Equipping Christian Men for Richer Relationships

Learning ourselves and others is full of excitement.

“There are things that we don’t know that we don’t know.”

Donald Rumsfeld

This quote excites and terrifies me. It excites me because if you don’t know something there is always time to learn it. And, if there is something I did not know, but I am learning, then there is hope.

As a young boy I often thought the people around me were better educated and equipped than myself. I was a slow learner and immature. I saw the world as an overwhelming place with too much to learn. So, I decided to focus. I thought I’d pick one narrow topic. I would just study and learn people.

What does this statement mean in regards to people? “There are things we don’t know that we don’t know?” It means everyone has emotional weaknesses and blind spots. Looking at one’s-self, and looking at the blind spots can be exciting. And, don’t worry, those around you will point out your blind spots.

Here is a second quote about people:

“There are things you know but you don’t want to know.”

Author Unknown

This statement is very sad to me. It means some things happened that it is best not to remember. In my line of work this is a very sad statement when it applies to you and your family of origin. It means childhood was very difficult.

Here are some basic insights:

  • We all came from imperfect families.
  • Your early childhood experiences formed the foundation of your adult behaviors.
  • It is essential to one’s emotional health that you revisit your childhood difficulties.
  • Going back, you will discover insights, beliefs, and roles that you still enact in adulthood.

The statement, “There are things you know but you don’t want to know” could be rephrased as what people really mean, “There are things you know but you would rather try to forget.” Going back may be painful. But, understanding and reclaiming the past can result in great emotional self-awareness. And, a much happier adult life.