Courtesy of the Helen Keller Foundation

Courtesy of the Helen Keller Foundation

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched — they must be felt with the heart.”

~ Helen Keller

What do you see when your eyes are closed? In my case, I see plenty.

I am amazed by how frequently we think we see, when in fact we do not. Our outward sight is often conflicted, confused and perplexed by external messages that distort our inward vision and understanding.

With true vision in mind, I could think of no better woman to personify the message contained in this post. By all accounts, Helen Keller should be able to “see” nothing. Instead, her lack of eyesight — and even hearing — proved a gateway to her inner growth and special wisdom. Today, Helen’s wise proclamation creates reason to pause for those of us who claim to see.

Chapter Break Angel“This is why I speak to them in parables. Though seeing, they do not see;
    though hearing, they do not hear or understand.” ~ Jesus 

Most of us accord special stature, knowledge or authority to others. We let them explain the world to us and fail to inquire of it ourselves.

Sometimes we’re busy, stressed or feeling inadequate to the task of deconstructing the world around us. As a result, we suspend our own sense of reality and surrender it to others.

Yet information, titles and expertise are not always a fair replacement for true vision — or even hearing. We need not look farther than the news to discover a world replete with problems — and experts unable to solve the problems for us.

When possible, I try to view things like Presidential debates and other polarizing “news” reports without network intervention. If something is available on C-SPAN public television, I’ll tune in. In these quieter venues, there is no concurrent dialogue or overlay. There’s no talking head to translate what I think I just heard.

Without an expert commentator to zero in on selective remarks and build a framework around them, I must listen for myself. Without overlays of biases, fears and prejudices, I am left only with those of my own. I must assess — inwardly as well as intellectually — what is happening or being said. And I must decide how I truly feel about it.

Chapter Break AngelThis Week’s Podcast

A few weeks ago, I attended the funeral of a man I never met. I wondered why I was drawn to his memorial, but something compelled me to go. When I arrived, the lesson turned obvious.I never saw the man, but I learned about his inner qualities and how he influenced those around him.

What I acquired from that memorial service provided content and inspiration for the following podcast. Listen here or click on the image below and perhaps you, too, will see why.

Maura Sweeney Podcast CoverTake a few moments today and close your eyes. Listen like Helen Keller advises and discover eyes and wisdom of a different sort.

As you do, may your heart discover some of the best and most beautiful things in the world!

Maura Sweeney in Hvar Island CroatiaMaura Sweeney is a Podcaster, Author and Speaker

Her mantra is “Living Happy – Inside Out!”

Find her podcasts on iTunes and Stitcher

Fan her on Huffington Post

Follow her on Twitter

 

Comments (2)

  1. Reply

    Another beautiful post Maura. I feel blessed as well as privileged to have stumbled across your blog after browsing through everydaygyaan’s linky submissions.

    What you shared in this post is something I find quite relatable as I am on a personal journey of self-discovery & self-development. So self reflection and consulting with ones inner self, distancing oneself from the mind and senses, is something that I have learned to be valuable as well as quite instructive and transformative with enough practice.

    Mainstream media and many other channels are flooded with noise, distortion and misintrepretation, and hardly ever is there any focus on constructive solutions. This was one of the many reasons that I completely stopped watching television years ago. And also after being submerged in those distorted perspective our vision begins to betray ourselves. So silent reflection and personal inquiry should be right up there on our daily check list.

    But now I am also learning that total disconnection is not entirely fruitful if one aims to work with present conditions to bring about change. So that’s a really great idea you put forward, to watch events/coverage without the overlays.

    You made such an accurate observation on why we suspend our own reality. Thanks for that. I will keep that one in mind. So again, self inquiry which is inquiry into oneself and also the kind of inquiry of the world around us both is something we should never give up on as that is the only genuine compass we have with us.

    Also thanks for reminding me of Helen Keller. I had picked up her book recently, and reading this quote and your insights about it, makes me realize the importance of having such a perspective, and has pushed me to make some time and start reading the book (The Story of my Life) which I already considered to be like a personal companion of sorts after learning about her great work, perseverance and dedication.

    This is only the second post of yours which I read up till now and I came across your website only today. Despite of that I can already say with much confidence that this space you have created here is truly “a gateway to inner growth and special wisdom”. So looking forward to your next most and reading your previous ones too!

    • Reply

      Omkar, I have no idea why it took me so long to discover your comments but thank you for posting! What I do today is a midlife vocation. I’ve been on a journey to find happiness in life from an inner place of the heart and I hope to inspire others to find that same place in life, too. It is remarks like yours that make what I do satisfying and rewarding, hearing that something I’ve written, spoken or observed struck a chord of familiarity. Thank you for your most thoughtful reflections and I hope that you’ll consider subscribing to my posts in the future. Best wishes.

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