The Miracle Of Seeing Again

Image by Erika Mugglin, Heath, OH

Image by Erika Mugglin, Heath, OH

The chickens came home to roost this year.

Back when I was in my twenties and my parents were approaching their fifties, I used to pick on them, in a good-natured way, whenever they couldn’t locate their reading glasses.  During visits this past summer, both my father and my mother caught me searching for the inexpensive Walmart reading glasses I’ve needed for the past last year or so.  Both of them took great pleasure in gleefully repeating my youthful comments on reading glasses and old-people’s failing eyesight back to me.

Funny how those comments didn’t sound nearly as good-natured from the receiving end.

So it was with a sense of resignation that I went on my annual eye check-up earlier this month.  I had really become aware of the deterioration of my eyesight over the past few months.  It was impossible to read, write, or work at a computer without using reading glasses.  It also felt like the entire world was becoming fuzzier.  I’ve enjoyed wearing contacts for most of my adult life, but I had come to the sad conclusion that I was going to be getting my first pair of bifocal glasses – it sucks getting old.

So it was a pleasant surprise during the eye exam to learn that I can actually see slightly better than normal with corrective lens.  I was tested at 20:15 for both near and long distances.  After discussing my options with the opthalmologist, we decided to test out a “monovision” prescription.

Actually, that’s not exactly correct.  My distance prescription hadn’t changed, only my close vision, which is normal for my age.  I had requested to continue with my old contact prescription and I would purchase a different pair of reading glasses, but the optical technician took it upon himself to have me test the monovision option.  Monovision is where your dominant eye receives the contact lens for your distance prescription and your other eye receives the lens that corrects for your near vision.

What a difference!  Almost from the moment they were inserted, I could see clearly at any distance without trouble.  I had worried that the monovision would cause me problems with my sense of depth, but that is not the case at all.  I now can do any activity, including typing this blog post, without the need of reading glasses.

Amazing!  To me it’s a miracle.

Beware The False Belief

But what’s most amazing of all is the affect it has had on my self-perception.  I hadn’t realized before receiving my new monovision prescription, but I had begun to think of myself as old and failing.  How exciting it is now to be able to open my prayer journal and write in its pages without needing to fish out those old, tired reading glasses.  I feel twenty years younger.

I’ve learned a valuable lesson about accepting hidden beliefs.  The little, innocent “jokes” I had made as a young man towards my parents had been unconsciously coloring my thinking about myself.  I had begun to accept limits for myself, believing I deserved them, without even being consciously aware of the decisions I was making.

How many other false hidden beliefs am I carrying?  How are they affecting my life, my health, and my relationships with others?   As I strive to live my life from the present moment and to be conscious of my thoughts, I’m beginning to expose a number of these hidden beliefs and old peridynes that no longer apply.  I’ve a feeling these first are just the tip of the iceberg.

I built these beliefs up slowly over time, carelessly adding one on top of another in my younger days.  They may have been correct back when I first adopted them, or they may never have fit properly but I was too foolish to realize.  Now they work below the surface, similar to a virus on a computer.  Without proper attention, they can cause great damage.

What you believe, you perceive.  I had unconsciously accepted the belief that my reading glasses were a first step down the slippery slope of aging.  This belief affected all aspects of my life, from my physical health, to my work, and my relationships.  I expected things to be more difficult, and as soon as I encountered difficulties of any sort it would validate and reinforce my false belief.  I began to back-slide as I made excuses for myself; I was putting myself out to pasture before my time.

Now that this false belief has been brought to light, I feel like I have a new lease on life.  That’s the miracle of new sight.

It’s wonderful to be able to see without reading glasses again.  It’s also liberating to be able to “see” my hidden beliefs, to shine the light of conscious attention on them, exposing them to scrutiny and correction.  The world looks better as the fog of my false beliefs is clearing.

How about you?  Have you been listening to what your inner voice has been telling you lately?  When was the last time that you challenged that voice?  How do you know that it’s right?  All it takes is a desire to become aware and your hidden beliefs will begin to reveal themselves.  They can’t hide from the light of your conscious attention.

Mark Twain once said, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.  It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”  In my life, I’m praying for discernment to see my long-held beliefs that just ain’t so that I don’t know I hold.

May you too find the freedom that release from your hidden beliefs brings.