I see my backyard every day, so I'm very familiar with what it contains. You wouldn't think I would be unaware of something glaringly obvious, like a giant dead tree, whose brown leaves clearly stick out among the green foliage around it. The tree has been dead for some time now, but I couldn't see it until someone pointed it out to me.
Just like a recurring dream that serves as a signal from our subconscious, the idea of blindspots continues to announce itself in my day-to-day. The concept terrifies me. To think that I could be living with something that's festering, decaying, or dying right in front of me and not know is downright scary. It motivates me to not only try to live wisely and discern well but to open as many lines of feedback and accountability as possible.
I walked around this dead tree while mowing. I looked directly at it while sitting at our fire pit. I watched the dogs run circles around it from my bedroom window. Not one time did I notice it was dead. It required another set of eyes looking at what had become invisible to me to point it out.
I've found very few people wake up one day and make drastic decisions that alter the course of their life for the worse. They make a thousand small compromises. They ignore a thousand subtle signs. They suffer a thousand minor cuts before bleeding out. They choose to have no one pointing out their blindspots. And then it's too late...
The tree falls. It destroys the house. It crushes the car. It kills a loved one. Everything changes. "Why is this happening?" you ask. All of a sudden you're trying to clean up a mess that could have been avoided had you just been open to the fact that there might be blindspots in your life. If you had only let others in to see what you couldn't it all could have been avoided.
If you've made it this far without a major failure, or if you're currently picking up the pieces, my message is the same: I implore you to surround yourself with people who care about how you truly are, who will ask you real questions, who will pull you back when you're ready to give in, who will show you the way when you're lost.
Books I recommend: