Now you see them, but they’re not there.

When you look at this optical illusion, you should see grey-black spots appearing at the places where white lines cross.

Let me tell you now, in case you had any doubt, that those dots aren’t really there. I know this to be true. I can’t show you what it looks like without the dots though, because your eyes will always add the dots in.

Even when you’re in possession of the full facts your eyes tell you a different story. The dots exist in your vision, but it’s your perception of reality that’s flawed.

So it is with how we see ourselves and our lives. How it is to others doesn’t always match how it looks to us. The same utter reliance on an internal voice (in the face of all evidence to the contrary) which I find so excruciating in some of the Apprentice contestants can be the undoing of someone who looks at the world and can’t see how they fit into it.

I’m generally against resolutions. If you want to change, just do it. But as the clock ticks round and the year begins again, I’m wondering who around me might not understand just how awesome they are. More specifically, what can I do to remind them they’re wanted and loved, and have a place both in the world and in the hearts of others? Just because they can’t see the white for the dots, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.


The Samaritans work tirelessly to help people who need to talk. It’s a normal and natural need experienced by lots of people who feel disconnected, adrift, confused, depressed or whatever. Some people find it difficult to find a person in their own circle to talk to, for a number of reasons. The Samaritan folks are there to talk to you, and want to do so. Don’t hesitate to give them a call.


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