It has been said by others with far more eloquence that I will ever possess, that we sometimes don't see things until we are ready to see them. I absolutely believe this is true.
It might be a person in our office, one we pass every day but never notice, only to discover he or she has the loveliest smile we've ever seen. It might be a song on the radio that we never really listen to, but then one day the lyrics seem to speak to us and it becomes our favorite. A painting on a wall, one we've only glanced at a few times, and then one day we see it with new eyes and it's the most beautiful thing in the world. I love those moments, because usually it is a sign of an internal change, of growth.
There is also a downside to these moments, and those come when we finally see something in a new light and it's not pretty. Perhaps it's a partner we always trusted, a friend we thought had our back, a situation we believed was right and it turns out to be horribly wrong.
We can run, disengage from people or situations that we realize no longer have our best interests at heart. There is a sense of freedom in this, but also humiliation. We wonder how we could have been so blind to not see these things before. We question our intelligence, spend a lot of time licking our wounds and trying to piece together the shattered remains of our ego.
Worse, once we can see with new eyes, we want to tell it to the world, to others still entangled in the situations we've escaped. But we know they won't listen. They are still looking through a veil that won't be lifted until it's ready, the same way it lifted for us. That's a hard place to be, a frustrating place. It sucks.
For me, I sometimes feel like a person that has escaped a burning building but couldn't warn anyone else. I feel like I'm standing back, watching in horror as people are consumed by a fire they don't even see. It's heart-breaking, maddening, and painful.
Sometimes all we can do is keep our hearts and arms wide open, and pray for the day we can embrace other refugees as they see the light. We can help stifle the flames and help them to start rebuilding, just as we did.