Last night, I was watching an episode of The Good Doctor (season 3 episode 1 – Disaster)
I was struck by a culminating sentence which summed up how I sometimes, and somedays most times, feel around people or situations when my head is in chaos. It points out quite brilliantly the silent clash of the inner and outer worlds.
Shaun Murphy, an autistic surgeon, was describing going on a first date to his colleagues. He described a date that had gone perfectly well – that’s the narrative from an outside perspective – all the while repeatedly painting it as a disaster – this reflected his inner perspective and an opportunity to peak into it.
As he ended the story (at 37:12), a colleague impatiently enquired:
« Where’s the disaster?
I listened to an hour of this.
I was promised a disaster.
Where’s the disaster? »
To what Shaun finally answered:
« It was exhausting. Everything was always out of control. Anything could happen at any time. Anything did. There was too much to remember to do. Too much to remember not to do. And none of it made sense. It was hard, uncomfortable, unpleasant. I spent the whole evening doing unnatural things to make her happy and I don’t know if she was happy. And I know I wasn’t happy. »
When we connect to people’s OUTER circumstances without factoring in their INNER circumstances, we are missing the mark. And the connection.
I do this all, if not most of the time.
When I move too fast on something without acknowledging how I feel.
Or I spot a change on someone’s face, keep talking instead of getting curious about the shift.
And often I fail to understand this attitude is at the core of how I can become so easily out of touch with the simplest things.
When I just need to factor in the INNER to understand,
Where’s the disaster?
And open up a chance to make my life easier in the process.