I think most people strive to make good choices. If they didn’t, there wouldn’t be advice columns. There wouldn’t be radio shows of people calling in. There certainly wouldn’t be Facebook posts with millions of comments from others who think they have the answer to your struggle.
It’s a good thing – people desiring to make good choices.
But what happens when that desire fades?
What happens when you no longer seek wisdom?
What Would Life Be Like With the Tunnel Vision of You?
- Making decisions would be as easy as “what feels good to me?”
- Thinking of others would be as foreign as a new language
- You would become a lover of yourself with no room for the love of others
- You would be boastful and proud
- You would be ungrateful
- You would become disobedient
- You would succumb to deception
- Empathy would become non-existent
- Selflessness would be replaced with self
- You would become arrogant and rebellious
- You would be repulsed by light because it is in the light that your deeds will be exposed
- You would become disillusioned
- Blinders would create a tunnel vision of lies
So what do you do if you think you have tunnel vision?
Stop. Has it been a while since you have prayed? Maybe you have never prayed before. If you’re a Christian, it’s important right now to stop and ask God for wisdom. God tells us:
- Turn your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding
- Cry out for insight and ask for understanding
- Search for them as you would silver, seek them like hidden treasures
- Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God
- For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding
- He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity
- He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him
- Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair, and you will find the right way to go
- For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will fill you with joy
- Wise choices will watch over you and understanding will keep you safe
- Wisdom will save you from evil people- from those whose words are twisted
God tells us he will grant us wisdom if we ask. If you think you are already as wise as you’re ever going to get, you are being deceived. Stop. Ask for wisdom. Ask for clarity. Ask that God open your eyes to see yourself the way He sees you.
Have you had tunnel vision?
2. What is it Like On the Other Side of You?
After praying, think about what it is like to be on the other side of you. Do you have tunnel vision? Do you often think only of yourself? Does trouble follow you?
Why ask yourself this?
It forces you to have empathy. It helps you to step outside yourself for a minute and consider what others may see and how others may feel about you.
Would you want to be your friend?
Would you want to be your husband?
Would you want to ring up your sale at the grocery store?
Would you want to be your dad?
Why or why not?
We are great at rationalizing our own behavior to come up with really great excuses, but what if we were really honest with ourselves?
The following is an excerpt from a book titled, The Narc Decoder. In the book, Tina Swithin teaches people how to take messages from narcissistic spouses and decode them into what really is the true nature of the words on the page or the text coming through.
Tina- None of the men in my family have committed an act of harm towards a woman. It’s just delusional that you have such fear of me. I have previously thought about having the exchange at the Police Department. The police department is scary setting for the children and there is no reason for it. When I was a kid Police made me nervous. You think after you’ve dragged me to court for three years over nonsense and exaggerations, I would risk yelling at you or harming you, it’s just preposterous Tina. I am not going to do anything to hurt you. I will compromise and agree to meet you at the park. – Seth
Snap, fizzle, pop” is the sound I hear as the email is processed through the Narc Decoder and within moments, I have the reading:
Tina- I have not yet created an act of harm towards a woman but I am starting to worry about the fact that three different women have now testified that they live in fear due to my instability, stalking and passive-aggressive threats. Since I have had multiple run-ins with law enforcement over the past ten years, police make me nervous and cause increased anxiety. I would prefer that we do not meet near a police station. Thank you, Seth
Here is another example:
Anna, I wish I had a mirror to have you see how you come across in your presentation. Maybe there would be a slim possibility you could see how angry, inflexible, demanding a person you are. Why would anyone want to work anything out with you? You do not know the first thing about being accommodating, understanding, or professional for any matters. So you run to your attorney to find solutions. Besides, the selfishness that is your true self. All you know to do is fight, fight, fight. How very sad because one day it will have an effect on your existence if you keep it up. Find a better way to channel your anger that life is not fair for you or you may face the consequences. Soon there will be no need to consider “the Family Wizard” for communication because I will rarely have any contact with you except to discuss logistics. So it is totally off the table. Period.
I, too, have plans for myself and our daughters, so you are not privileged in setting what weekend day we do the exchange. In fact, as I said before, I gave you 18 months of many episodes of flexibility and that will not be easy to get anymore. You can not make Sundays a unilateral condition for hours that were decided by my employer, speaking of being unilateral. Life does not care what you think! I will not waste any more of my valuable time today with your expressions of whining and discontentment.
“Snap, fizzle, pop” and out comes the decoded e-mail:
Anna- I wish I had a mirror right now so I could see myself. I could spend hours staring into my own eyes. Have I told you lately how angry I am at my loss of power since our marriage ended? Yes, I am angry, inflexible, and demanding and all of those feelings have escalated tremendously since I can no longer control you. Damn you. I refuse to compromise or work anything out with you- it’s my way or the highway. Didn’t you read the fine print on the prenup? I do not know the first thing about being accommodating, understanding, or professional but instead of taking ownership for my shortcomings; I am going to project my faults on you. Heck, it’s always worked in the past.
I hate that you have an attorney to turn to for advice. Why can’t you just let me continue to control and manipulate you?! It’s quite infuriating. I love to fight, fight, fight. This constant drama feeds me because I know it affects you. I LOVE to affect you. Speaking of love, did you know that I’m actually incapable of that? Thank God I am so manipulative because that’s how I am able to fool women just like I fooled you. Have you seen my mirror lately? Aren’t you supposed to keep track of my things?
Our Family Wizard? Are you joking? Do you really think that I want my words and actions to be monitored? Ha! I want access to you by all means possible – text, e-mail, in person, and while shouting from the rooftops. You want ME to agree to something that YOU think is a good idea? Ha! Did I mention that I’m a control freak and a program like that would not work well for me? The only way that I will agree to use that program is if it somehow becomes my idea. I will be sure to request that YOU be required to use it while we are in front of the Judge because doing so will play into my claim that you are harassing me and suggest the program will put an end to your persistent abuse. By the way, have you ever heard of a program called “Our Family Wizard”? I happened to find it online yesterday and I think we should begin to use it. I am tired of the constant harassment from you.
You want me to flexible on times for visitation. I’m sorry, but that is a one-way street. You must adhere to the court order word-for-word, however, I will let you know when I need you to bend. Oh, by the way, next weekend doesn’t work for me as I have a lunch date. I’ll need you to take our daughters for a few extra hours.
Have I mentioned how valuable my time is? I should get paid to just be awake and breathing. Now that I’ve thoroughly fed my sick, deranged ego, I am going to sit here and gloat knowing that you are on the receiving end of my latest attack. I’m going to envision you breaking down and crying because that is like a high to me.
What is it like to be on the other side of you? Are you too selfish to give it a try?
Ask others. Ask them to be honest. Have them tell you, “What is it like being on the other side of me?”
3. Create a New Habit of Sowing Good
Now that you recognize what it might be like to be on the other side of you, practice taking those things that make it difficult to be around you, and turning them into good.
If you need help doing this, try asking others again, what you can do to be better.
As time passes, reflect on your new outlook. How has it made others’ reactions to you different? Is it better? Worse? Ask others if they have noticed a difference in you.
The key is that you have to want to do good. If you have no desire for good, you will continue to have tunnel vision. Tell me how that works out for you.
It isn’t just a saying, “You reap what you sow”. It is a fact coming straight from the mouth of God and I like to think that God knows exactly who you are on the other side of you. Won’t you ask for His wisdom?