Check out the lower right of this picture I took this morning on my run. See that brown paper bag under the tree? That bag has been messing with me for weeks. What’s in it? Will the owners of this house ever see it and handle it?
I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt to say that they actually can’t see it from where they are or even as they pull into their driveway, even though all of us going by from the outside get to see it all the time (or maybe just me). Or maybe they know it’s there, but choose to ignore it because it’s conveniently hidden from their view by the tree. We all see it, but because it’s really their issue to deal with, there it sits.
Poetic. And a metaphor, of course.
Every one of us has a bag like this in a way, don’t we? Something right in our blind spot which the rest of the world has to look at and deal with every time they enter our world. Maybe it’s all neatly contained like whatever’s in this bag, or maybe it’s messy and all over the place, but there it is.
So.. what’s in the bag, and more importantly- do you have someone who can point yours out to you so you can take care of it?
Every day I run past this house and resist the urge to pick up that bag and move it to the middle of their driveway, where they’ll have to see it and take care of it. That’s just who I am and how I am in people’s lives, a stand for them to take on what they need to take on, whether they can see it or not. Usually that’s a good thing. I actually count on and measure my friends by their commitment and ability to do the same for me (with love and/or pure intention, that is) because I’m painfully aware of how my perspective on myself will always be limited, no matter what, and I need the vantage point of others who get me.
I believe that we all need strategically placed people in our lives who can and will do this for us. What might yours point out to you?
At this point, I’m not touching that bag, because I’m partially afraid that whatever’s in there is now rotten and will fall out the bottom if I try to mess with it. Also metaphoric, right? Let’s all commit to not letting it get that far with the people we care about. If you care and are actually committed to them, have the guts to be uncomfortable and point out “the bag” or whatever you know is in it. Move it to the center of their metaphorical driveway if you need to. And, as I’m doing more and more… ask the people you trust with the right insights, ability to be straight with you, and commitment to your growth what you’re not seeing in your own front yard (perhaps behind the tree).
If you don’t know anyone like that call me- I’m always up for it.