May 02, 2013

Second Glance

I spoke with a friend yesterday about the glance around a room we women make. She mentioned that she would like to see a study that had each woman in a room periodically write out their 'lists' of ranking and what those rankings were. Not every woman would rank a room the same way, we thought.

This thought interests me. When I scan a room, I see traits most often linked to areas where I am wounded (insecurities about weight, physical fitness, physical beauty or body shape) or my personal ideals of form or behavior. I've struggled most of my life with how much to talk. I come from a family with the gift of gab and very little self-consciousness. Add in a pinch of lack of social awareness, and I'm too often a set-up for misreading an audience and hogging a stage. I also (most unfortunately) am one of those people who talk more when they are nervous. Because of this, I admire people who are able to remain quiet and listen, keeping their opinions to themselves until asked for their input. I can scan a room and get a baseline on who in that room is likely to be a good listener and who might hog the stage -- I've been studying those traits my whole life.

My point is this: do our ranking lists resemble a personalized cast, a plaster casing for our wounds and wishes? Do we use our internal ranking to remind ourselves of how we are imperfect and how far we have to go before we are the person we long to be? How much of our scanning keeps us at a distance from healing, from helping those around us in ways we were crafted to help?

These are my wonderings today. How about you? What of your heart does your cast conceal or guard against?

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