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Aug 01, 2017 1592 Sister Miriam James Heidland S.O.L.T.

I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know…

Every driver knows that one of the worst places you can find yourself in—is the “blind spot” of another driver. That is the little space in the line of sight between the coverage of the rear view or side mirror and the actual car next to us.

I think we have all had the experience of checking our mirrors and then changing lanes, only to hear the mad blast of a horn as a car that was previously unseen to us speeds past. While our heart races over the near collision, we practically break our necks double checking the next twelve lane changes.

And then sometimes the collision does happen. We could have sworn there was no car next to us but the accident happens and the problems and trauma ensue.

One of my friends noted that this is true in our personal lives as well. How many times have we “run into or over” others simply because we did not “see them.” It is the boss who regularly becomes angry and screams at his employees because “that’s just how he is.” It is the meddling mother-in-law who cannot get through a conversation without saying something cutting or judgmental, when “trying to be helpful.” It is the spouse who is more concerned about him or herself than the marriage or family. Often no one wants to confront these issues and so the problem continues. Self-awareness is minimal and the pain it inflicts on others pours forth.

Most of the time, our ‘blind spots’ come not from an area of malice, but simply from a lack of self-awareness. We do not know ourselves or our story well enough to understand what it might be like to interact with ourselves on a daily basis. I am often personally convicted when I complain about others because people have to live with me as well! They have to work, interact and relate to me—broken, fragile person just the same.

But there is also another aspect to ‘blind spots’—we often do not see ourselves as we truly are in our deep lovingness to God. As Saint Paul writes in the context of speaking about authentic love, “For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12). We all long to see face-to-face. Our deepest desires involve loving and being loved, knowing and being known. This is an ache for eternity. When we see God face to face, we will finally see, know and love in fullness.

Until then, we undergo this process of revelation, of knowing only parts and pieces as we move towards the whole. It is beautiful and sorrowful, wounding and life-giving. It is the path of true love—to behold ourselves and others as unique, precious and unrepeatable creations of God Himself.

We could ask the Holy Spirit to reveal our ‘blind spots’—that He reveals the areas where we “run over” and miss people because we just do not see them.

Let us ask the Holy Spirit to speak to our true identity, our true lovingness, and live in that reality rather than relating to ourselves and others from our masks, our wounded and skewed vision.

We often do not know what we do not know. Let us ask to see clearly, all the way around.


Sister Miriam James Heidland S.O.L.T.

Sister Miriam James Heidland S.O.L.T. was raised in Woodland, Washington. She is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno where she played volleyball on a scholarship and majored in communications. Upon graduation, she joined the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity (SOLT), a missionary community that serves global areas of deepest apostolic need. Sister Heidland has served at various SOLT missions including Rome, Seattle and Texas. In addition to speaking, her apostolate includes working with elementary school students, parish ministry, coaching high school volleyball and co-hosting a Catholic radio program. Her story has been featured in the “Seattle Times,” The National Catholic Register and heard on Relevant Radio, Sirius XM, Catholic Answers Live and EWTN’s Life on the Rock, as well as at Steubenville conferences, the Share Jesus campaign and international conferences and retreats. Sister Heidland holds a master’s degree in theology from the Augustine Institute and often attends courses at the Theology of the Body Institute. Her book, “Loved As I Am,” was released by Ave Maria Press.

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