Yesterday, I attended my faculty/staff retreat for my school at Jefferson Memorial Forest. It was a beautiful and serene setting. The day was filled with sharing, discussions, and team building. The facilitator for my group was encouraging, and thought provoking. I always enjoy team building challenges, it might have something to do with the overachiever in me. The most challenging activity was being blindfolded. I am not comfortable with being out of control of my body, lack of sight is a lack of control. The person who led me was very caring and thoughtful, I really trusted her. It was very simple when she led me down a path. She pointed out the type of ground around me and which ways to turn. Then we were in line for a small obstacle. She told me it was only 6 inches off of the ground and it was similar to a balance beam with a few turns. As I waited my imagination began to grow and listening to others on the obstacle course made me a bit nervous. When it was my turn she held my hand and led me up. The slightest stretching of my foot above the ground was awkward and somewhat alarming. My eyes were closed and my mind was reeling from the feat I was undertaking. As I walked up the incline I thought I was walking above the treetops. There was a place I had to duck my head and then I was able to step down. It felt as though I was on that course for at least 20 minutes but it was only about 3 minutes. I took off the blindfold and was amazed by how small the obstacle was compared to how huge it was in my mind. I created this huge balance beam stretching across the forest between trees. Yet, the course was not more than 4 feet long.
I think we do this in ordinary life constantly, especially with unknown areas of our lives. If we have never experienced something we make it huge. We create a monumental obstacle and we feel we may never get over it. Only when it is over are we able to look back with a clear, objective, and rational perspective. It’s like I tell my children when they are upset at night or have had a nightmare, everything seems more intense in the dark. However, the same thing is in the dark that is in the light of day, we just can’t see it from our perspective. Our senses seem to change when one sense has been lost.
We, as humans, function as though our perception is our reality. We often forget how important it is to find another perspective of the same situation, ask a friend, step away from the situation, talk to someone who doesn’t know you. Perspectives can change depending on what part of the obstacle you are on. Today, try to take off the blindfold and look back on your latest obstacle even if you feel as though you are in the middle of it. See, if you can witness it from a different perspective and see how the obstacle changes sizes.