When I catch myself in a tunnel, I do everything in my power to stop and refocus. One of my tactics is to clean and organize. My habit of keeping slips of papers may be improving, but it is a long way from being organized. My love of a clean desk should not lead anyone to believe my desk is clean on any given day. However, cleaning is an action which always breaks my tunnel focus.
Everyone has her and his own way of breaking their gaze. Distractions for some, intentionally shifting one’s focus for others. Whatever the technique is, I would encourage you to discover and be comfortable in using it when the situation calls for it. Using one’s breaker kicks in when one understands one is caught in a tunnel, usually of one’s own making.
Tunnels, with one’s vision and actions, are not always obvious. Life likes to remind me of the telltales I can and should look for. One I use often is the way I am responding to those around me. An old warning is an obvious one for me; “If you [me] play up to these so-called important people, you go against the Rule and stand convicted by it.” (James 2.9) If I am responding with care and kindness to people as individuals, it is likely I am out in the open. When care and kindness are missing, I am likely caught in another tunnel.
Knowing one is caught is never the end, it is the beginning of learning and change. With whatever tool works, when one’s tunnel is opened to the light, a question always remains. What comes next?
Whispers remind me that there are two truths. Always remember that life is about people and our relationships. If there is tunnel damage, the first step is to initiate responsible healing with the one who has been hurt or slighted. This may take time, yet it is in one’s commitment to healing and restoration that opportunities emerge. Second, take the learnings and let them apply to the choice which is now.