We have all heard the expression “love is blind.” I never took much time to think about that sentence until the last couple of days. As I did so, I realized that love, sometimes for better, sometimes for worse, is often blind.
Many new born babies look like Winston Churchill to the casual onlooker. Their little heads are often squished and sometimes pointed after their perilous journey down the birth canal. Here love blindness comes to the rescue. Every woman I have ever known thought that her new baby was the most beautiful creature ever. One look in those eyes and we were goners. We were surprised that everyone else wasn’t similarly enamored. Amazingly enough, it turns out that this also rings true for grandchildren. No wonder we show off pictures of the new babies and drive around with bumper stickers proclaiming “Ask Me About My Grandchildren.”
But while blind love paves the way for intense parental connection, it can also be perilous in romantic situations. I was once engaged to a man I thought intellectually deep. I was blind to the truth until a good friend said point blank, “All still waters don’t run deep; sometimes still waters are just still waters.” Thank heavens she broke through my blinders and I called off the engagement.
Worse still is the blindness some people have towards their addict partners or children. In this case, we call blindness “denial” and are baffled that they can’t see what is so obvious to the rest of us. In the name of love we can refuse to see the truth. True love in this instance needs to be clear sighted, not blind.
And then there is the blind love that allows us to settle down with one partner, overlooking his or her faults. When we love like that we grant the other the grace to be real, warts and all. So it isn’t really blind after all. We just choose to focus on the good. And if we have chosen wisely we might wonder now and then why everyone doesn’t have a mate as “perfect” as ours.