This morning I opened up a pair of contact lenses with a new prescription for less long distance correction than I used to have. I put them in my eyes and immediately noticed that the clock was slightly blurry. The writing on my wall hangings were obscured unless I squinted. Driving to work was more difficult than it was yesterday. The words on my computer screen were hazy. When I called my ophthalmologist, he offered to switch me back to my former prescription and reorder my lenses for me. My sight will soon be restored to normal. It won’t be perfect, as I had been noticing the need to move books further from my face in order to see clearly. For now, it seems that no matter what lenses I wear, I am bound to experience some blurred vision.
As I reflected on the idea of blurred vision, I realized that many things in my life have been or are now obscured from my view. When I quit my first Master’s degree program in 2000 because I didn’t feel ready to be a counselor, I looked into the future and couldn’t see much. Ten years ago, when I started addressing my symptoms of Binge-Eating Disorder, I couldn’t imagine a way out of those destructive behaviors no matter how hard I tried. In 2014, when my relationship with my long-term partner ended, I couldn’t envision my future. Even now, I look ahead two months, six months, a year and find myself squinting to get even a glimpse of what it might look like. My vision remains blurred.
With my vision literally blurred this morning, I found myself driving more cautiously, pausing longer to look at things, and just generally slowing down. Blurred vision kept me more present-focused. When my vision is metaphorically blurry that, too, keeps me mindfully aware of the present. I appreciate what’s right in front of me more than I do when the future seems crystal clear.
How has obscured vision been a gift to you? Consider the ways in which the wonders around you draw you in more closely when you can’t see too far ahead.
Peace, joy, and health,