LET GO: of unacknowledged prejudice, defects, bias, rationalization.
PRACTICE: paying attention to “blind spot warnings.”
REMEMBER: Neat technology! Another bell/whistle on my Pathfinder is the “blind spot warning system.” It recognizes (even if we don’t) that we all have blind spots while driving. And, it flashes a signal when a car is in our “blind spot.” Should we persist in our intentions and so indicate with the turn signal , this technology flashes and beeps to warn us of a collision.
Also, as I back up, a warning sounds whenever a car or pedestrian moves behind me. This feature has saved a few pedestrians! They were in my “blind spot.”
Would that we had such a system personally operating for us in recovery. We all have (though most deny it) blind spots where we fail to see our faulty biases, phony perceptions, and compartmentalized disconnects. We unconsciously take actions that threaten our relationships, risk our sobriety, jeopardize our serenity. Alas, no lights flash no bells ring, no buzzers go off. We just plod along “unconsciously unaware” of what we can’t see–but others can.
In life, some know they don’t know their blind spots. Others think they do–and don’t–they justify. Some are completely unaware of blind spots and remain rationalizing and unconcerned. They just bungle and blunder along blaming everything and everybody. Self-awareness is never permanent. It’s almost as though their “tunnel vision” is induced by deliberately wearing large “horse blinders.” They keep wandering into danger and wondering how that peril appeared.
“This is because people who are driven by pride of self unconsciously blind themselves to their liabilities.” 12/12 p. 46. What an understatement!
“If we are fooling ourselves, a competent adviser can see this quickly. And, as he skillfully guides us away from our fantasies, we are surprised to find that we have few of the usual urges to defend ourselves against unpleasant truths. In no other way can fear, pride, and ignorance be so readily melted. After a time, we realize that we are standing firm on a brand-new foundation for integrity, and we gratefully credit our sponsors, whose advice pointed the way.” Grapevine, August 1961.
“It was evident that a solitary self-appraisal, and the admission of our defects based upon that alone, wouldn’t be nearly enough. We’d have to have outside help if we were surely to know and admit the truth about ourselves–the help of God and of another human being.
Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility.” 12/12 p. 59.
Bill also wrote about a fellow who relapsed and observed: “Above all he believed he had acquired such a profound knowledge of the inner workings of his mind and its hidden springs that relapse was unthinkable.“BB p. 26. But, of course, because of his ” blind spots,” he did slip.
And, in Step Two, we read about lack of humility (superficial rather than serious spirituality). “This has been our blind spot.” 12/12 p. 32.
Pride and arrogance contribute to our blind spots. Humility and sharing our inventories with others helps us to spot and overcome our blind spots.
QUESTIONS TO PONDER:
Where are my current blind spots? And who will point them out?
How has pride and arrogance contributed to my blind spots?
Where do I drift into danger and why? Recently? What was the underlying defect?
Feedback well-given, feedback well-received
Those who sound the warning for me ( even though it irritates and annoys)
Insights gained through sharing
Shelter from early morning storms
Technology that spurs safety
Help for personal blind spots