“…what we’re thinking about — what we’re focused on — filters the world around us so aggressively that it literally shapes what we see. So, Drew says, we need to think carefully about the instructions we give to professional searchers like radiologists or people looking for terrorist activity, because what we tell them to look for will in part determine what they see and don’t see.”
These words woke me up this morning. Daniel had turned up the volume on NPR as a way of waking me up, and so he could hear it from his closet. It intrigued me so I later looked up the news story on the internet. It fascinated me not only because of what it said, but because of the timing of the story in my life.
My online marriage coach – Coach James from Marriage Sherpa – always tells me to be careful of how I interpret the things Daniel says and does. He feels that Daniel has real, true love for me. I have believed for a long time that his OW was the love of his life, and he settled for me when he couldn’t have what he wanted. She dumped him when we first started college many years ago for another guy – the guy who she married and still married to today. When they reconnected through their alumni association, the sparks flew on their very first letters and they had a six year affair. When they broke up, they said they would love each other forever and hoped God would make a way for them to be together.
Coach James and I wrote about it again yesterday. This is what he said:
“I won’t try to argue or take that feeling away from you — I wish CK would do something to prove this wrong, to erase this -but I know that is in his court and that change is the hardest thing, that he seems very resistant to change. It is helpful to vocalize our feelings sometimes, to get them out and write them down, say them out loud to trusted friends. I do encourage you to question these things you feel certain are true. Building up strength and independence for yourself certainly isnt a bad thing — but be careful not to convince yourself of something you aren’t sure is true. I suspect the truth is more complicated than that.”
I went to bed with these words in my head and woke up this morning to the ending of that NPR story. It was about “inattentional blindness.” In a psychological study, a clipart picture of a man in a gorilla suit was pasted onto a typical xray of a lung being checked for cancer. 83 percent of the radiologists didn’t notice the gorilla. 83 percent! The discussion of the study was the quote at the top of this story. Filters – we all have them. It’s how we view the world. We need to be careful of our filters. My filters formed through the story of my husband’s affair through the eyes of their emails. How much of that is true? How much of it was their fantasy and not something they ever intended to become real? How much did they want to be real? The emotional reaction to it makes my filters very thick and deeply colored, I guess. I need to listen to Coach James and be aware of my filters as I make decisions that will affect many lives.
Here is a link to the NPR article, if you’d like to read it: