I am often able to see things clearly only with hindsight. In the moment when they are unfolding, I am so caught up in what’s going on that I am unable to zoom out and see the bigger picture.
“If you spot it, you got it”… is a phrase that is sometimes used to tell people that they are quick to judge others, but actually what they are judging is within them. The trigger is activated because that which irritates or scares me or that I laugh at and make fun of in others is actually within me. If I recognise it (whatever it is that irks me), it means it resides within me too, or else I would not be in tune with it. While this may be true, it is only half the picture.
The glass-half-full version of “if you spot it, you got it” is true too. The other way to interpret “if you spot it, you got it” is that it allows empathy and vulnerability to come into play. If I am not tuned into what another person is going through, I can miss so many important life moments. To be empathic and able to support another is a powerful example of how spotting it, enables me to enable another. I know what it feels like to be made redundant amid a pandemic and find my way forward. I know what it feels like to navigate my way through the empty nest into the free nest phase. I know what it is like to win a large client mandate and how much effort it takes to get the first three months right. I can spot opportunities and anticipate problems simply because of having endured or enjoyed similar situations before.
A line from the poem “Along The Road” by Robert Browning Hamilton seems to pop up into my head as if from nowhere. I find the verse that seems to echo my thoughts, underlining the importance of learning from difficult times…
“I walked a mile with Pleasure;
She chatted all the way;
But left me none the wiser
For all she had to say.
I walked a mile with Sorrow;
And ne’er a word said she;
But, oh! The things I learned from her,
When Sorrow walked with me.”
It seems to tell me that sorrow comes for a reason and stays for a season. The learnings from that experience last a lifetime. They are a gift that I am given to pass it forward. I am also reminded that sometimes I don’t have the tools to support another, because I cannot fathom what it must be like to stand in their shoes. At times like this at the very least I must just be present and be kind. “If I spot it, I get it…” Even if I “Spot it, and don’t get it” just being aware and attentive is sometimes enough. With this intention, I can be of support to someone else going through a difficult phase in a better way.
No two experiences are alike, but to sense the need in another, I have to see it first. Sorrow opens my eyes to others pain. Another version of me may have rushed past the person or perhaps not caught sight of the deeper truth that their eyes communicate even when their words say “I’m okay”. As a communications professional, years of experience have given me an issues alert radar’ which I call my Spidey sense. It allows me to intuitively spot a possible issue or a crisis waiting to happen. Preparedness and pre-emption are more than 50 percent of good crisis management. Being able to look around the corner and anticipate what might unfold is one of the most important skills that a PR professional needs to have.
If you spot it, you got it is like the two sides of me. There is night and day. Within me there is darkness and there is light. I sense both and the more I am in tune with both these forces, the better I can navigate the world with self-awareness. The saying “We see the world not as it is, but as we are” holds true. The more experience and instruments I have to help me better see the world the better I become at supporting others on their journey of exploration.
Johny Nash’s “I can see clearly now” is playing in a loop in my head.
“I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all the obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day…”
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