Are you normal? What makes you think so?
Have you ever gone merrily along thinking you are the most normal person you know? You’ve got it all pretty together; if only people like you ruled the world… everything would be perfect. In your inner musings, you witness the utter horror of everyone else’s behavior and mutter to yourself, “Don’t they see what a big hot mess they are?”
Oh yeah, sister. That was me. I knew it all: I took all the classes, I read all the books and I was becoming one fine specimen of a woman. Until the day I tumbled headlong into my blind spots. You know – those nasty little stumbling blocks everyone else but me knows about, like my bad habits and my not-so-Pollyanna reactions to adversity. Turns out, I hurt people (cue deep gasp.) And everyone around me could see it, but they were all too polite to say anything.
My blind spot revelation began with a conflict with a dear friend and a simple enough prayer: “God, please show me how I’ve contributed to this misunderstanding.” And because God is faithful, he revealed some truths my selective memory had chosen to cover up. Before I knew it, I was praying crazy-like, “God, show me my blind spots. And please help me to be and do better.” (Here’s a hint, one shouldn’t do this unless one is ready. Facing your personal failings can get pretty ugly, and if you ask, you shall receive.)
What I’ve learned about myself has been eye opening.
I’m strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn, uptight, overly sensitive, perhaps a little bit controlling… must I go on? I am 100% certain this prayer is changing my life. I have become much more self-aware when interacting with people. I can now identify physical triggers, like the stir in my gut when I’m about to have a blind spot type of reaction, such as going into Control-Mode or becoming Loudly Opinionated.
One of the most important revelations for me is all the ways I react poorly because of a single, weighty hang-up: Insecurity.
Insecurity is a blind spot for me despite knowing who my Heavenly Father is; he created me to be smart, funny, athletic, talented and beautiful. God doesn’t make mistakes, he makes masterpieces. In my head I know all of this; I read it in a book and probably heard it in a class and I have a whole Pinterest board devoted to the topic… My heart, however, still carries the burning arrows of not good enough, never measure up, rejected. In short: insecurity. My blind spots have become so entrenched because let’s face it – it’s painful to confront insecurity head on and call it out. It’s painful to go to the root cause and dig it up. It’s painful to be reminded of the people I once loved who hurt me terribly, and worse yet, the people I’ve hurt. It’s easier to cover up insecurity with a happy smile and recite “God doesn’t make mistakes, he makes masterpieces.”
How does one define “normal,” anyway? No matter our story, what makes us “normal” and alike is that we are all hurting, and we all have blind spots in need of attention.
Have you ever watched a video of yourself and thought “That’s what I look like? I had no idea.”
Well, that’s how you look to everyone all of the time.
When you add perspective to the picture, you realize there is no single definition of “normal.” What’s normal from the inside looking out, is much different from the outside looking in. I say embrace the blind spots. Dig deep and let go of normal. When you shine a light into your own blind spots, you may find a whole new masterpiece buried in the dark.