Things are not always as they appear. In fact, we’re often deceived into thinking that what we see is all there is. But there is often more going on than what meets the eye and we must learn to look beneath the surface.
It’s not always intentional, malicious, or even conscious, but we all have aspects of our selves that remain hidden – from others and sometimes even ourselves.
Perhaps we engage in a particular habit or vice and tend not to think much about it. We assume its presence is just random and meaningless. But it’s likely our habits also point to deeper themes.
For example, feelings of insecurity might lead us to overcompensate and feel the need to always one-up the next guy. On the surface what looks like harmless competition might actually reveal unhealed places in our story.
Likewise, on the surface, our wife’s nagging might appear irrational and push us away. But beneath the surface is her deep desire to connect that we might miss otherwise.
And while some people are intentionally deceptive – showing us what they want us to see and hiding the rest – even here, surface lies often suggest deeper issues. Maybe the lie is an attempt to cope with one’s personal struggles with shame, anxiety, or fear.
In the end, we can remember our stories have many layers and there’s likely more going on than what we initially see.
This is not to live in suspicion or to doubt others. Rather it’s to train our eyes as we regularly consider the rest of the story.
Expanding our vision allows us to respond in love to the true needs of the moment and not get lost in the weeds of surface issues.
Regularly step back and look beneath the surface. There’s more going on than what meets the eye.