You Have to Listen to Get the Message
I’ve been wearing contact lenses since I was 16 years old (that’s a lot of years) and haven’t had one single problem with them. You know what I’m going to say next… until now.
After a particularly long week, yesterday I noticed my left eye was tearing up. I thought it was due to exhaustion and when I got home from work I did my usual routine of taking out my contacts, washing my face and going to bed.
The next morning at 6:30, I turned on the light in the bathroom and shrieked at the pain in my eye. Like a vampire, the light was so painful. I thought I was just still tired.
I went on with my day; took my son for his SAT test and went to work out because I missed a day of working out earlier in the week, so I could nap.
I missed a day so I could nap and, therefore, to keep myself from hurting anyone.
You know, when you’re so tired you’re either going to start crying or slap someone? Yeah. That’s how tired I’ve been.
So I had to make up my session with my trainer because I thought if I don’t my body will loose any minuscule definition I have or worse my flabby cellulite-ridden legs will get even more flabby and cellulite-ridden.
So, I go to my trainer’s home and I’m a little early. I text my sister the eye doctor (who happened to be on vacation in Paris). I ask her how lovely Paris is and, “Oh yeah, my eye keeps tearing up. It’s getting redder and it’s a little sore. And it’s sensitive to light.”
She says it’s either pinkeye or a scratched cornea. “I don’t have time for that or time to see a doctor” I tell her. She recommends getting some eye drops and calling her in the morning.
I work out hard for an hour and get back in my car. It’s a half rainy half sunny day and at this point the sun is really bothering my eye and it’s really, really sore. I drive to Walgreens and buy the $25 bottle of eye drops. I bought them with some anger because I’m getting myself on a budget and this stupid bottle of eye drops isn’t something I wanted to spend $25 on.
I knew that under that anger was fear…
It was fear of having enough. I know this, but I couldn’t stop my fear. So, I just watched myself having the fear but I could shake it off.
I went home, put the drops in and went about my day of doing a load of laundry, piddling in the house with my daughter. Hour by hour the pain in my eye increased.
Hour by hour I said to myself, “I don’t want to go to a doctor because our insurance doesn’t cover eye doctors and that’s gonna be at least a hundred bucks… but if I don’t go today and this gets worse I don’t have time to see a doctor Monday because I’m busy… and if it gets worse, what if I have to take a day off work? I can’t do that. I’m on vacation the following week, what will people think? I don’t want to spend the money to see a doctor, but I need my eyeballs to work and live.”
Yes. Crazy talk.
Finally, at 1:30 in the afternoon after snapping at my daughter because I was in so much pain, I call the local eye clinic and tell them I think I have a scratched cornea. “Oh, that’s so painful!” said the woman on the phone. I felt so validated. “Come in right away.”
By the time I got in my car to leave the light was so painful I had to put a tissue over my left eye to try and keep the light from getting in.
Do you know how hard it is to drive with one eyeball? It’s hard!
When I sat in the doctor’s chair I told her about my self diagnosis. “I think I scratched my cornea.” I was thinking she’d examine my eye ball, give me some numbing drops to ease the pain and I’d be on my way. “Look right here into the light,” she said. That part of the exam was so painful I started crying.
“I’m sorry,” I apologized. “I’m just tired.”
“Don’t apologize,” she said. “I’m sorry to tell you, you have something more serious than a scratch on your cornea. You have an ulcer on your cornea. If left untreated this could lead to loss of vision and blindness.”
She went on to explain an ulcer is an open wound on the cornea, the part of your eyeball that’s like the glass covering of your watch. I got that, she said, probably from wearing dirty or old contacts.
I was wearing old contacts, I confessed, because I was being cheap. Or rather, coming from fear of not having enough contacts in the future.
“From now on,” she said. “I want you to wear daily disposable contacts. They may be a little more expensive but you will forever be susceptible in that eye to future ulcers so fresh contacts will lessen your chances of getting another infection and ulcer.”
I paid the $130 doctor visit, then went to the pharmacy and bought a tiny $60 bottle of prescribed eyedrops that I’ll probably need to refill.
On the drive home I reviewed what my lesson is in all of this.
I learned a lot about fear in that short appointment.
I got a serious eye infection that could lead to blindness because I was cheap and not taking care of myself. No, it’s more like, I got a serious eye infection that could lead to blindness because I was coming from fear.
I was afraid of not having enough (money in this case) and I was afraid of not being enough (doing too much in this case).
It took paying more money, having a lot of pain, having to wear glasses for a few weeks and paying more money for contacts for me to realize that.
Louise L. Hay has a beautiful book called “Heal Your Body, the mental causes for physical illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them.” and I looked up what disease of the eye meant and it says the eye represents the capacity to see clearly – past, present and future.
Yes, I could relate.
Life talks to us. God, the universe, spirit, whatever you want to call it, talks to us. I remember Oprah one time said something to the effect, “First life taps you on the shoulder. Then, if you don’t get the message, it shakes you. And if you still don’t get the message it it’s you in the head with a brick.”
I was hit in the head with a brick. Not super hard, but hard enough to hear the message: LET GO OF FEAR. I know that’s easier said than done.
So, my advice to myself and anyone else who experiences fear in their life is to do this in two steps.
Two Steps to Letting Go of Fear
Step One, catch the fear. Notice and accept when you are coming from fear. This is the absolute most important step because if you’re not aware nothing will change.
Step Two, choose to let go of fear. I didn’t understand what that looked like for the longest time… but now I understand letting go of fear is an internal thing. A feeling. A trust that all is truly okay.
I like to use all my senses to put new software into my brain so I’m going to write this down so I can feel it. I’m going to put it up on a sign so I can see it and I’m going to say it out loud so I can hear it: LET GO OF FEAR.
I’ll start with letting go of fear of judgement and posting this blog!
Good luck to all of us LETTING GO OF FEAR.
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