Do You Take Yourself For Granted?
The cold has settled in here in New York. We made our first fire of the season this weekend and I unearthed my heavy duty winter coat from the back of the closet. There was a crumpled up dollar bill and an old face mask in one of the pockets. I flashed back to last winter. The plans we’d made for Thanksgiving - which were all canceled last minute due to pandemic related mayhem - and the feeling I’d had at the time. Something along the lines of: attempting “normal” prematurely is not worth the pain of disappointment when it all falls apart.
We talked about this in my class last week - the difference between the things we deeply see and the ones we take for granted. I shared a story about how, in a fleeting thought, I tried to remember what the faucet in my kitchen sink looks like. This is an item in my house I touch a hundred million times in a day it seems. But when I consciously tried to picture it in my mind’s eye, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t.
At first I thought my brain was trolling me randomly but then I realized it was feeding me a metaphor. The more familiar something is, the more we tend to look past it and stop truly seeing it.
This is true for our relationship with ourselves more than any other in our lives. Living in our own skin, being creatures who are oriented to look outward, it’s hard to remember to also look in.
Why is this?
The more we learn about human nature, the more we see how much the notion of safety governs our choices and our lives. This is also why so many of us struggle to evolve and move up the levels of growth that exist along the path of actualization. Growth implies change and change doesn’t always feel safe, In fact, it hardly ever feels safe. So deep, thoughtful reassurance is called for anytime we embrace a risk in our journeys and move away from the known into the great mystery of what wants to come next.