Digging Deeper To Find Positivity and Hope
Be the spark that illuminates the darkness
We know how macular degeneration (MD) makes it harder to see in darkness. The more light, the easier it is to see. We can make physical changes to see better, but there’s much more we can do - We can go deeper and develop an inner vision, creating more internal light when our external light grows dim. Making this shift in my focus has helped me dramatically!
Go deeper to brighten your way
Approaching middle age, Marianne Williamson, a well-known author, speaker, and political activist, stated that growing older made her realize the importance of “going deeper.”
When we are young, we seldom allow enough time to go deeper and simply skim over the surface. Besides maturity, certain circumstances can also teach us the importance of searching for a deeper meaning. A good example is Steven Hawking.
Stephen William Hawking is the perfect example of a genius who lost most body functions as a young adult yet was still a major contributor until the day he died, several years past his predicted death. On many occasions, Hawking advocated for living the best life you can:
“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet,” Hawking said in his birthday message.“ However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at."
He was certainly a model for using whatever capabilities you have and making the best of them. Severely handicapped and in a wheelchair, most of his adult life did not stop him from using his great mind to make significant contributions. What an inspiration!
Making the most of it
We all have strengths and abilities, some obvious and some hidden, that we can cultivate in spite of having MD.
We have MD - It doesn’t have us!
Just like a bright flashlight under a bucket, you can see a glimmer of light around the edges. But toss several blankets over the bucket, and you can see no light. Does that mean there is no light? Of course not. It’s simply blocked and can be uncovered to shine brightly once again.
Are you putting a bucket over your light and piling on more blankets after your MD diagnosis? I know I did!
Experiencing macular degeneration
With few symptoms initially, I was relatively unconcerned and somewhat flippant about developing my inner vision when my physical vision deteriorated. It sounded good until I saw noticeable differences in my sight, including an inability to see in dimly lit areas.
My world began to get darker. Thinking about MD is unavoidable - it’s hard to ignore when it’s blatantly in front of you every waking hour! Feeling very sad and a little sorry for myself, I knew it was time to “go deeper” and get beyond the physical loss of sight.
Bringing light to the darkness
My ‘light” was growing dimmer as I threw more blankets over the bucket, BUT I knew my light was still there! My job was to figure out how to remove those blankets. For me, that bucket symbolized my MD diagnosis and the blankets were my negative perceptions of what that meant. At first, I went to a dark place of self-pity until I realized that was not helping, and I was determined to rediscover what I was still capable of doing, which was a lot more than I knew!
Choosing our mental health
Today, with the help and support of this community, my retina specialist, and personal counseling, I have found my light again and refuse to ever live under those blankets of fear again!
It’s a choice - We can suffer needlessly under a blanket of fear, or we can remove those blankets and see more clearly what is the most valuable - our inner vision or light! As nice as it would be to have both, if I had to choose one over the other, I would choose inner vision.
Steven Hawking made that difficult choice - So can we!
Have you tried blue light blocking glasses before?