I Can Hear With My Eyes Closed

Although it sounds like one, this title is not a “Yogi-ism.” Periodically, don’t we all think like this: that we know more than we do because we’re blind to our offensive behaviors; especially when in the throes of a disabling adjustment?  Where is the disconnect?

I think we can be so self-deluded that we perceive our weaknesses as strengths and our ignorance as wisdom. You don’t know what you don’t know, right? These are our blind spots.

For example: When I moved to Alabama after my SCI, I believed my arrogance was confidence.  It took a friend to tell me, “Cynthia, you think you are God’s gift to Tuscaloosa, but you’re the turd in the punch bowl.” OUCH!

Here me now: If you don’t learn humility, you will be the burr under someone’s saddle and a lot of buckin’ will be goin’ on! Relationships get broken by this rodeo habit.

Un-deniably, our families and long-time friends see us through glasses of our past encumbrances, and hear our weaknesses through ear trumpets[1] (or Bluetooth if you’re technologically current), blind and deaf to the positive progressive changes.

Why? Because they’ve been there observing us through our childhood and adolescent stupidities, poor decisions, irresponsible words, and adult hang-ups.

It takes seven positives to negate one negative. That takes a lot of work; for what?  A family member to ask accusatively concerning positive change in your life, “When did YOU start blah-blah-blahing?” You know, as well as I do, that family suffers short-term memory loss but are champions of long-term memories. Just sayin’….

It’s difficult enough keeping open communication and trying not to offend in a “normal” relationship. So, what to do when tragedy strikes you or one you love, specifically with SCI?

It isn’t easy and it isn’t simple. It may be complex but it shouldn’t be complicated. (Go to Webster for definitions if you’re puzzled.) When things start to become complicated in my life, I re-evaluate my plan, my intention, and/or my motivation.

Since “it takes a village” for me to independently live my life, if someone who volunteers to help in some capacity has a conflict, or arrangements aren’t squaring up, or I judge that something isn’t important enough to do at that time, I cancel the plan. My wants do not trump another’s ease of living. Too much inconvenience is TOO MUCH.

There are always considerations when living with a disability. Keep your eyes and ears open. Like the title implies, many times there are discrepancies between what we THINK we see and what we THINK we hear.

Open your eyes. It facilitates hearing the truth.

[1] Ear trumpets showed up in the 17th century. (Beethoven used them in his hearing decline.) Because of the stigma associated to old age, they were hidden in fans, walking sticks, and even camouflaged in jewelry.

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