I have an eye condition which is a little rare and which for years affected everything I did. I suffered headaches and extreme nausea and had very little visual acuity in my left eye. I wasn’t going blind, but my cornea was becoming more and more conical so that my vision was very distorted, to the point of just blur. I described it to Dean as everything looking like a Monet painting!
Then a wonderful eye surgeon in Hobart did a quick little surgery, inserted a couple of rings and pulled the cornea back into reasonable shape. This reduced the massive astigmatism and stopped the uncomfortable symptoms.
I went on for a further few years trying to get a pair of glasses that would work to even up both eyes and give me good vision. For several years I had very blurry distance vision and colours were a bit off.
Finally, I went to one of those opticians (with the hilarious adverts) which you might not imagine would be brilliant. I struck a fantastic optical dispenser who got it right. After 15 years of not being able to see very well, struggling with reading (which is my entire working day!), with nausea and headaches and with a thwarted desire to do some higher education, I COULD SEE!
Oh my gosh…I can’t tell you what a day that was. We walk the dog down to the post box every morning. It’s a half a kilometre walk each way, past the orchard on the right and the beautiful native bush on the left, past the dam with the ducks and the platypus. Suddenly I realised that everything looked so different. The colours were so vibrant, the greens so green and everything was sharp and in focus.
My world changed!
My direction changed!
My outlook changed!
So why am I telling you this story? Well I think you know where I’m going with this.
One of the very major insights I got from this is about how we see things. I saw things one way one day, then completely differently the next. So how do other people see things? Do people see things in the same colour, in the same shape, even see the same things as I do?
This is a conversation that Dean and I have constantly. I look at the lavender bush where we sit for morning tea and wonder – “does that even look the same to Dean?”
So yes, I may be going in the direction of “how do other people see the world?”, but I’m not!
I’m thinking about our perceptions of our own life and our own spiritual path. How we can sometimes be stuck in one view, one vision, one perception of who we are, what our life is and what we need to do.
It’s like wearing those glasses that work or not wearing them at all. Sometimes something has to come along to change that perception for us. It might be a life event like a trauma or it might be a seminar or a chance word from someone.
But what if you could change that perception yourself?
How about taking the opportunity to change this perception for yourself!
Look at how you see the world, how you think about life and how you are focused on your path. Sometimes we need to deconstruct, to undo and to step back to be able to see who we are. We are often living in a microcosm of the perception we have created for our life, when we need to step back and look at the macrocosm, the bigger picture.
Again, it’s like the difference between wearing the glasses and not wearing them. Without them things are a bit fuzzy and blurry around the edges, we may struggle with spiritual headaches about what we should be doing and where we should be going and we just can’t see it. We may feel nauseous, anxious, sick to the stomach about what we’re doing, how well we’re going.
And maybe the image of putting on the glasses to get the sharper, clearer view is not even the right one. Because thinking about it, there was a glorious freedom at times in being in that blurry, fuzzy place. Almost a lack of care, because I couldn’t do anything. Probably that was a bit of an excuse. “I can’t see well enough to do that!” was a popular retort at times.
I’m not generally one to quote the bible but these verses from Matthew (7:1-5) about judging others came to mind.
“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgement you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Well that seems a little strong if you take it literally, but in my case, with a dodgy eye, it could be a good example of how we may perceive things and how we judge ourselves, rather than others. We don’t see what is right in front of us and we sometimes just need to take out that log or put on those glasses, to stand back and take another look at what we need to do.
If you’ve read some of my other blogs, in particular Stepping into Mastery and stepping out of our Life’s Illusion, you will know that I’m a big advocate of getting out of the way of yourself.