How often do we look at familiar objects or people & take for granted that they are the same?
Take Eric (above) our Chihuahua Mountain Kingsnake. It’s easy to see that all is not normal from the photo! External signs tell us that something has changed, in this case he’s turned into a rather fetching blue colour.
Is he really blue? No!
So there are two questions that we need to answer before we can begin to draw an accurate assessment of how real things are.
The first question is, “Can we see a change; something different?”
The second question is, “Is what we are seeing true?”
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be able to aster the first question quite easily & without too much thought.
However, the second question requires much deeper consideration which goes beyond just what we see & compares what we see with some sort of standard or reality. I think this is much harder to do in many daily cases we come across. This is also compounded when there are no clearly visible external signs.
I’d like to illustrate this using two instances from my own life:
Some years ago I struggled with a series of serious achilles tendon injuries, resulting at one stage with me having both legs in plaster. As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for people to notice that something was wrong & those who took the time to look a bit more closely would have seen that my speed of mobility was quite significantly impaired . My visual appearance meant that people knew something was wrong & I received more help during the following months during recovery than at most other times in my life. I have never known so many helpful people or courteous drivers 🙂
About 5 years after my achilles issues I hit my first patch of depression. There were no clear external signs that anything was wrong, other than the fact I was sometimes miserable, quiet, moody, not myself … Once people understood my condition I lost a significant number of friends who could no longer handle the fact that I was so ill or so different. But you would have had to look very hard on some days to know that anything was wrong: my defences & smokescreens were up & were very effective!
I often ponder on these situations, not because I like to dwell on the past or negatives but because there is so much that I can learn about my own response to others:
- Do I bother enough about others to see obvious signs that all is not well?
- Do I look closely enough to see that something is wrong without obvious external signs?
- Am I prepared & able to help when I see a need?
- Am I really able to help in the situation?
- Are there ‘obvious’ signs to me that may be missed by others (& vice-versa)?
In some situations there may be obvious signs that things are not well but there are many other situations where clear signs are not apparent.
As people, we exist in a world of relationships & communication whether they are important for our job, our personal or family life. From experience I have learnt that I function best & am happiest when my communications are clear & my relationships are in order.
Perhaps we can make relationships better for ourselves & others if we are more attentive to the needs of others. This doesn’t mean life will be easier; in many cases quite the opposite, but it does mean that life will be richer & more fulfilling.
Take care until next time …