Tunnel Vision- the tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view.
Example: An elephant and a dog became pregnant at same time. Three months down the line the dog gave birth to six puppies. Six months later the dog was pregnant again, and it gave birth to another six puppies. The pattern continued. The elephant began to wonder if its baby would ever eventually come. Everyday it's focus was on the dog and all the puppies that were birth. The elephant began to cry everyday and seemed to have lost all Joy. She cried to God wondering why the dog was able to have all those puppies, yet she still had no child. God replied and said "There is something I want you to understand. What you are carrying is not a puppy but an elephant. You can only give birth to one in two years. When your baby hits the ground, the earth feels it. When your baby crosses the road, human beings stop and watch in admiration, what you carry draws attention, what you are carrying is mighty and great."
Now of course this story is a made up tale, but it highlights how many of us react when we feel that we are missing something or lose focus of the good in the things we do have. While God is working things out on the back end we tend to only focus on what we are lacking or the negative things we see. Lately it has really been on my heart to talk to everyone about the danger of having tunnel vision when it comes to certain areas of your life. Specifically having tunnel vision regarding your Job/Education/Purpose, Self-Esteem, Relationships, and even your Health. In this blog particularly I am going to cover the danger of having tunnel vision in your relationship. As the weeks pass I will be posting small posts on how it effects the other areas also.
I have seen tunnel vision displayed in two different ways in relationships, Comparison and Judgment. Comparing your relationship to outside relationships is so dangerous. You tend to begin focusing on all the things you feel are missing and forgetting all of the things that you actually have with that person. Many people believe the grass is greener on the other side, but do not understand that they can have grass just as green where they already are if they would only give their grass the attention and effort it needs. When we focus in on outside relationships and compare them to ours, we send the message to our significant other that they are not enough and do not satisfy us. This could not only tend to lead them into having self-esteem issues, it could also begin to cause trust issues in your relationship. Instead of comparing our relationships to others, whom honestly only highlight the glorious parts of their relationship, we need to take the time to enjoy and nurture what we already have.
Many times in relationships of any kind we tend to focus on the negative, constantly passing judgment on the other person. We focus on what the other person is not doing versus focusing on all the things that they may be doing well. We tend to remember people for the one bad thing they've done and not all of the great things they've also done. As we continue to limit our view of the relationship by focusing solely on the negative, we miss out on all the other things God wants us to see. At times we even find our relationships ending because we can't seem to look past the person's imperfections and mistakes. This thinking usually comes from being self-centered, instead of trying to see things from the other persons perspective we only tend to focus on our own point of view. Having tunnel vision in this area is dangerous because while were judging the other person were missing all the things that God is trying to show us regarding ourselves. We spend countless days complaining and judging the other person, never once, using that same level of judgment to review ourselves.
Know that when you focus in on one particular thing you limit your view, which limits the potential to have a healthy, strong relationship. This goes for all types of relationships, not just when you are dating someone. We have to learn that what we focus on is what begins to be maximized and all the things we put out of focus are minimized. So when you choose to look at the positives concerning your relationship, you maximize the positivity in your relationships, minimizing the negativity.
Time for a Challenge: Change your "Got to" to your "Get to"!
So many times we complain and say, "Ugh I got to go to work, ugh I got to drive to the store, or any variation of that. At the time we may not love that we have to do it, but when we complain we tend to be unappreciative of the very thing we prayed for God to bless us with. So while you are in the relationships you are in, decided to look at every opportunity as a privilege and enjoy those relationships. Instead of complaining that you have to do something for them or complaining about that person, remember that you once prayed to have that person and that it should not be taken for granted. Wake up excited that you "Get To" enjoy each day with that person accepting them flaws and all.
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Have a great week and as always I will be praying for each and every one of you! - Love, Rissa
Clarissa C. Burton, M.S.W
Devoted to guiding others toward living a life they don't need a vacation from.