Look for the Forest

As we travel along our paths we are occasionally lucky enough to awarded without opportunities to learn and better ourselves.

Sometimes these opportunities are due to self reflection. It’s something we all should do, even if finding time can be it’s own challenge. Unfortunately, the largest blinders we were are the ones that obscure our own faults. Many times we have to trust in others to help us find our shortcomings.

Very, very occasionally this comes in the form of the perfect messenger with the perfect message. When this happens, consider yourself blessed. And then, of course, try you best to make the improvements.

More common is to receive feedback in some combination of fitting messenger with mixed messages, or a well meaning message coming from someone that you might find distasteful. There is an entire spectrum for both messengers and message that can be put together. Sometimes you might be unlucky enough to get portly worded messages from someone you can’t stand. Life’s funny like that.

The point is, because there are so few perfect situations we, as humans, can push away the advice we so dearly need. Flaws can be their most painful when pointed out. Attacking a part of the delivery system can almost work as a salve. But while doing that might numb the pain of the truth, it doesn’t heal the flaws.

Or perhaps, we are give a bouquet of reasons for something, and one of the reasons just absolutely does not hold up. But just because a single flower is out of place, does not mean the bouquet is invalid.

Or, to go back to to the cliche of the title, just because a single tree is false, doesn’t mean you aren’t in a forest.

At the end of the day, the real skill of receiving feedback is sifting through all the information we receive and resisting the urge to fight against anything unpleasant. And, even more than that, sifting through all that is being transmitted and finding the parcels that hold true value.

Then comes the challenge of making changes.

Let’s do our best.

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