Thursday, April 4, 2013

Looking for Lessons

I haven’t written in a bit because I have been distracted and a little anxious. In February I wrote about seeing more clearly in the figurative sense (Post: I Can See Clearly Now) and the consequences of that. Now I literally cannot see clearly. I’ll spare you the details, but the vision in my right eye is blurry, so everything is a little off. I can’t tell if having this kind of thing happened now that I am retired is better (I don’t have to be reading emails all day in order to get my work done  - and there’s more time to run around to appointments and to get meds) or worse (more time to dwell … worry about what is going on and feel the frustration of navigating doctor office gate-keepers who aren’t listening and cause days of delay as my vision gets worse).

I’m not one to think that everything happens for a reason. I’ve seen some pretty random stuff – good and bad - happen for no discernible reason – to people who did, and people who did not, “deserve it”. Yet I do like to explore whether there is something to be learned or experienced from an altering of things as they were, to something else. An opportunity to see things differently (in this case, literally).   In that I am not cultivating a new career as an impressionist painter, I haven’t come up with anything for this yet. Blurry vision has not enhanced my worldview.

At its simplest, it has been a lesson in dealing with anxiety: think positive – “it’s something that can be dealt with” (which, it turns out, it is) – rather than negative -  “I’m going blind”  - and dealing with frustration: be patient with people who are not entirely competent, or more likely, working in ineffective systems. I failed both these lessons in the past few days. And I kinda don’t care. There is probably a lesson in that too. If only I could see it.

P.S.: Just as I was putting final touches on this and about to post, a friend posted a poem about Dukkha  a Buddhist term, and the first of the Four Noble Truths,  commonly translated as "suffering", "stress", "anxiety", or "dissatisfaction". I think there is a lesson in there somewhere. I’ll have to look for it.

P.P.S (about 5 days later): I think the lesson revealed itself: Admit that I might actually need some help. Ask for help. And the help will appear.

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