tunnel vision

It's been a strange week. Periods of intense busyness, a couple of moments of sheer indulgence and unconnected people suddenly telling me how they see me.

It got me wondering about the chasm between the way we see ourselves (or is it just me?) and the way other people see us.

This picture of Simon's seems to sum it up perfectly. We are looking down a tunnel. Uneven, rusty and filled with the debris of what we think is important into the eyes of the people who intersect our lives.

It all started with this post where I said that I am a black lace and candlelight kind of person. Larissa, who is my son's girlfriend (and whose amazing blog is here) disagreed with me quite emphatically. Where I see myself as dark and moody, she sees me as "bouncy, happy and colourful. and you're almost always smiling. you're like a naughty little girl trapped in a woman's body.. a creative wild child who doesn't want to conform but has to".

How do we get to see ourselves the way other people see us? And what difference would it make it my life if I were to see myself as "sweet" (another title I was given this week) instead of "difficult" (which would have been my description).

And, when it gets down to it, whose truth is the real one?


If we are "fierce with reality," then our truth is the essential truth. But many of us are too hard on ourselves and fail to see all that there is to see about us. That's when the views of people who see the public face, the actions, the moods that pass like clouds, come in. They report and reflect the outside; we hold the inside.

p.s. I left you a message about progress and younger women on my blog -- didn't want to add it here as an extraneous comment and couldn't find your email.

Waiting to hear about blog camp South Africa.
B said…
I think about this a lot. I think of myself as someone quite shy and definitely not very confident. However, I somehow seem to project this confident personality and people always think I'm joking when I say I'm shy. I'm not complaining but I seriously have no idea how I do it.
Lali Fufu said…
Your post today reminds me of a famous quote by Robert Burns: "Oh wad we some power the giftie gie us, to see ourselves as others see us, it would from many a blunder free us and foolish notion..."

I also like Meri's analogy about moods that pass like clouds. I agree with her statement: "They report and reflect the outside; we hold the inside."

I think truth is like a diamond with many facets. I don't think there is one absolute fundamental truth because everything is relative to circumstance, choice and situation. Somehow, all these perceptions and relative truths intermingle, come together and form a diamond.

Similarly, people are like diamonds, too. Our families and friends see snippets of our lives, and very rarely ever know the core the who we are.

To get back to your question, how can we see ourselves as others do.. perhaps one way is to surrounds ourselves with positive people who genuinely love us and won't bring us down - because we surely do that enough ourselves.
I love the illustration you added to your post and your post itself was thoughtful and leads to all kinds of things...how we see ourselves, how others see us...so many perspectives (probably all of them with some aspect of truth in them). Difficult sometimes to accept that we can be many seemingly conflicting things at the same time.
Anali said…
Thanks for dropping by my blog Lynne! Quite an interesting discussion going on here. I was actually thinking about something similar. I met a new blog friend in person and was just wondering if I was the way the person expected me to be.
julochka said…
i love pondering this idea..and i love the way you put it..."the chasm between the way we see ourselves (or is it just me?) and the way other people see us."

it's not just you and is worthy of multiple posts...thanks for giving me an idea for tomorrow! :-)

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