In this New Year episode, Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson—authors of Blind Spots—unpack the dangers of what we don’t see or know about ourselves. Growth and change is on all of our minds as we head into 2020, and unearthing blind spots is a great place to start! Amy and Cheri end with an important Grit ‘n’ Grace announcement that includes YOU.
(This page contains affiliate links. Your clicks and purchases help support Grit 'n' Grace at no extra charge to you.)
- Tim & Fil’s book: Blind Spots: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
- Blog Post: The Blind Spot of Happiness
- Vlog: Blindspot Book Launch
- Episode #182 Digging Deeper Devotional — coming soon!
- When has another person’s reactions pointed out one of your blind spots?
- Who is an entrusted truth-teller in your life?
- When have you successfully identified and addressed a blind spot in your life? How has it changed things for you?
Today’s Guests — Tim Riddle & Fil Anderson
Tim Riddle, author of Blind Spots, is the CEO of Discover Blind Spots whose mission is to help leaders of corporations, churches, and nonprofits address blind spots within their organizations.
Tim and his wife, Stacy, live in Burlington, NC, and have four children.
Fil Anderson is executive director of Journey Resources, based in Greensboro, NC. As a member of the pastoral staff of St. Mark’s Church, he provides on-site soul care to their staff and volunteers.
Fil and his wife, Lucie, live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children. Avid beach lovers, they frequent Wrightsville Beach, NC, as often as possible.
Find out more at www.filanderson.com.
Transcript — scroll to read here (or download above)
Grit ‘n’ Grace: Good Girls Breaking Bad Rules
Episode #182: Avoiding the Bite of Blind Spots
Cheri: So Amy, have you ever known anybody with a blind spot?
Amy: Well, yes, I have. And someone with a blind spot. It was years ago in a church that we no longer attend. So anybody who’s listening that goes to my church now you don’t know her. But there was a woman that we went to church with who had a tremendous amount of talent, but her people skills were so lacking and she had a position that she really, really wanted. But she never attained that position. And it wasn’t that she didn’t have the talent for it, but rather that she didn’t have the people skills for it and she just couldn’t see it. She blamed everybody out had some really bad reactions related to those lack of people skills. And it was so painful to watch. But in the midst of all of that, Cheri, I started thinking, I said out loud one day, Oh my gosh, she’s got such a blind spot. And then I thought, Oh, what’s my blinds?
Cheri: You know, as I’m listening to you and the cringe factor was starting to rise. Well, actually what happens with me with a story like this is the pride starts to rise. And I’m like, Oh good, I’m not that kind of a person. And then I get to the end and I’m like, Oh, but I’m am that kind of person in some way. It’s not the the exact way. So whenever I start feeling that smug relief, I have to then be able to go. But hang on a second, the more smug I feel in the more relieved I feel, the more blind I probably am about some aspect of my life. And I don’t know about you girlfriend, but it is so easy to see other people’s blind spots.
Amy: Oh yeah. But they’re called blind spots for a reason. We just cannot see our own.
Cheri: Oh man, I wish that pointing out other people’s blind spots was in the list of spiritual gifts!
Amy: How did that one get left off? Well, one of our listeners feels the same way. She said hi. I think my biggest perfectionism problem is remembering that I can’t do it all for my family, particularly my kids. I want to turn their eyes and their hopes to Jesus, not to me, but I catch myself trying to fill in for God a lot.
Cheri: And we’ve talked about that blind spot of taking over … Well, attempting to stage a coup and take over God’s throne and not recognizing it.
Amy: Well it sounds like our listener has had a little flash of insight. So we’re right there with you sister, ’cause we have been there and maybe are still there now.
Cheri: Well this is Cheri Gregory.
Amy: And I’m Amy Carroll
Cheri: And you’re listening to grit and grace, good girls breaking bad rules. The podcast that equips you to lose who you’re not. Love who you are and live your one life. Well
Amy: Today we’re talking to Tim Riddle and Fil Anderson, the first guys on this show, authors of blind spot. What you can’t, what you don’t see can hurt you. Tim Riddle is the CEO of discover blind spots whose mission is to help leaders of corporations, churches and nonprofits address blind spots within their organizations. Tim and his wife Stacy, live in Burlington North Carolina and have four children. Fil Anderson is an executive director of journey resources based in Greensboro, North Carolina and a member of the pastoral staff of Saint Mark’s church. Phil and his wife Lucy live in Greensboro and are the parents of three adult children.
Cheri: Now be sure to listen all the way through to the end of this episode for a very special announcement.
Amy: We are so happy to have both of you with us today. We want to know how the two of you came together to write Blind Spots. How did that idea evolve?
Tim: Well, I guess maybe I’ll take that one then. I was thinking about that this morning a little bit. Maybe the idea of writing a book about blind spots obviously came out of a blind spot.
Cheri & Fil: [Chuckles]
Tim: But the longer story to that is: I was probably in a stage of my leadership where I was working, I felt like maybe I had reached a ceiling in my leadership and influence, and was wondering if God had another chapter for me in my life. Out of the blue, maybe a blind spot, the idea of writing—I had written before but never formalized, mostly in talks and things of that nature—and so I started to think of the idea of writing. And I went to the first person that I respected the most and who was a spiritual mentor of mine which was Fil. And walked into Fil’s office and said, “Tell me about writing”. We spent, I don’t know, maybe ten or fifteen minutes maybe just chatting about that. I walked out and really didn’t think anything else about it. The next morning got up early was doing my workout, and it was about six-thirty and as soon as I started my workout all of a sudden this idea illustration came to me. So I stopped and sent myself a little email in my phone so I would remember it, and then five minutes later another idea came sent myself and I went through that for about an hour, and then again didn’t think anything about it. Walked into the office, Fil and I were working together at the same organization, and I walked down the hall his door was open and I walk in and he said, “I’m glad you came in,” and he said, “I was praying for you this morning.” And I said, “Really what time?” And he said, “I don’t know about six-thirty six-forty five.” And I pulled out my phone and I showed him sixteen emails that I had sent to myself of ideas and illustrations, and that’s really where it began. I said to Fil, “Fil you got to stop praying for me because I can’t get my workout in.”
Cheri & Fil: [Laughs]
Tim: But we began to talk and out of those sixteen emails came this idea of “blind spots,” which led us to our first reaction was ‘this was obviously old news everybody knows what a blind spot is, it’s probably been written about by hundreds and hundreds of people,’ but we quickly noticed that when we mentioned the idea to people we would notice that their eyes would start to roll in the back of their heads and we’d say, “What are you doing?” and they’d be thinking ‘I’m replaying some things that have happened in my life and I think that was probably a blind spot’. Fil graciously agreed—I have such respect for him and his writing and obviously his influence in my life—he said, “Hey you know if you want somebody to write this with you, I would love to do that.” Of course it took me about a half a second to say yes. It was a tremendous journey together and actually about half way through we both agreed we’re not sure you can really truly write a book about blind spots by yourself. You really need someone, and we used each other that way as blind spot accountability partners throughout that process.
Cheri: Wow. I love that. I love the whole story. Amy and I just released a co-authored book, so we understand a little bit about the collaboration process and how it’s such a better book because it has both of us—not just both of our voices, but both of us collaborating through the process. So I’m going to ask a trick question and I know it’s a trick question because I read your book. What exactly is a blind spot? Can you give us a precise definition for “blind spot”?
Fil: Tim, I think you’ve got the better answer to that question. I know you just answered one, but can I hand that off to you? I’d love to hear your answer.
Tim: Sure. [Laughs] Sure. You know when we were writing the book about halfway through I guess of our drafts Fil and I had a conversation with our publisher and they said, “You know what? I think you need to define what a blind spot is.” [Chuckles]
Tim: We kind of chuckled and said, “That’s a good idea. I think we’ve been talking all around it, but maybe we haven’t identified it.” So our definition basically boiled down to: any thing that prevents you from being all that God has wired you out to be.
Tim: Any thing that stands in the way. Could that be sin? It could. But they don’t always—we didn’t believe that it always had to be a sinful behavior, although probably the majority of them are. But any thing that blocks our intimacy, our relationship, our giftedness, our desire for what God would like us to be.
Amy: Fantastic. That’s challenging because that covers a wide variety of things. Can you give us some specific examples? Can you share with our listeners one of your personal blind spots that you’ve dealt with and how you first became away of it?
Fil: [Chuckles] I’ll talk now, Tim. Because I’ve got lots of stories, unfortunately.
Fil: I was having dinner with my wife—this was not that long ago—and I was actually doing an interview the next day about the book. I knew this was going to be one of the questions so I thought, “Well I’ll just ask for something fresh.” So I asked Lucy, “Could you tell me about a blind spot? Something that you think I have overlooked?” Immediately she asked if I recalled the story she’d begun to tell earlier in the evening—[Laughs]—and before I could answer she informed me ‘Even if you remember how the story began don’t bothering remembering the ending because I never finished.’
Fil: Then she explained that while we were home and she was telling me something from her day, I had received a text message and so I immediately picked up my phone—and because it was important I began to respond—and so as she explained, “Feeling invisible I simply left the room.” I never asked her to finish her story. Ouch. It still hurts. [Pause] I was oblivious totally, totally out of touch.
Cheri: Okay, can I ask an off script question? [30:59]
Cheri: Isn’t that just being a guy?
Fil & Tim: [Laughing]
Cheri: I mean, isn’t that just the way men are? I mean, if I was having a conversation with my mature girlfriends who are very pro-marriage—I’ve been married thirty-one years—
Cheri: If I were to tell them my husband did that many of them would just roll their eyes and say, “Cheri, you know that’s just how men are.”
Fil: Yeah, I don’t know. It’s all I’ve ever been, so it’s hard for me to—
Cheri Amy & Tim: [Laughing]
Fil: I do feel like I am a pretty alert, sensitive, tuned-in person, but at the same time I also believe that I am easily distracted.
Fil: I think that—not to take any responsibility off of myself—but I do think that it doesn’t help that there are so many distractions, there’s so much noise, there’s most of us are overscheduled, over committed. We said yes to too many things, at least that’s the case for me. It breaks my heart when I—sometimes I like to say I’m just ignorance on fire.
Amy & Cheri: [Chuckling]
Fil: I don’t mean to be blind. I just seem to be.
Cheri: I think that applies to all of us, not just gender specific.
Tim: Yeah, I can jump in. I certainly don’t need to be let off the hook. Probably what inspired a little bit of the core of the book was an encounter that I had that I write about in the book. I started thinking about this topic and I thought about all the blind spots that I had uncovered in others in their leadership and how I thought that I could really love them and care for them and mentor them and so forth, but it seemed like I never was successful. Those relationships, which were employees, the few of them that were thankful to me they didn’t end well and I walked away thinking, ‘Why can’t they see?’ I began to wonder if it was my leadership. Then I read a book by Daniel Goleman about emotional intelligence and he said, “Unless somebody acknowledges ‘hey I think I have an issue here. I don’t know what it is but I do think I need some help.’” He quantified this—I don’t know how he did but he said, “No matter what you do the best you can expect is about a two to three percent improvement.” I remember I put my hands in the air like a touchdown and I said, “Hallelujah! Maybe it’s not me.” Then me being what I thought was the most self-aware person there was on the planet—
Tim: —I went into a meeting with a group of peers and was pitching an idea. The meeting didn’t go well. In fact, it ended rather abruptly. The week following that meeting there was tension, I knew there was tension. I couldn’t figure it out and I remember thinking, ‘What in the world are these people thinking? I mean, my goodness if anybody needs to be frustrated it needs to be me. Because how in the world could they treat me like this?’ So we got back together a week later—maybe a little intervention or whatever—but we sat around the table and we said, “All right. Let’s process what happened last week.” So I sat. I had prayed and fasted that day to make sure I came with the right attitude to come and listen. One of the other members began to share the story of the conversation and she got to a point where she said, “And remember you said this,” and then she went on and I was trying not to be defensive, but I made a mental note and said, ‘Well she was obviously wrong because I never said those words.’ So when she got to the end I thanked her, “Thanks for telling me that. I’m going to take that under advisement. The only thing is when you said that I said these words—I didn’t say that.” The other five people in the room turned and said, “Yes, you did.”
Tim: I had a deer in the headlights and I thought, ‘Holy cow has the evil one blinded me so much that I literally said some words that I still to this day can’t recall that I uttered.’
Cheri: Mm. Mm.
Amy: Wow. Powerful.
Cheri: That’s tough. So Tim, that leads beautifully to the next question which is: Are all blind spots truly hidden from vision? Or are they sometimes things that we’re just in denial about?
Tim: Yeah, there’s a funny story there. I posted before the book launched on social media almost this question. I said, “Are all blind spots truly hidden? Or do we just kind of hide them from time to time?” A friend of mine kind of tongue in cheek, he responded back, “Tim, they’re blind spots. If they’re blind, you can’t see them; however, you may be talking about denial spots.”
Tim: I said, ‘Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m thinking’. I do think there are things—the story I just described I still to this day can’t remember saying those words, but there were five other people who heard them. The same words loud and clear. But I do think the majority of the time if we peel away the layers we probably can uncover that it was not a blind spot, we’ve chosen to make it a blind spot. We’ve chosen to hide it, to deny it, to kind of put it out of sight, out of mind. Put it in the corner of our soul and hope nobody sees it. It’s sort of like when you drive to work and you get there and you think, ‘Wow, I don’t even recall anything I saw on the way.’ Sometimes I think that’s what happens with our denial.
Amy: So what you’re describing is so hard to bring to the surface ourselves. I thought it was interesting that both of you told stories about how you became aware of your blind spot and somebody else pointed it out.
Amy: Fil, how would you encourage people to lovingly point out another person’s blind spot? This is hard to do and hard to receive.
Fil: Yes. Absolutely. Well, I’ll just underscore the word you’ve already used. Lovingly.
Fil: I think it’s so important. One of the reasons something I’ve never seen as another person’s motive—I can see their behavior, I can see their words, but I can never be certain what their motivation is—and remembering I can’t know that yet, I think helps with the loving piece. I think it was a blind spot of mine how neglected, how misunderstood, and how rarely practiced pointing out another’s blind spot actually is. I think it’s a crying shame. I think we all, at least on our best days, we want to be better people. We want to be kinder more loving more caring more compassionate more truthful. I don’t think we can do that on our own. So I think that…I love something that Jesus said, “The truth will set you free.” What he didn’t say was, “It will sometimes make you miserable first.”
Tim, Amy & Cheri: [Laughs]
Fil: I think we do need to go in aware that when you point out someone’s blind spot there might be some push back. There might be some resentment. There can be any number of reactions; but if you’re doing it with a loving spirit, which I would certainly advise, and with the belief that you’re doing this for their good. The Proverbs say, “An open rebuke is better than hidden love. Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy (Proverbs 27:5).” I’m not a very [confrontational] person, but I’ve learned the value. I want so much for Tim, my wife, or for others to tell me what they see that I’m missing. I’m learning that the person who does that for me and the people that I do it for, that we’re loving well when we do it.
Cheri: Mm. Mm. That’s so good. So Tim, our listeners are primarily reforming perfectionist and reforming people pleasers, and so things like guilt and shame weigh very heavily on them. So we don’t actually use the word ‘sin’ a whole lot on this show even though we know it’s real we believe in it. So when we talk about blind spots, some of them being sin and sometimes they’re not, could you unpack that just a bit more for those who really maybe struggle with perfectionism and just the idea that it could that their blind spots could be sin is just paralyzing or horrifying to them? [21:03]
Tim: Yeah, Fil and I don’t like the word sin either.
Tim: We actually reacted to that because the initial reaction, oh, blind spot/sin it’s always one and the same. We pushed back on that in writing the book. We didn’t get excited about writing a book about sin.
Cheri & Fil: [Chuckles]
Tim: Because we think particularly in the book the narrative is not just about sin, there’s a brighter story. If you stop at the sin piece it can make you miserable. I have a personal example; I do think that a lot of our blind spots are sinful, so I’m not going to deny that. For example I love to speak, I love to teach and speak, and things of that nature, but I didn’t realize that until probably my mid-to-late forties. I was never the guy who wanted to give the talks in elementary school or college or whatever; I was never the leader of the debate club. I was always the one who just listened, wasn’t really verbose at all. But I was asked, almost was thrown in to the need to communicate to speak and all of a sudden it was affirmed. I finally realized that maybe this was a gift that God has wired up inside of me, but it just had not been affirmed, no light had been shed on it until that phase of my life. I don’t believe—I hope I’m not justifying—I don’t believe, I led a sinful life from when I was born until I was in my mid-forties or so because I didn’t all of a sudden recognize this gift. So I think that was a blind spot that I had that God had just chosen to reveal it to me later in my life. Basically to say that you’ve got this gift, you’re not ignoring the gift, you just don’t know that you have it so I want to reveal it to you. Now I want you to use it. I remember when I started doing it, it was very awkward and I finally had kind of this throw down with God to say, “Okay, if this is what you want me to do, you open the door and I’ll say yes to those opportunities.” So that’s just one example where I don’t think a blind spot was necessarily a sin.
Cheri: Mm. That’s a great example.
Amy: So the process we know of becoming like Jesus requires action and hard work, which you mention often in the book. So how do you handle the tension between avoiding a legalistic message and cultivating a dependence on the work of the Holy Spirit?
Fil: Yeah. Wow, what a fascinating dynamic; what a tension. Our spiritual transformation, which I think is a life long journey, is a gift we’re given, and yet it doesn’t just land in our laps either. It requires some effort, yet there is no earning. I think therein lies the mystery. I think it’s a way of living; it’s an attitude the mind adopts. It’s an orientation that our soul adapts to and certainly as I’ve already mentioned the progressive nature of it. My wife and I grew up on the beach and I love sitting out in the sun, I love getting a tan. We were at the beach one day and it was really hot and we’d come in and gotten some lunch, and as we were wrapping up she said, “It’s just too hot for me. I’m not going back out.” I said, “Well, I am I’m going to head back out and work a little longer on my tan.” As I’m walking toward the door I heard her chuckle and I asked her, “What’s so funny?” She said, “You’re going to ‘work’ on your tan? Well, I sure hope you get a good one.” I said, “There is work! I got to walk down there. I’ve got to open my chair. I’ve got to position myself. There’s a lot involved in this.” She said, “Oh, just go. Just go.” I’m walking down there thinking, ‘What an idiot! I’m arguing with my wife about this,’ but the truth the matter is I think we were both right. There’s no work really involved, but there were some things that I had to do. Let’s be honest it took me about five minutes to do all that work—if you want to call it that—then I just plopped down and for two hours I’m just lying there letting it be done unto me, to borrow someone else’s words. To switch metaphors: I think it’s kind of like the way a cucumber becomes a pickle. It just soaks in the brine and it takes a very long time. So God engages us in the process, but it’s not a result of our effort alone it’s something that God is doing as we participate in the process.
Amy: Those are amazing pictures for us. Without the sun, there’s no tan!
Amy: Without the Holy Spirit, there’s no change.
Fil: So I like to think—just one more word about that—so getting a son tan, S-O-N, comes as we do spiritual practices as we pray, as we read scripture, as we serve, as we do all the things God’s given us to do that are in fact transformative.
Cheri: Mm. So, so good. There’s effort, but’s it’s not earning. That’s a great tension there. All right. Well, true confession time here. I have a blind spot; I have been putting effort into the blind spot. I am a helper, I’m an enneagram two, but so often I find myself in the middle of meddling and I don’t know how I got there. It was helping and then suddenly it was meddling, so I had this blind spot. So Tim, what is one encouragement you might give someone like me who keeps coming back and needing to focus on the same blind spot? I find myself discouraged that I can’t get it right.
Tim: Yeah, I think Fil’s example that he just gave is great for some of that as well. I don’t know if this answers the question, but this is the first thing that came to mind. Sometimes I think we have to look beneath—first of all, a blind spot is either blind or hidden as we’ve talked about. So when we reveal it sometimes we don’t see it all in it’s clarity to begin with and we have to look beneath the layers. So just a quick example: one year at the start of the year we challenged our team—Fil was on that team—and we challenged everybody to pick one fruit of the spirit to focus on the whole year, realizing that Paul didn’t want us to cherry pick the fruits. I always say, ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’ We said ask your family, ask your friends, what fruit you should focus on and I did a little text poll—you know, I have four children and my wife Stacey, and I so we have a family of six, so I don’t vote so five votes is a pretty good poll.
Tim: So I sent that out in a text, and literally within about 15 minutes all the votes came in and they were unanimous that the spirit they wanted me to work on was patience. So I thought, ‘Wow, maybe that’s a blind spot and I really need to work on patience. I really need to do that.’ As I was writing this particular chapter in the book and describing this about half way through I had this, if I’m being transparent feeling where I thought, ‘If I’m really thinking about layers, is there something underneath impatience that is the blind spot?’ What I uncovered was is that my impatience with things and people perhaps comes out of a deeper blind spot of entitlement.
Tim: Or perhaps I feel like I deserve to be treated a different way, or I feel like somebody should be acting better than they are, or something of that nature. It really hit me right between the eyes. When I finished that little exercise I thought, ‘Wow, if I would have continued to just chip away at impatience it would be like pulling kind of cutting weeds at the surface, but you never get to the root of the real blind spot’. So if I can deal with perhaps a feeling sometimes of entitlement, guess what? I think impatience might take care of itself.
Amy: That is a powerful concept. I’m sure we’re going to be talking about that, Cheri, in our convo the layers to this.
Cheri: [Chuckles] I’m so worried.
Fil & Cheri: [Laughs]
Amy: I’m so worried, too. So I’ll have to implement that. So Fil, can you speak to how essential Christian community is in recognizing and removing blind spots?
Fil: Yes, I’d love to. There’s so much freedom that comes from being truthful, honest, so I’m going to exercise some of that to tell you that I need all the help I can get. If I’m going to be the best version of myself, if I’m going to move toward being the person that God had in mind when God designed me in my mother’s womb, I’m not going to get there alone. I heard a great illustration one time in a nutshell, pun intended, the last line in the story was, ‘If you ever see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you can know at least this much about it: it didn’t get there on it’s own.’
Cheri & Amy: [Chuckles]
Fil: If we are ever to become fully our self, we’re going to have to have people helping us. So inviting folks into our life I think with some discernment, some discretion I wouldn’t just go willy-nilly. I would first ask myself if this is someone I trust? Is this a discerning person? Is this someone I believe does in fact have my best interest in mind? If I could say those things about them, then I would only be foolish to not ask them will you please keep an eye on me? When you see what you think I’m missing please tell me. I’ve got three wonderful kids and we were altogether on vacation a couple summers ago, and we were out on a stroll one evening and everybody was getting along it was great! All of a sudden it was like the temperature dropped about twenty degrees and there was a coldness that was coming from my daughter. I couldn’t imagine what in the world—at first I thought maybe her husband said something to her that got her sideways. As Lucy and I were going to bed that night I asked her, “Do you know what’s wrong with Meredith? She seemed very cool toward me tonight.” She said, “Why are you asking me?”
Fil: “Ask her.” So the next morning I did. Immediately her eyes just filled with tears and she grabbed my hand took me outside and—she was ‘exhibit A,’ she was the poster girl for how to do it well—she said, “Dad, I have no doubt that it was not in your heart to hurt me, but you said something last night that really, really hurt and I don’t think you have any awareness.” And of course I didn’t. Acknowledging that you need other people watching is one of the wisest things we can do. I think to bring that into our relationship with God—‘God search my heart. Tell me what you see’—and I think reading scripture, that way is another approach we can take. The scriptures are like mirrors.
Amy: So good. That requires such a vulnerability to be willing to and courageous enough to ask your daughter, so that’s a great model for us.
Fil: Yes. Yeah. Yeah.
Amy: What closing words of encouragement would you two like to leave with our listeners? Do you each kind of have a brief thing you’d like to share with us?
Tim: Sure, I’d be glad to start. One thing I would say is we’ve talked about some heavy stuff [chuckles] so I would hate for your listeners to be left with, ‘Well why in the world would I want to wade into this? This doesn’t sound like a lot of fun. If it’s blind let’s just keep it blind because I don’t want to uncover all this stuff.’ The story I told about the words that I uttered that I had no idea that I had said those particular words to the group, the end of that story sort of the Paul Harvey rest of the story is the next morning I woke up—it was a Saturday morning I woke up—I was sitting on the edge of my bed and I remember waking up thinking, ‘That’s the best night of sleep I’ve had in a long time. My goodness. What in the world did I have for dinner last night?’ I realized that it was a blind spot that had been removed. So even though you go through some yuckiness to kind of get rid of that blind spot and perhaps expose it, the joy on the other side of that wall is worth all the effort a million fold. I can’t put into words the feeling and the joy and the relief that I felt, which I shouldn’t be surprised because if there’s something blocking my relationship from my ability to be all that God wants me to be I’ve got to feel better. I’ve got to feel this incredible joy and I would just encourage anyone who’s thinking about this to play the tape to the end, don’t stop at just that part where you feel like you’re in the quick sand and wondering if you’ll ever get out of it.
Amy: Great advice.
Fil: I’ll jump in very quickly, too; one on the dark side, one on the bright side. On the dark side, I would add this aspect or dimension to what we’ve already discussed. I think abuse is something that a lot of us have suffered, and I want to bring that into the light and say some of my blind spots have been things that were hidden for my good. There have been things that happened to me at various points in my life that were just too much for me to deal with at the time. I have a friend who owns a farm up in New England and he says every spring he goes and gets the mower out and ruins a blade on a rock that wasn’t there the summer before. Then he explains of course the rock was there, but it was beneath the surface. I think God in His mercy sometimes waits till we’re ready for some of these things that are hidden from us to be surfaced. I think it is the work of God’s spirit, but I have also had friends take me there. Friends who have said, “Fil there’s a tendency that you have…” and they’ll explain “…and I’d like to probe that with you because there’s something beneath the surface and maybe it’s time for us to explore this.” That’s hard work and it takes great courage. I think we’re wise to pray for God’s protection when we do it because it does put us in a vulnerable place. I think the other thing—Tim alluded to it—so much of what we talked about is hard. Cheri, for instance you talked about you’re a two [referencing enneagram] just all the time wanting to help. That is so beautiful. I don’t even know you and already you’ve endeared yourself to me, so what I would say to all of us is this: we are hopelessly ourselves. [Chuckles] There are just things about us and they can be annoying sometimes because we overdo it. I think it’s a wonderful thing to see, ‘Okay, sometimes I overdo my caring. I don’t want to do that, but I can’t help the fact that I’m caring. So what’s underneath the surface perhaps? What is blind to me that’s causing me to be too aggressive? Maybe seeing a little more clearly I become a better version of myself. Every now and then someone will say to me, “Do you realize how thoughtful you are?” Really? You think? Wow, thank you for telling me. Who knew? I think sometimes a blind spot can sometimes be something that’s really grand and we just don’t know. Calling that out in people is a wonderful gift as well.
Cheri: We hope you’ve enjoyed episode one 82 of grit and grace, good girls breaking bad rules.
Amy: Hop on over to our website, GritNGraceGirls.com/episode182 There you’ll find our transcript and this week’s digging deeper devotional.
Cheri: Okay, so here’s the special announcement. Thanks to Tim and Fil and our amazing team of interns. We have become aware of a blind spot that we have as podcasters.
Cheri: We’ve become so focused on finding good guests to interview.
Amy: Oh, and we’ve had wonderful guests.
Cheri: Yes, we absolutely have. And we’re also feeling like we focus so much on our interview guests that we’ve kind of lost sight of you, our grit and grace listeners.
Amy: So we’re dedicating our January sabbatical this year to being better listeners. And when we come back, we’re going to be talking about what you want to hear.
Cheri: We always say the Grit ‘n’ Grace is a podcast for reforming perfectionists people pleasers. And those of us who are highly sensitive, our goal is to help you replace the exhaustion of self-made goodness with the rest of God’s grace.
Amy: So it’s your turn now your turn to talk to us. We’ll be asking questions and listening to your responses on our Facebook page and in our Facebook group.
Cheri: If you’re not yet connected with us on Facebook, just search Facebook for Grit N Grace Girls and you’ll find us.
Amy: So don’t be shy. Speak up. We’re going to be listening and asking you lots of questions to get you going.
Cheri: For today, grow your grit, embrace God’s grace, and when you run across a bad rule, you know what to do. Go right on ahead and …
Amy ‘n’ Cheri: BREAK IT!