By Amada44 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Flyspecks–those little black dots that show up inexplicably on a nice, clean window and distract from the view beyond.  Or, metaphorically speaking, those little details that distract us from the bigger picture.

The great thing about flyspecks as a metaphor is that they apply in so many areas of life.  Take, for instance, interpersonal relationships.  That flyspeck can be like the proverbial neglected toothpaste cap or the shower door that is left open or the unrefilled toilet paper roll.  (Why do so many of these little annoyances take place in the bathroom?)  Tiny things, relatively, that become the focus of our relationships.  Yes, they are annoying, but they don’t have to become the flyspeck that distracts us from the beauty and breadth of our relationships.

Sometimes we are faced with the leavings of a 100-pound fly.  This will may take much more time and commitment to clean up than a quick wipe-down with window cleaner.  I don’t want to be light about serious things such as abuse, so I’m leaving that alone.

I will mention one thing that helps in dealing with flyspecks of any size.  It’s another “F” word: Forgiveness.  I firmly believe that when we forgive, it is for our benefit, not for the person we forgive.  They may or may not choose to accept our forgiveness.  They may find our offering of it presumptuous (and they may be right).  I would venture to say that most forgiveness is given within our own hearts and that the “forgivee” is never aware of it having been extended, or even of it having been needed.  We don’t have authority to forgive or condemn another person, at least in the ultimate sense, by virtue of ourselves or our injuries.  By forgiveness, I am not suggesting a denying of accountability or an unearned restitution of trust.  The forgiveness I am speaking of is a letting go of the anger and hate that we attach to an individual and their actions.  It does not mean we accept or condone an individual’s actions, but that we no longer demand the right to vengeance.  When we forgive, we free ourselves from focusing on the flyspecks in our lives, however large they may be.  We free ourselves from the control the offender has over us and determine the path we want to take rather than embarking on a quest that ends in another person’s realm.  We shed the chains that weigh us down and keep us tied to the offender, chains that too often entrap our loved ones as well because they affect the way we interact with others.

Flyspecks also affect the way we evaluate pieces of information or ideas.  We can become so focused on one aspect that we don’t pay attention to the broader implications. Sometimes these flyspecks we either embrace or fear can be wiped away, and we realize that for all their apparent importance, they actually obscured our vision.

Flyspecks can interfere with how we see others or ourselves.  They can inhibit our ability to overcome personal faults.  They can wreak havoc on accomplishing career and personal goals.  I tried to come up with some great ideas of dealing with flyspecks.  What I came up with is pretty basic: forgiveness, daily cleanup–refocus and effort, or simply learning to look beyond them.

When I talked with my husband about writing a post on flyspecks, he shared with me an adage he heard years ago:

Don’t waste your time picking the fly crap out of the pepper. 

Although I may never use pepper again, the message is a good one: Some details are just not worth worrying about.


  1. *hangs head* I worry about flyspecks way too often! But I’m trying to do better. It’s good to find your blog!

  2. Keli great point
    better to not focus on the fly dung in our lives so miniscule

    gr8 to see you doing the A to Z too

  3. Lucy says:

    Wow, I was wondering when I saw ‘Flyspecks’, loved it. Now, wish I could practice it way more. Must get better at letting things go. Dropping by from the A-Z Challenge.

  4. Andrea @ Maybe It's Just Me says:

    Yes it cetainly is hard to move forward without forgiveness…even if it is myself I need to forgive! Ewwwww…black pepper will never seem the same! Stopping by from a-z

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