“People only see what they are prepared to see.” This is a quote from Waldo Emerson 1803-1882. Have you ever thought about that concept? You can only see what you believe and expect.
Did you know that the human eye has a blind spot? Yep, very near the center of the retina that can’t pick up vision. It is called a scatoma and is located at the optic disk (nerve). There are no photoreceptors (rods or cones) in the optic disk and no image detection there. It is a very tiny spot.
Here is a fun exercise to find your blind spot. (Image by Michael-kouassi from Pixabay)
Sit about a foot away from your screen. Close you left eye. Look at the circle with your right eye. Move closer to the screen, then farther away. Keep doing this until the + sign disappears. This is the blind spot for your right eye.
Now close your right eye and look at the + sign. Move closes then farther away until the circle disappears. You have found your left eye’s blind spot. This exercise came from WebMD.
Let’s think about physical vision. When we come to earth, nothing in vision would make any sense. We have to learn that a group of lines is a face, bottle, food, toy, plate. We learn that squiggly lines on a page is an alphabet making words and now concepts. You could best relate to this by learning a new language. Starting out you would look at the squiggles on the page and have no idea what that was or what was said. After a few classes you would know a word or two. After a while, you would be able to read the sentence, then the story and understand it.
My mother had macular degeneration. She would describe what she would see as her vision deteriorated. In the beginning she could see the hole in her vision and regular sight about the hole. At first the hole was small and then got bigger. At times she would notice that her brain would fill in the hole. The brain would make up for that lack of vision based on the surrounding sights. As the hole got bigger, she would report some very weird sights. One time she was looking at a wall and saw a leg coming out of the wall (hole). She knew that wasn’t true, but it was disconcerting.
I digress perhaps. We are talking about people only see what they are prepared to see.
Hmmm! That is a very interesting thought. The mind has parameters that have been set by our experiences. If one grows up with a lot of trauma, those parameters are limited and fixed. If something is so far out of our experiences, we will not see it.
Let’s look at limiting beliefs. Limiting beliefs create a “hole” or scotoma in the mind. Just like the mind will “make up visuals” for a macular degeneration hole, the mind will make up stories around limiting beliefs. It makes it very hard to see around a limiting belief. And thus we get stuck.
Here is a belief that says, “if I do ___ (fill in the blank), I will fail.” My guess is that you have a belief that runs along that line. We can have that belief in one area of our life and not in another. I may be successful at cooking but lousy at painting. So, with a successful cooking history, I get a new recipe with a new technique. I get excited and learn it and enjoy the meal. Let’s go to unsuccessful at painting. I can barely draw stick figures. Someone could say to me, “I have a technique to help you make those stick figures more interesting.” If I hold the belief that “I can’t” it will be very difficult to pick up a pencil and try. I will “not see” me painting a picture.
I would like to suggest that these beliefs show up in the body. And it is through the body; we can change those limiting beliefs.
Read that statement again. This time put your attention on your body. What is happening in your body when you say, “if I do _____, I will fail.”
I have this as a dialog at times. For me, when I read that statement, I feel my chest tighten, my heart freezes, by throat closes and my jaw tightens. I also experience tight neck and I am wearing my shoulders as earrings. This is a body warning that I am into “if I do _____ then I will fail” belief.
Here is where we can get curious and playful. What if I could relax my shoulders? What if I could move and relax my jaw? What if I could create space in my chest and heart? What would happen if I could do any of these things? If I can it might open an inkling that something might be different. Only then I can change.
There are techniques that work from the physical body rather than the mind. These include Focusing, Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or other tapping techniques), HeartMath, mindfulness, yoga and more. As our bodies soften about a limiting belief, there is room for the limitation to fall away. There is room for learning. There is room for a new belief. There is room for new possibilities. There is room for new experiences. There is room for a fuller life. Then we can “SEE”.
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