A woman hugging a giant raindrop, surrounded by pouring rain.

Mindfulness: Wet or Dry, We Need R.A.I.N in Our Forecast

Springtime in Indiana is usually pretty soggy and this spring was no exception. The last thing I thought I needed was more rain.

However, that’s exactly what I DID need but not the rain that nourishes the flowers and makes the grass green, I needed to replenish my spirit and grow beyond my limited thinking about macular degeneration. Then I found the perfect article – on RAIN!

The 4 steps to clearer (inner) vision - Let it RAIN!

Soon I will be going to another 6-month exam with my retinal specialist. After 10 years since my diagnosis of dry macular degeneration, you would think it would get easier. It never has been for me. Each appointment, I’m fearful about the gradual vision loss and losing more of the remaining precious vision I still have.

Thankfully, I found a resource on R.A.I.N. that is helping me think differently and be less fearful of these bi-annual eye exams. The article was about a mindfulness strategy to deal with overwhelm and anxiety – R.A.I.N. It caught my attention because it had the potential to help me overcome my fears.

Applying the RAIN strategy is a better way to cope with ongoing vision loss:

R - RECOGNIZE what’s going on. This might not be as obvious as you think!

A - ACCEPTANCE of the experience you are having. Not always easy but crucial.

I - INVESTIGATE with gentle curiosity. Maculardegeneration.net is extremely helpful.

N - NURTURE with self compassion and connect with others. Take good care of yourself!

A simple, effective mindfulness strategy

For the first few years, I really had not RECOGNIZED what was happening since initially there was little evidence. The process of losing my central vision – as my mother had – was very gradual. It did not sink in until it became more noticeable just a few years ago. At that point, I fell into an unexplainable sadness.

I had a comfortable life! Why did I feel so sad? I finally sought professional counseling to help me identify what was going on and learned it was all about my fear of being vulnerable and becoming dependent on others. It made sense!

Once I recognized what was happening (who would know? It’s not like we’ve been here before), it was easier for me to take the next step - ACCEPTANCE and ALLOWING. Macular degeneration is NOT what I wanted but it’s what I got so at this point, it became necessary to deal with the hand I was dealt. It is what it is.

Others have their own health challenges. Mine is macular degeneration. That’s it! No debate - No denial - It’s plain and simple.

The stage of INVESTIGATION can be long and laborious. Or not! Make it easy on yourself and investigate ONLY accredited, reliable sources such as maculardegeneration.net.

Skip the numerous Facebook ads and internet sites that promise a cure. There is no cure - as yet! When there is one, the retinal specialist will be the first to know and will surely let us know!

NURTURE is the final, and possibly the most important step. Be gentle with yourself. Take care of yourself. Be self-compassionate when you take a temporary dive into despair about the future.

Then, apply the R.A.I.N. strategy and see if it helps. What have you got to lose but your fear (False Evidence Appearing Real)? The RAIN strategy can be applied to many of life’s challenges - RECOGNIZE, ACCEPT, INVESTIGATE, NURTURE. 

RAIN in your forecast might be exactly what you need! Take the maculardegeneration.net umbrella with you on your journey and embrace the RAIN!

HUGS, Linda

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