“I see life through the lens of the particular image that lives in me.” (Ronald Holtz)
That is another quote from my friend Ron’s new book-to-be.
It seems a little bit obvious because if we have any self-awareness at all, of course that is true. Basically we can all be myopic as hell.
But how can we not, when each one of us has an inborn uniqueness, a family of origin disposition, a birth-order distinction, a world of environmental conditions and specific emotional and physical experiences that form our personal identities?
As someone who has been sharing online the way I see life, it is quite a heavy reminder. I definitely never claimed to be sharing anything other than what I have learned from my side of the street, so I feel fine about continuing to share my viewpoint. Yet, I try to keep the truth in front of me; that my perspective is wholly limited. As I gain a hold on my particulars, I believe it keeps me open to the particulars of “my people” as well.
I also enjoy talking about the levels of brokenness that ebb and flow throughout our lives on this imperfect planet full of imperfect people. Brokenness is a . . . confusing word. It brings to mind sin, sickness, heartache, injury and pain. For some reason, many people don’t like to openly communicate about what, to me, is absolutely vital for understanding how we “see,” as individuals. The places we hurt.
It actually makes it easier to navigate the world with other humans when you are clear on what makes you YOU. To deny that the trials and tribulations…”do things to us”…. is a tragic mistake. No one in their right mind denies that there ARE trials and tribulations but, wow, don’t we forget to first discover, then take into account the effect they have? So I may not talk about the joys of life quite as much because, for most people, that is the easy stuff to see.
Everyone develops filters through which they see life. Consider that someone (who, me?) may come across as a “fixer,” or a controlling, know-it-all person. Granted, all of us are assholes at times. But sometimes the reason is that the fixer is actually so full of love for you and wants SO much to keep you from bringing pain down on yourself, that they will go too far in their attempts to help you.
As mature adults, we need to be aware of these underlying filters that people have when we are dealing with them. As parents, we need to be mindful that our children are NOT aware of these filters. 100% of the time, a child will receive your surface demeanor, they won’t know the love that is in your core unless you pull it out and let it shine above and beyond the know-it-all personality they might see. They don’t yet have the wisdom to interpret our realities, rather, they love and idolize us as perfect (at least until they are pre-teens!) At our worst, we are the creators of extra filters they will have to see through as they mature.
Having a clear vision of ourselves is important. We need to know who we fully are and look at others with the same knowledge. Sadly, many of us hold ideal images of ourselves and others and damage the beauty of interpersonal relationships. What can I say, we’re complicated, but we need to cut that shit out.