When We Lose Our Sight

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Whether or not we want to admit it, eventually we start to go blind. I’m not talking about the kind of vision that helps us read a bunch of different sized black letters on a white chart on a wall in a doctors office. I’m talking about the kind of vision that allows us to see the beauty that is right in front of us. Sometimes months or years of negative experience starts to taint our ability to see what’s good. We get so engulfed by ugliness that eventually ugliness is all we see. We stop noticing what makes anything beautiful including the people in our lives. Negativity and hoplessness snuffs out the light inside of us and wipes out the light in everyone else at the same time. I’ve learned that regardless of what kind of day I’m having, even if it’s a horrible one, I have to look for something good in every day. If you start focusing on the negative, the positive will slowly disappear. What you focus on you get more of so its necessary to take a step back and ask yourself, what do I see? If it’s not pretty, you better start looking in s different direction.

A Recycled Post Worth Repeating

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DISTORTED VISION
Have you ever considered what a gift it is to be blessed with the ability to see? We are given so many gifts, but it is up to us to determine how we use them. I can give two people a shovel and one person may use it to dig the foundation for a beautiful home while another may use it as a weapon to hit someone over the head.
 Our vision is a lot like that too. We choose how we interpret the things we see. We can look for something good in someone, in a situation or we can use our vision to see everything that is bad. What’s not fair is that people choose to see the good in this and bad in that. Who wins? What is the benefit? We are not taught or told how to use our gifts. That is when our free will is put to its toughest test. 
Do you know two people can look at the very same thing and still see it a different way? Who do you trust? Are you right and the other person a liar? Look at the whole blue dress/ gold dress drama that unfolded before our eyes. That should have been a clear sign, a distinct message that our vision is faulty. See it doesn’t come down to being right, it comes down to the fact that what we think we see may be different from what someone else THINKS he sees, but NO-ONE is wrong. We have to respect that our view, our vision, our interpretation is just as valid as the guy standing next to us. How could we ever all agree when the nation was divided, news anchors were divided, families divided? It was the most valuable lesson we may have ever learned IF We WERE PAYING ATTENTION! If we know we can’t trust what it is we think we see then why do we argue about such silly things? I saw it this way, I saw it that way (sighs). We are ALL blind!
 Remember, this is before diagnosed vision problems come into the picture. 
We don’t all see 20/20. Sometimes we have a astigmatism. According to Web MD, astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody. Everybody! I had no idea.. Did you know that?When light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Isn’t it crazy to know we may never see the whole picture, just one side or the other? Maybe that explains it all. We think something is the way it is because that is what we see but we need to remind ourselves that what we see is just not real, not really anyway. Sure we can make out the general gist of something but the edges just aren’t smooth. We can see it superficially but the details are lost somewhere in our clouded vision. SO, we compensate by creating the image we think we see in our own mind but if we created it, is it really reliable? 
 Quite a few years ago, everytime I was under an immense amount of stress, I would lose the peripheral vision in my right eye. I could only see what was straight in front of me and to the left and the world to the right just disappeared. Does that mean it wasn’t there anymore? Was it less real or nonexistent just because I couldn’t see it? Things are not always as they appear. What’s even worse is people’s faces started to look distorted too. The first time it happened I was so terrified that I wished I couldn’t see a thing at all. People started to look like monsters to me. One eye would be down where their chin should be and one side of their face was longer than the other. Our mind plays tricks on us like that too. It makes it appear that people are monsters and that monsters are people. Everything is jumbled up. Who then, what then, can we really trust?
Let this be a reminder that just because we swear something is true, it is only our truth and not necessarily the whole truth. We are artists, creators. We paint our own pictures. We write our own stories. We can trick ourselves into believing that we don’t have that power because we blame someone else for grabbing our pen. Its easier to say, not my book, not my story so you never have to take responsibility for what is written on the page. I pray that we all have clearer vision. I pray that we choose to use our eyes to see all that is good. We can only see what we allow ourselves to see, remember that. If the eyes are closed, the mind is closed. I pray we see a better world, a better way. I pray our eyes look for peace, love, resolution. I pray we see the truth lying under the distortion that we alone create. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your distorted vision could ever be less or more distorted than mine. Close your eyes. Look with your heart.

Distorted Vision

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Have you ever considered what a gift it is to be blessed with the ability to see? We are given so many gifts, but it is up to us to determine how we use them. I can give two people a shovel and one person may use it to dig the foundation for a beautiful home while another may use it as a weapon to hit someone over the head.

 Our vision is a lot like that too. We choose how we interpret the things we see. We can look for something good in someone, in a situation or we can use our vision to see everything that is bad. What’s not fair is that people choose to see the good in this and bad in that. Who wins? What is the benefit?  We are not taught or told how to use our gifts. That is when our free will is put to its toughest test. 

Do you know two people can look at the very same thing and still see it a different way? Who do you trust? Are you right and the other person a liar? Look at the whole blue dress/ gold dress drama that unfolded before our eyes. That should have been a clear sign, a distinct message that our vision is faulty.  See it doesn’t come down to being right, it comes down to the fact that what we think we see may be different from what someone else THINKS he sees,  but NO-ONE is wrong. We have to respect that our view, our vision, our interpretation is just as valid as the guy standing next to us. How could we ever all agree when the nation was divided, news anchors were divided, families divided? It was the most valuable lesson we may have ever learned IF We WERE PAYING ATTENTION! If we know we can’t trust what it is we think we see then why do we argue about such silly things? I saw it this way, I saw it that way (sighs). We are ALL blind!

 Remember, this is before diagnosed vision problems come into the picture. 

We don’t all see 20/20. Sometimes we have a astigmatism. According to Web MD, astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody. Everybody! I had no idea.. Did you know that?When light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Isn’t it crazy to know we may never see the whole picture, just one side or the other? Maybe that explains it all. We think something is the way it is because that is what we see but we need to remind ourselves that what we see is just not real, not really anyway. Sure we can make out the general gist of something but the edges just aren’t smooth. We can see it superficially but the details are lost somewhere in our clouded vision. SO, we compensate by creating the image we think we see in our own mind but if we created it, is it really reliable? 

 Quite a few years ago, everytime I was under an immense amount of stress, I would lose the peripheral vision in my right eye. I could only see what was straight in front of me and to the left and the world to the right just disappeared. Does that mean it wasn’t there anymore? Was it less real or nonexistent just because I couldn’t see it? Things are not always as they appear. What’s even worse is people’s faces started to look distorted too. The first time it happened I was so terrified that I wished I couldn’t see a thing at all. People started to look like monsters to me. One eye would be down where their chin should be and one side of their face was longer than the other. Our mind plays tricks on us like that too. It makes it appear that people are monsters and that monsters are people. Everything is jumbled up. Who then, what then, can we really trust?

Let this be a reminder that just because we swear something is true, it is only our truth and not necessarily the whole truth. We are artists, creators. We paint our own pictures. We write our own stories. We can trick ourselves into believing that we don’t have that power because we blame someone else for grabbing our pen. Its easier to say, not my book, not my story so you never have to take responsibility for what is written on the page. I pray that we all have clearer vision. I pray that we choose to use our eyes to see all that is good. We can only see what we allow ourselves to see, remember that. If the eyes are closed, the mind is closed. I pray we see a better world, a better way. I pray our eyes look for peace, love, resolution.  I pray we see the truth lying under the distortion that we alone create. Don’t ever fool yourself into thinking that your distorted vision could ever be less or more distorted than mine. Close your eyes. Look with your heart.

What Do You See?

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We hired someone to wash our windows for the first time since we moved into this house. I am an over achiever kind of person. I have to make everything perfect. No smudges, no fingerprints, no tolerance for anything less than excellence. I would like to tell you the windows look fantastic and are sparkly clean. The truth is, they are cleaner than they were but I would have done them much better. It’s hard to have that type of personality. You expect so much from yourself and unfortunately you expect the same from others. Everyone is not cut from the same cloth. Not everyone can do everything with the certain commitment and accuracy as I do myself. I think I’m starting to understand that now. We always strive to be better. A better mom, a better athlete, a better student, a better friend. Maybe we get so caught up in the mentality of doing better that we just stop being all together. It’s like the parents who are obsessed with their kids getting straight A’s. We can’t get an A all the time. If we are so obsessed with the end result, perhaps we miss those moments in between where living is supposed to occur.

I was at my sons basketball game a few weeks ago. The team was playing terrible and my son was making mistake after mistake. He was just off and the team was suffering because of it. I was so angry. Why couldn’t he get it together? People were counting on him. Somehow they actually won that game. Not a single thing was in their favor that day and still somehow they finished on top. After the game I took a few boys for ice cream. One boy admitted he completely gave up but guess who it was that encouraged the team to keep fighting? It was my son. Sometimes we see what we want to see. How unfortunate if we are looking for the wrong things. I didn’t see how supportive and encouraging he was. He made a tremendous difference and I almost didn’t even notice.

Those windows are still a little dirty. But guess what? They are so much cleaner than they were a day before. Our perception is crucial when it comes to how we view our life and the people around us. Is it worth stressing over a dirty window or a smudge on the fridge? Maybe I should pay more attention to the sound of laughter coming from my son each and every day rather than on the mess he leaves behind. He is such a silly, happy kid and I have missed an opportunity to feel gratitude when I am choosing to be angry over something that really doesn’t matter. I have so many blessings and I’ve been blinded by the little things. Last night, as we rode home from my daughters birthday celebration in that wonderful limousine, my heart was full as I watched her sing and dance in the back seat. She looked so happy and in that moment I was filled with happiness too. It’s so important to look for the happy, to see beyond the funk that fogs up the windows so we can see the real picture. Our anger and our frustration and our need for perfection clouds our vision to what is beautifully there, right in front of us just waiting for us to notice. Whether the window is clean or dirty, if we look for the sunset it will always be there and it will always be beautiful. I say look for it, expect it to be there and take a moment to pause on the miracles that are all around us. For the next few days, I am making a commitment to actively look for all that is good and to disregard the rest. I want to see things I have overlooked and open my eyes to the beauty I’ve been blessed with in my life. The world is a wonderful place if we allow ourselves the chance to see it that way.

Fly

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I was remembering something a moment ago. I remember sitting at the Grand Canyon and watching the birds. I thought how amazing it would be to live in that beautiful place. I imagined what it would be like to spread my wings and fly over the beautiful colors and feel the peace and enormity of that place day after day. Imagine your home being that amazing sight. Then I thought about the stubborn barn swallows persistently trying to build their nest on top of the fan out on my patio. Why there? Didn’t they know they could use their wings to fly someplace much more beautiful and peaceful? Really, a fan out back by my pool where we are constantly walking in and out and blasting music?

Maybe there is a life lesson here if we look hard enough. We choose a place and our world is only as big as what we allow it to become. Our vision changes and we can’t see much further than what is right in front of us. We forget that the world is so much bigger than the place and the people around us. Some of us are smart enough to keep trying to find our beautiful place, to not stop looking until we find the place that inspires our soul. We are meant to be happy. We are meant to feel alive and excited.

I say keep flying. Don’t allow yourself to be trapped in the small confines of a fictitious world your mind creates. There are so many places and so many people if you open up your eyes. Choose life. Choose to be inspired and choose happiness. It will change your entire life and completely alter the view of what is and has always been all around you.

What Are You Looking For?

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I was awake last night contemplating what it is that makes us all so different. We can read the same words but turn them into a different story. We can watch the same movie yet walk out with different ideas of what it was really about. I think life is just like that. Who we are and how we see and react to different circumstances depends solely on our own perspective. How do we get the way we are? We all live through trials and tribulations. We are all showered with blessings and things to be thankful for. Time holds us prisoner to our own attitudes. What we live through and how we respond to every single stone in our path determines how we will get through the next thing that stands in our way. We can also stand before the very same roadblock and one of us can see it as a tiny pebble and the other will see it as a permanent deterrent and never move on. Our perception is so important. Ask yourself, is your perception of the people and events around you holding you back or is helping you live a better life?

I’ve learned this in my forty something years. Thoughts become things. If you allow your mind to fully believe something, good or bad, that is what your eyes will allow you to see. If you focus on one day or one sentence or one characteristic of a person or situation, your view will be tainted. Sometimes it takes some courage to look at the whole picture and not allow ourselves to become fixated on a small part. It’s hard and it’s a challenge especially if we really want to believe what our minds are telling us is the truth. There are many truths out there if you choose to look. You always have a choice to see something different but what are you focused on? What do you feel in your heart? Do you feel peace, love, hatred, blame? Your heart will pick and choose what you will feel next. Ask yourself this? What do you think about the people and world around you? Pick one or two words. Are they positive, negative, hopeful, defeated? Sometimes you have to check in with the thoughts and emotions inside of you. They are a great gauge to let you know if you are headed down a road filled with joy or a road filled with pain.

Remember, you will only see what you allow yourself to look for. My advice, look for something good or the world will look like a horrible place.

Can you See the Difference?

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Critical eyes and grateful eyes can look at the exact same picture yet see it completely different ways. What kind of lens are you looking through? What kind of picture are you painting for yourself? Notice how you see things, because your perception is an important indicator of how you are looking at the world. What you see is a reflection of who you are. Make sure it’s positive.

Through the Looking Glass

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I am trying really hard lately to see the world through empathetic glasses. Sometimes, whatever it is we are focusing on we become. When I look around me, there is no doubt that criticism is alive and well. The way I see it, I have two choices. I can join in and raise my voice to support the critical crowd or I can choose to be silent. Sometimes, silence really does speak louder than words. The quickest way to change a topic of conversation is by not responding to it or giving it any attention at all.

We are all like a gigantic human microscope. Whatever it is we look for we are guaranteed to see. The beauty lies in the choice of how we adjust our vision. Are we going to make an enthusiastic effort to see the good in people or are we going to use our glass to find more fault? It’s a battle and we have to focus our attention on making the conscious choice to look for the good. It is there somewhere beneath the dirt that has caused the distortion in the view through our glass. So, clean it off and look again and find something, even if it’s only one thing, that is positive about everyone you come across. You may be surprised how this new view changes not only what you see but also how you think and feel. And seriously, how would you feel if everyone was looking at you through a magnifying glass willing and waiting to point out every flaw? Certainly, we have better things to do with our precious time. I know I do. And remember,sometimes when you peek through the looking glass you will see your own reflection. Don’t be afraid to look. If you are lucky that reflection will be a positive one, a true reflection of how you are looking at everyone and everything around you. If you don’t like what you see, clean off the glass and look and again. The choice is always available if you are willing to choose differently.

Have You Checked Your Vision Lately?

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There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept- Ansel Adams

Wow! These words really jumped out at me today. It is amazing actually how a few words put together in a particular order can make such a profound point. This describes my point exactly. I believe this is the downfall for many people. It is clear to me lately, every direction I look, how fuzzy everything has become. Rules, laws, policy’s, procedures, follow through, leadership, the lines of right and wrong of expectation and action of discipline and follow through. Everything has become so fuzzy that the line is clearly and completely fading away. For a while, although fuzzy, we knew it was still there but today? I can’t even seem to get a clear answer to a simple question anymore. Everything is calculated and manipulated and distorted so much that words don’t seem to hold their value. Be careful you are not losing sight of the whole picture. Don’t be caught in this new pattern of washy washy that allows us to get away with just about anything because of the fuzziness that distorts our vision of what we know to be true. There is clarity in the fuzzy if you choose to look close enough. Will you take a closer looK?

What I Learned From My New Haircut!

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I got a call late last week notifying me that the girl that usually cut my hair was no longer working at the salon. So, since I have put off getting a trim since before I can even remember when, I decided to keep my appointment and try out a new girl. I couldn’t help but notice her right away. Heck, I think you’d have to be blind to not see the tattoos, and piercings and purple and orange hair. But I made the choice to keep an open mind and see past the bling that was decorating her soul.

I can’t tell you the last time I’ve enjoyed talking to someone this much. This 25 year old girl had so many stories to tell. She was poised and sure of herself and it was really nice for a change to see someone completely at peace with who they had become. It isn’t about age at all. Before today, I really thought it was. This girl, in a lifespan of 25 years, reached a place I had not discovered until I turned 4o. She was completely comfortable in her own tattooed skin, and even though the piercings and crazy hair tried to disguise her beauty from my human judgmental eyes, it didn’t take longer than 5 minutes of conversation to see she was absolutely beautiful.

Lesson to myself, don’t judge a book without opening it up and reading the pages and look with your heart and not just your eyes.

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