Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Things I learned from Big Eyes: Vision

As you all know, I had a scare with my vision this year... When I woke up one Saturday morning not being able to see out of my right eye. I've now been through a few appointments with Specialists and my family doctor... And it looks like it was just a virus that caused the vision impairment. AND, I can see clearly now. I did, however, get lots of time to think, and I did learn a lot that I think can be applied in speaking of life vision, vision for your future, Spiritual vision, and probably any other sort of vision you can think of.

My pupils after some testing at my last specialist appointment.

Vision effects a lot more than what you see...

1)  When you can't see properly, you can't move around with ease, you bump into things.  You can be as careful and slow moving as you want but chances are you're not going to see that corner or even if you do see it your when your depth perception is off you're going to still get hurt. I had a bruise on my knee for weeks all because I bent down too close to a door frame... I saw the door frame, knew it was there, even had the thought it would hurt me if I hit it; none of those thoughts did me one ounce of good because I didn't see that I was too close... Don't get too close to the edge of a bad decision; if you know the outcome is pain for you or others, if you know it's wrong for you, don't get close, don't get curious, stay smart, stay back from that line... Most times in life, we don't have good depth perception in those areas, somehow by us knowing the outcome can be disastrous we think we are smarter and we won't get that far into it, not too close to the edge, we just have to satisfy the curiosity and then we will course correct back to safety. How many times do we see others get hurt thinking the same thing? Learn to just listen to the first thought, when we have that thought of "this could hurt," stay away?  On the flip side, don't get so close to something good that you miss something great!

It's not that we can't course correct, we do it all the time... And I know it makes it tempting to just check it out, get close just close enough BUT trust me, our depth perception is not good enough to know what "close enough/not too close" is.  Let me tell you, once I hurt my knee there was a week of not walking right! I knew my depth perception was off at that point and I course corrected so I didn't get hurt the next time, I stayed back far enough the next time, but only after I got hurt and walked with a limp.

2) Limited vision limits your actions. No one told me I couldn't or shouldn't work or drive for a week while I couldn't see out of my right eye... I did ask the specialist and she said it wouldn't necessarily change the outcome of my healing process but that it may cause headaches and a few other irritations... First of all, when it comes to my vision's healing outcome, let's go on more than "won't necessarily hinder..." Second, you don't have to take my licence away for me to know that driving with no peripheral vision is NOT a good idea for me... No one is going to stop me but the vehicle I don't see speeding from my right side may stop more than my car. Thanks, but no thanks. It's like that in life, when we can't see properly we risk an accident. I know sometimes in life it's about trusting God an moving forward, but if you don't have vision through the Word of God, you're most likely supposed to stay put until you know what direction to take.

3)  Not being able to see properly is scary, especially when you don't know how permanent your vision loss will be... I started to think of all the things I see that I take for granted... There are so many things I would miss if I could never see them again. I LOVE the little things, seeing a bunny hopping along the ditch, seeing deer on the golf course, seeing people's faces and expressions, colors, sunsets... So many things... I couldn't read my Bible in the morning or before bed like usual and I started thinking of the days I skipped because I was tired or in a rush and I started wishing I could get those days back. Why would I decide not to do something good just because I didn't feel like it or I was in a rush, why would I put something so important off? And I learned something... If you can, then do! Whatever it is, if it is important to you, if it is a habit, it is a habit for a reason, keep doing it even if you don't feel like it. I know it seems small when you think, she could listen to an audio, but trust me, it doesn't feel the same when you're forced to listen to audio, when something you take for granted is taken from you, it's missed and replacement is not the go-to method for a reason, it's not the same... It's good but not great.

4) You don't have to experience total vision loss to be limited and bound.  I could see, not completely, not clearly, but I could see... There was lots I could still do, but it wasn't what I usually do, it wasn't complete and in a lot of cases it was less than what I wanted because I wasn't whole.  My vision issue only affected one eye, but my vision issue limited nearly everything I did. Sometimes I think we know there's something we should work on, something that would push us to a better place, but it's a small issue, it's not something we NEED to fix, just sort of a benefit, an add on... You know the phrase "it would be nice, it's not a deal breaker if I don't have it..." But when it comes to those things why settle for less? If you can change, grow, become better, why stay limited? If you know to so good and don't what is that?  Or even if you just procrastinate the change, why? What is the point in that (and trust me, I'm preaching to myself right now) what good does it do you to know "this will make me better" to only know and not do?

I'm sure there's more I could write, and maybe someday, but for now this seems enough... Let's work on these four things:

  • Know our depth perception is off, don't get too close to things we should, or to things that are good but not best the enemy of great isn't bad, it's good. That's because we tend to settle for good and miss the great.
  • If you can't see where you're going, stop! It's okay to wait, to take a break, in fact, it's probably exactly what you should be doing! Don't let the pressure of a made-up timeline lead you to choose a wrong path.
  • Enjoy life. Take some time to think of all the things you love that you may take for granted. All the things that make things easy for you now that you could lose... And if they are people tell them you value them, if it is the bunny in the ditch, thank God you can see it. Whatever it is, appreciate it.
  • Be aware of the small changes in your vision... If you are losing vision for your future, limit yourself, take a time out and get inspired again. Encourage yourself. Don't make life-decisions if you can't see properly. And if you have a friend who seems to be losing vision, HELP THEM through encouragement and companionship.

Monday, May 8, 2017

To friend or not to friend, that is the question...

Hi guys, I'm trying to get back into this whole writing thing... I do want to apologize for procrastinating, it's not even that I have nothing to say lately, nor am I too busy... I'm not sure what has stopped me from writing. I know it's not lack of people asking me to write, or telling me to get back at it and I do appreciate the support and interest, I'm sorry, I've been a bad blogger. I'm sure there is a lesson in it and when I figure one out, I'll share with you! ha! Or, if you know the lesson, why don't you share it with me!? Now I am a head full of topics and I'm trying to figure our which I should write first...

One of my recent lessons has been particularly difficult for me... There's been a lot of changes going on for me lately... Well, when I think about it, it's sort of a constant in my life actually.  Growing up we moved around, a lot, like a lot, a lot... I seemed to always be joining new schools and being the new girl when you're young is no fun, at least not for a shy kid.  I remember my dad trying to comfort me by telling me "you just need one good friend..." Somewhere along the way that got changed around in my mind like I need one friend who is my best friend, meaning they choose me over anyone else, they like me better, they always take my side... Well, we all know how that's going to go in the early years of school... Not going to happen if you're the new girl every year.

In adulthood, not much changed for me, I have still been looking for that one BFF who chooses me over anyone else, likes me better than the rest of our friends, and  always takes my side (even against themselves 😜) and that just seems so silly, even to me... But I just could never seem to shake it.  I've had a few of those close friendships in my time, there are a few I still have now... Although, separated by life's timeline, distance and schedules. I actually just made another of those friendships and once again have been separated by life circumstance and my new friend having to move away... I actually said to someone who asked how I felt about it, "I have no right to feel anything but supportive, but completely selfishly speaking, I've thought maybe it's just not meant for me to have a friend who I can just call and hang out with or travel with... It's just not meant for me to have one of those friends I see everyone else have around them." Now, before you go scolding me in your mind, I'm not looking for pity, this is going somewhere, hold on to your delicates... I also don't want to diminish the friendships I do have, they are wonderful and I appreciate them so much, I love each of my close friends and I will be there for you - as I know you would be for me - at any time you need someone... I am however aware that we are adults and well, life is dumb sometimes and creates physical and time distance and that can sometimes make some people (me) feel lonely, or left out... Sort of like those memes you see "all my friends getting married and making families and I'm just here like, pizza is good."

When my newest friend came into town there was a struggle, I wanted to befriend her because she was cute, looked nice and I was told people who know both of us thought we should be friends (that sounds really strange written out but it's not, she moved to a new Province knowing very few people.) Anyway, the struggle was sort of why put the effort in if everyone else is going to as well and then I just get left back like when I was a child... Then it became how much effort do I put in? You see, for me, because of the changes when I was young and because of it being difficult to be the new kid all the time, I've come out with some thoughts that yes, some consider weak and silly and even I know aren't always rational or mature but change is a process and I'm still going through... So sometimes, I feel like putting effort in is scary, I have a hard time gauging how much effort is too much or not enough, I've been a score-keeper, you don't invite me so I won't invite you... I've given too much trust too soon and not enough trust to people who deserved it... I've chosen some to bring close and been looked over as they chose other people... So, now I find myself looking at friendship as a lot of difficult decisions that end in hurt either by dumb life separation or by people just clicking with others better... And the song "jaded" comes to mind, oh Garth Brooks, I love you.

Another experience I had happen to me as I was going through the "to friend or not to friend" struggle (and the struggle is real) was on Easter weekend... I found myself on the opposite end of all the feelings I wrote about above... I hurt someone else... And they confronted me.  Somewhere in my explanation that I didn't mean to hurt them, I just didn't see them when they saw me, I realized as I was explaining to that person why they shouldn't feel hurt, I was explaining to myself why I shouldn't feel scared of giving my efforts into other people.  I was telling her that how other people respond doesn't reflect on her, and so, it does not. I was saying how she has to remain open to people regardless of the hurt in the past, and so, we do... I told her of an experience I had just days before where I was left out of a little road-trip and got my feelings hurt, but that my feelings were hurt, not because they did wrong but because of my past experiences that, much like a sunburn does to skin, have made me a little more susceptible to the sting... I perceive some things as rejection when they are just not and that I need to work on that, I need to remind myself that it's my perception amiss and is not the reality of what is happening on the other end, and so, we do.

Driving in my car a few times over the past few weeks, I've been thinking a lot on my past and how it has changed my though process in negative ways... I've challenged the negative and tried to look at the other side of what really happened in the situations that hurt me... And I will continue to work on myself.  I have decided I know one thing, pouring myself into the lives of others is as much for me as it is for them! I love helping people! I like that I can be a really great friend to people, if I allow myself. I love that no matter how many times life knocks the wind out of my sails with regards to personal relationships, I do have the power to get out there again and I'm reminded of that every time I struggle to make a decision on effort giving, or level of giving. I'm only able to make a decision on how much to give, how close to get, the effort level I should expend because I am capable of giving more, of allowing people to get closer, of putting in more effort... And if I'm capable, regardless of my past sunburn, I should do it... AND, if you struggle with any of this, so should you.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Vision Matters - my weekend scare

I learned something again this weekend... something we all know, we've all been reminded of one thousand times... these things are precious, eyes, vision... I woke up Saturday morning only having pinhole vision in my right eye (the specialist described it as looking through a straw.)  it was definitely scary to wake up with minimal vision, the testing the lasted all day was equally as frightening. In the end, there are more appointments, more testing, no work and no driving this week but right now it's looking like a fluke, one evening last week I was ill and that was a virus that happened to travel to my optic nerve which is now inflamed and causing the vision problems. This is something that is supposed to heal on its own.

All of this got me thinking about vision in life... MikeEaster preached a message earlier this year at Capital Community Church, Fredericton, called "no vision, no victory" (and if you haven't heard it please go to the archives at capitalcommunity.ca media or to our YouTube page and listen! It's a life changing perspective.)  He cited the scripture "where there's no vision the people perish." And that scripture has been on my mind this weekend... I've just been thinking, I have vision, but it's cloudy, a little off because of one inflamed area... of course, I'm comparing my physical issue to life issues. I'm asking myself and I encourage you to ask with me "where is my vision for my future blurred? What in my life is affecting my vision? Is there an area inflamed that I need to get treated?" God gives vision, we must take care of it, protect it, keep it dear and treat any infected area.