Blind

The so-called “blind man” has since died but his lesson remains with me. He was a good man who did the best he could with his life. His determination and insights helped many.


Earlier this week a friend was talking about his weekend. He said the highlight was seeing the movie “Patch Adams”. He said it was a beautiful experience. He said it talked about hope and about people caring for one another and that ultimately it was about unconditional love. It sounded like a movie I might want to see.

It’s not unusual for men to talk about movies they’ve seen but this was a very unusual talk. The man discussing the movie he saw is blind in the conventional sense. He has no eyesight and yet here he was telling me about a movie he saw over the weekend.

His description of the beauty of the movie reminded me of how blind I can be. My obsession with self blinds me to the beauty around me. I am sitting now looking at the Atlantic Ocean and am very aware of its beauty and power. I have no real problem seeing the beauty of nature. Physical beauty, beauty that can be seen, heard, smelled, tasted or touched presents no difficulty for me. The beauty of little children or of animals or flowers threatens not.

I am blind to the beauty behind infirmity or under blemish or that which is hidden from me by the wrong accent or chosen word. I judge people and institutions by what I deem to be their shortcomings as though I had none myself.

Actually, I judge myself at least as harshly. I hide from you my blemishes and faults under expensive clothes, fancy cars and an exclusive address. My very deep belief that I am not good enough and not lovable causes me to clothe myself in these uniforms of propriety and property. I hide many of my thoughts from you under words constructed to impress.

Shame and fear that you may discover the real, detestable me have controlled my life and attitudes for as long as I can remember.

I’ve worked hard to dispel these untruths and I see much progress. My spirit knows well the devastation I’ve caused with the lies I’ve told myself about myself. Because of those lies I have been absent in relationship and have hurt many people. My struggle to be present continues and I am aware that the cell I’ve lived in for so long has no walls.

I can measure the distance I’ve traveled from those dark years of self-hatred by observing how I deal with others I used to treat with disdain. My built in judge whose purpose was self-protection has been uncovered and I now sometimes feel strong enough to love him into submission.

Posted May 17, 2007

3 Comments

Phil,
I am always in awe of your raw courage in digging deep. What you say always echoes in myself as well, I just never had the courage to go deep enough to find it. But I am grateful to you for continually doing so.

I love your concluding sentence.

Phil,
Touched by your deep truth, I must tell you that you are to harsh on yourself. I had the privilege to experience you in many situations where you made a great difference in someone’s life. Please do not forget this!
Love,
Wendel

I relate, brother. It seems the ‘judge’ is at his best (or worst) when there are changes in my life, like my oldest daughter graduating college and my youngest starting. How afraid I am of what the world will do to them!! and yet the world has made me better as it has done for you.

It is all good it seems. It just takes time to find thew good at times.

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