What’s Your Lens?

I recently submitted an application for a contract.  Per the requested information, I submitted my resume and cover letter.  Despite my best efforts to present a holistic picture of myself, the first response I got was limited to an assumption about a singular element on my resume.  I recall a separate incident where I told someone another aspect of myself and based on their assumptions of my appearance, were surprised that was a part of me.  How many of us can relate to being narrowly defined by one aspect; a singular lens focused on only one piece of ourselves – a credential, a diagnosis, an experience, appearance, or some other “defining characteristic.”

This struck a chord for me in both instances.  Well, two chords; one, being somewhat annoyed at the other people’s limited vision, the other recognizing that I too have fallen into that trap.  It’s easy to assume we know all we need to know about someone based on a first glance.  It also serves as a reminder of the intention of Kaleidoscope Studio – a place where all aspects of a person are accepted and a place where we can work to integrate them into a whole lived experience.

So how do we create a space where acceptance and integration thrive?  The first is to develop curiosity.  In this instance, curiosity requires both internal and external engagement.  We must know more about ourselves and our assumptions, and we need know more about another person and their experiences.  The more we learn about another person, the more opportunity we have to expand our field of vision, to become more macroscopic than microscopic.  Sometimes we get to know the person more deeply, sometimes not.  The challenge is to recognize that a person is more than our limited scope of interaction. 

It’s easy to be narrow; neatly classifying people, like objects, into simply-defined categories.  I reacted strongly to being put into a box.  I suspect I’m not alone.  All people have defining attributes and experiences.  These give us points of connection with other humans.  This is good as a starting point!  Our goal though is to step beyond these singular points of “data” and see a whole person, consciously softening our gaze to see more – in ourselves and in others.

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