Oh say what do you see, and what do we not see?

Fireworks are fun to watch.  Once again I took off my glasses for half the show and instead of pinpoints of light, sparkles, and gorgeous displays, I saw giant snowflakes, molecules, and honeycombs of all sorts of colors.  The single points of light became even more gorgeous because they were so much larger and different, almost like I was looking through a giant microscope.  (The second photo is what each point of light looks like to me without glasses – think of this with hundreds of lights such as fireworks.) Seeing it again in this way made me stop to ask – what are we missing by looking at things “normally?”

Three weeks ago a car came out of nowhere and hit me in the front left side and corner.  I saw him a fraction of a second before, no time to react. It sent my car flying over and over several times, wondering if I would be alive at the end of the “journey.”  Miraculously I survived.  As I’ve been trying to understand what happened and it’s impact on me, a counselor helped me deal with it by helping me understand what I didn’t see in myself personally, my own blind spot, as I try to make sense of what happened.  What am I personally not seeing?  What are we all missing?

In the 50’s a couple of Psychologists developed the tool the Johari Window.  It was, as in many psychology models,  displayed as a 2×2 (see below).   There are things we know and don’t know, and things that others know and don’t know about us.  The blind spot is what they know and we don’t; the unconscious spot is what’s unknown to us and unknown to others.

I realized that I didn’t glimpse death in the accident, I glimpsed my unconscious and blind sides.  What I was missing or hiding from myself.  Now I HIGHLY recommend much SAFER ways to uncover this information!!  For me, it was so revealing about my thoughts about life, the contributions I still want to make, and who I am.   By understanding these better, I am more at peace with myself and believe I can contribute so much more.

Understand that to keep each of us feeling secure, we keep some beliefs from ourselves that are so locked down inside of us as to seem undiscoverable.  They’re hidden, even to us.  Now that I’ve revealed some of mine to me, I plan to use them to be a more insightful, understanding, and open person.  Time will tell how I use this new discoveries.

How about you?  Please stay safe. But do take your glasses off (or put funny ones on that show other images in light) and start looking at other things in a new way.  You’ll be amazed at the difference as you begin to scan and see life in a new light.  Discover your hidden self, and start discovering what you can be.

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About hprager

Father, husband, brother and son. Delighted to be friends and mentor to so many wonderful people. Passionate about: leadership, learning and development, education, nature and the environment, youth, music, jazz, the tuba, Israeli dancing, networking and helping others, humor, laughter, swimming, hiking, the Cubs, Northwestern athletics, theater, musicals, concerts, traveling and making new friends wherever I go. Helping the world be a better place when I leave it.
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One Response to Oh say what do you see, and what do we not see?

  1. Barbara says:

    Great article. We recently did an exercise in my networking group where we described a “soft” skill or strength we possess rather than knowledge required in our line of work, and then others added what they observed about us (keeping it positive but honest). It was very enlightening as to how others perceived me and gave me new insights about how I approach obstacles in my life.

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