don’t always know exactly why they’re attracted to this guy and not that guy does not provide much guidance for men in this area. In fact, frequently, women’s descriptions of their “perfect guy” and the guys they are actually attracted to are almost complete opposites. That’s a type of blind spot for many women.
One of my daughters told me, years ago, that what she valued and wanted most from a relationship – and would insist on, if it was to be serious – was that she and the guy would really talk about everything. She then fell in love with, and married, a emotionally unavailable, taciturn man, who, in the end, pretty much just used her. They’re now divorced.
She could not see him for who he was, because she only saw her projection of the qualities she wanted him to have.
She never saw her own ghost in all of that. We never do.
People who are comfortable within their own blindness are impatient of those attempting to escape it. Self-discovery, for them, is foolish: the “self” is the judge that stays in chambers – the unseen one whose job is to rule on everyone and everything else.
Pay no attention to that man [or woman] behind the curtain.
In search of eliminating or curtailing blind spots, some of us essay to begin new activities, such as to:
- attend classes
- take on ridiculous tasks like writing blog posts daily
- keep a diary
- post selfies
- write a book
- put together a scrapbook
- learn a craft
- explore spiritual enlightenment as we see it
- become more politically aware or active
- write poetry or music
- get a pet
- try new social situations
or any number of other things. One of the paradoxes of existence is that we discover ourselves only by looking, in some sense, outside of ourselves.
We are more like sentences than novels; and sentences only make sense in context.
At the bottom of a blog post, we are supposed to put questions that invite interaction. What could I have asked here that would invite yours?
And why would people look for blind spots when they can’t see them by definition?