You know when you’re driving, how you can do your best to set up your mirrors, but there’s that one spot on either side? You have to go out of your way to make sure there isn’t a car there, in that one seemingly small spot. That is called a blind spot. Well, I have been thinking a lot about the metaphor of a blind spot within our human experience.
Blind spots exist in us. Your blind spots are parts of your personality, your behaviors that that you can’t see. You have to go out of your way to see and even then, sometimes you may miss them.
The way I see them is that they are often disintegrated parts of yourself that have experienced trauma or deep pain. And because we can’t see them, we can’t know when we are acting from them.
We often have our blind spots reflected to us in our relationships. When you are triggered by someone or someone is triggered by you, that is often when you are acting out of a blind spot. When you reject someone, or someone rejects you, without clear understanding as to why this came about, that is often a blind spot as well.
And sometimes, if you’re lucky and brave enough to listen, someone lovingly gives you feedback. From this feedback, you can begin, slowly, slowly to look over your shoulder, to see the car in the passing lane that you couldn’t see before.
These projections from others, criticism, judgments- can be challenging, confusing even, not to take on. This is the technique I use for working with feedback to understand blind spots, tricky as they may be:
- Take your time- Put the kibosh on any expectation of immediate response. Say something like, “Thanks for that feedback. I need some time to integrate that.” Try not to take on the positive or negative feedback right away without examination.
- Give your emotions space- Create spaciousness for your emotions around the feedback. Recognize that these are just feelings. Witness them, but don’t become them. To help this process, take time to meditate or write.
- Explore- Ask yourself, where is this feedback coming from? Why are they giving this feedback? While it doesn’t matter so much, it can be helpful to separate yourself from them a bit more. But remember, just because feedback was given out of love, doesn’t mean it’s true. Just because it was given out of pain, doesn’t mean it’s untrue.
- Come home to yourself- Lean into the ways you know best to take care of yourself. In the Wise Womb Way, we call this Spiritual Hygiene. It helps you to separate your unique energy from the energy of others. Figuring out what your own energy feels might be more difficult in a hard moment than it is in regular practice, but it’s not impossible. My favorite suggestions for coming home to yourself are smudging using your favorite cleansing herb or taking a spiritual bath. Repeat your name aloud. Literally call your own energy back into your body. This will make it easier to figure out how you really feel, separate from other people’s judgments and projections.
- Examine- The thing that sucks the most about blind spots is that they hurt the ego. They hurt the part of you that was sure of your identity…which did not include that blind spot. Accept that your ego might hurt a bit here, but you can survive this. Take a look at the feedback now that your head and heart are a bit more calm. What parts of it are hard to receive? What parts of it feel true?
- Integrate- And finally, integrate the feedback Seriously, do this LAST, when you are feeling really grounded in yourself. Ask, what, if anything, do you need to change about your behaviors so that you are in right relationship with yourself and your values? The risk here is that you’ll go changing yourself to meet someone else’s expectations. That’s why we have the first few steps, so we can be responsive to feedback without bending to every criticism. Make sure that any changes you make are really honoring yourself and in service to your highest self and Spirit.
- Forgive- The fact of the matter is, seeing the parts of yourself that you’ve either consciously or unconsciously ignored hurts. Knowing that you may have done something to hurt someone else feels terrible to see. And baby, you are human. While this doesn’t excuse us from not living in right relationship, it does mean that it will happen. This is where the Ho’Oponopono practice comes in. The basics of it are telling yourself: “I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.” Remember that you are worthy of love and forgiveness, even in your messiest spaces.
Even our favorite cars have blind spots. Sure, some have less than others, but driving responsibly means looking over your shoulder now and then so that you don’t hurt someone by accident. I truly believe that, even when it sucks to hear, getting feedback about our blind spots can be an amazing tool to accelerate growth. I invite you to accept the call to growth, be brave enough to examine, and transform into your most wonderful self. And remember, you are a human. Just like the car, it’s normal to have blind spots. This post was also shared to the Wise Womb Medicine Path blog. All links are to other blog posts shared on that site.