Seeing and Not Seeing
As I mentioned in my last blog, (“Why We Vacate”) I recently spent some time at a very special cabin in the woods, (Moonridge Cabin.) One of the things that made it so special was that both inside and out, there were all sorts of whimsical and meaningfully curated pieces of art and inspiration.
It was so well done that the bigger picture was uncluttered, peaceful and beautiful, but then each day I noticed something different that I had missed on the previous days. Each was always exactly what I needed at that time.
For example, see the strung out Slinky in the picture? It was sitting right there in front of the walkway to the cabin, every single day I was there. I had passed it many times looking right through it every single time.
On my break on Friday afternoon, I took Dante out for our usual walk, which was more of a hobble as I’m trying to heal two damaged knees. I was in pain and feeling cluttered. It dawned on me that I was treating the “hobble” like just another thing on my list, rush rush clutter clutter, when Dante came to a screeching halt in order to sniff a specific plant.
I was really annoyed at first. Then, as usual, he looked up at me with his little head tilt as if to say, “Haallooo!! Earth to Mamí!! We are in the middle of gorgeous, and you are missing it!”
I stopped. I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. When I opened my eyes I suddenly noticed it for the first time: The strung out Slinky hanging from the tree right at the beginning of the path. I laughed and laughed. Yup — That was me — all in the middle of peace and quiet, Slinky still stretched all the way out to stupid.
There’s a theory in psychology called, “Gestalt Theory.” Among other things, Gestalt Theory observes that we human folk tend to sort things in our minds, often as a single picture, before we notice the individual parts.
For example, our memories tend to be “big picture” generalizations, somewhat like summaries of events. We even tend to fill in blank spots in whatever way best serves our narrative, regardless of what might have been there or not been there at the time.
When we look at individual pieces of those memories, the “summary” picture can shift a little, influencing how we perceive our current life situations.
Panning out/ Zooming in
It’s probably my broadcasting arts training, but when I look with clients at their situations, I find myself panning out and zooming in, looking at things from the macro, the micro and back again over and over. It can be helpful.
The curious thing though, is that we always seem to see things at just the right time for them to be useful, much like Moonridge’s perfectly placed curiosities. We can’t see things until we are ready to see them. But once we are ready, we can’t un-see them.
Not All Fun and Games
That can be very frustrating, as you might imagine. When someone is suffering, they want relief ASAP! I know I do. But there’s something inside of us that seems to know what we can and can’t manage and when.
The part of us that’s in pain says “right NOW!” At times the urgency is almost pushing the relief we want away, waiting for us to learn to be ok where we are first before delivering us somewhere more settled and healed.
We want to see NOW. We want to understand NOW. We want to be done with this pain NOW. It doesn’t happen on the time table of our conscious minds.
The View Looking Back
As frustrating as discouraging as that can be, there is a deeper wisdom at work. When we look back at the timing we hated, we often see that everything that we needed to work through along the way pushed us to a deeper, more complete healing.
Not only did we find relief for our suffering, we also found “stones” inside that we would have left unturned in our rush to healing. Turning the stones taught us more of who we are, what we are made of, and gave us strength and perspective for the challenges to come.
We don’t just find healing; We find a new appreciation for who we are and what we bring. We find tools that offer us relief along the way, well before any resolution comes. We find greater wholeness.
We find ourselves, and often, find that we are lovable, impressive, and more wonderful than we ever thought possible.
If you’d like help seeing what you are seeing in your life, contact Tiffany today. Let’s make a plan.