I will not avert my eyes

My favourite line from the first season of True Detective is towards the end of the series, where detective Rust Cohle forces himself to watch the entirety of a horrific piece of video evidence he finds. When his partner asks why he watched the whole thing, Rust says:

I will not avert my eyes. Not again.

I have been playing a bit of basketball lately, just shooting some hoops like you do. What I have started to notice is that the more clearly I am able to look directly at a specific spot on the ring, without being distracted, the more likely I am to shoot accurately.

I know there are times when I have averted my eyes and not look directly at a thing, because I am distracted, unable to summon the will to hold a gaze, or afraid of what I might see if I continue to look.

Usually I get a sense of the thing I need to look at. It is often a feeling I get in my body. It might be a hunch about a relationship that is not quite right. A thought that I need to stop for a second before I do something I feel compelled to do. About the reason I want to eat a whole lot of rubbish food even though I am not hungry.

For Rust, averting his eyes cost him years of his life, and many others their lives altogether. For me, I know averting my eyes has cost me years doing things I know have not been quite right for me.

I sense that although it is so difficult to look at reality sometimes, so difficult to hold a gaze in the heat and pain of discomfort, the sooner I am able to see things as they are, the sooner I am making decisions based on facts rather than my version of a distorted reality.