Breaking Free — Almost There

Starlings

Starlings by Marilyn Peddle – Courtesy of PhotoDropper (https://www.flickr.com/photos/71153021@N00/4357665982)

I haven’t written much nor have I been in the mix lately. I apologize. There’s a reason for that — I’m not going to lie. I’ve been facing personal demons and struggling with writing about it. I don’t want to add any more drama than is already out there. Instead, maybe sharing a bit of the process for me to finally break free of old beliefs that no longer serve me will help some of you.

Something is shifting within me and calling. I can feel it, though, I’m not quite sure what it is or where it will take me. So, I’ve been laying low and, needless to say, resisting a lot. Only this time, the ‘forces-that-be’ appear to have been set in motion and won’t be denied.

It’s a battle between mind and heart, as I am again sitting at this computer and, for the “nth” time, attempting to write this story. It’s difficult because I’m living the story as I write it. It’s forever changing and my thoughts are jumbled up. Yet, my heart compels me to write. So, here goes. 

Many things have shown up lately as I’ve once again taken on the challenges of spiritual growth by embracing authentic, personal responsibility of old fears. I can see where they’re interconnected and have arrived to be addressed. They will no longer tolerate the busyness of life and will no longer be put on the back shelf.

Funny, how once we decide to truly look within and willingly seek help to make heart changes, Pandora’s box springs open. One of these life-long battles that’s recently raised its head is my eyesight.

It’s something I’ve struggled with as far back as early childhood. I can remember around 7 years of age, when I got my first glasses. It was nighttime and, when I stepped outside the eye doctor’s office to leave with my parents, I remember looking up at the sky. It was as if I saw stars for the first time. I couldn’t stop looking up and then all around — trees, cars, buildings. It was mesmerizing. Everything seemed to have been drawn closer and I could see them clearly. I was discovering a new world all within the context of these framed glasses.

In school I no longer had to rely on copying classmates’ notes nor sit up front to see the board. I could see for myself. Only then, it was the teasing to contend with in being called, “four eyes”. I was so insecure, I would have given up the ability to see if I could have only been accepted by my peers.

Either way, it still didn’t seem to matter. My school work still suffered and the teasing continued. In my youthful innocence, I even turned to prayer that I remembered from Sunday School for clear eyesight. But over time, that didn’t seem to work either,  so I gave up and life went on — I adapted.

More glasses, stronger prescriptions, hard contacts, contacts with holes, soft toric contacts: they all helped me throughout the years to see and function in my world as I know it. I’ve been happily settling for the best possible combinations of correction in order to see. Sometimes, compromising distance to balance medium and close-up vision.

Now, I’m at a crossroads, as it is in life when you come to a wall and can’t run anymore. My contact prescription has run out as well as my contacts, my glasses barely function between distance, middle and close up correction and my eye appointment revealed I’m a candidate for cataract surgery. Well . . .

I have an appointment with the surgeon Monday but given the additional cost for astigmatism that option isn’t necessarily a gimme either, after insurance coverage.

So, I’ve come full circle from the first glasses in grade school and prayers for clear eyesight. Given the spiritual work I’ve been processing, I’m more tuned into my feelings and when I hear hubby say, “I want to do this for you”, my heart wants to cry as if I’m hearing those words come from a higher source in answer to a prayer so long ago.

So, I found it fitting that I, ironically, came across Karin’s post “Murmuration” recently and this video helped to clarify what is going on and serve as a source of encouragement. It speaks to me on what I look to see and feel — free and spontaneous: something like these beautiful starlings in flight captured by filmmaker, Neels Castillon, on a commercial shoot in Marseille, France, in 2013. It’s called “A Bird Ballet(please watch – it may help you understand):

The beauty of these birds soaring in harmony caught up in the sheer pleasure of flying is refreshing. It’s freeing to my soul no matter what obstacles. How light and effortless they move about the sky without running into one another. It’s as if they’re dancing to a heavenly tune only they can hear.

It’s the excitement I get each time I feel loved and get guidance from a higher source when faced with challenges in my life. I know I’m not alone. I don’t know what will be the outcome of all of this but just from listening to the stirring on the inside there’s more going on than what I see.

Maybe, through the course of working through all these awakenings, I’ll write a book. If I do, I think I’ll call it, “Don’t Kill the Messenger”, as I enter another 10-week Presence Process for the 5th time.

For now, I hope you know in reading this story that no matter what age, life will always keep challenging you to get out of yourself, inviting you to take leaps and push the boundaries. If you don’t know how, go out and watch the birds.

I hope you’ll accept the challenge and become all that you came here to be.

Pat from the ‘ol kitchen table

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Note: For more information, here are some resources I’ve found to be helpful in my spiritual growth:

  • “The Presence Process – A Journey Into Present Moment Awareness” – Revised Edition by Michael Brown. You can also visit his site to learn more at “The Presence Portal”.
  • “Wishes Fulfilled” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • “Don’t Die with Your Music Still In You” by Serena J. Dyer
  • “I Can See Clearly Now” by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • “I Am” Wishes Fulfilled Meditation by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer and James F. Twyman
  • “Experiencing the Miraculous” — a Spiritual Journey to Assisi, Lourdes and Medjugorje — 4-DVD set by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
  • (Now reading) “Take Off Your Glasses and See – How to Heal Your Eyesight and Expand Your Insight” by Jacob Liberman, O.D., Ph.D.

30 thoughts on “Breaking Free — Almost There

  1. Oh Pat, I am so sorry and I feel like such a bad “online” friend as I have been so busy I hadn’t noticed your frequent absence. Glasses and eyesight are major concerns for me as well. I receive my first pair of glasses at age 7 and still remember the awe I felt at really seeing for the first time in a long time. Doctors told me if I lived long enough I would go blind and that fear stuck with me for many years. At 40 I had lasik performed on my eyes and now with much better vision am no longer afraid of blindness.

    One more thing, you may want to take up your husband’s offer of the cataract surgery. My grandparents were very happy after they had theirs as their vision improved so much they no longer had to wear glasses for the rest of their lives.

    If you ever need one to listen I hope you know you can contact me at any time.

    • Aw thank you, Lois, for listening. It sounds like there’s more we have in common. Who would have thought you would have had a similar experience with your eyesight and at the same age. I can only imagine how that put a fear in you at such a young age to be told you might go blind. So glad it turned out for the best for you, my friend.

      I’ve thought about lasik surgery but felt it was too risky at the age when I would have considered it and it was fairly new. Plus, it’s pretty expensive. I also wasn’t confident that they’d get it right since corrections had to be tweaked so many times for glasses and contacts. The cataract surgery is definitely an option only Medicare will only cover the basic surgical correction and not for astigmatism, which is my biggest issue.

      I’m still weighing my options while I’m at this crossroad. I know it will be perfect however it turns out. Happy to see you again and so glad you stopped by. It means a lot. 🙂

    • Thank you, Dawn. I’m trying to take less for granted these days. It happens in the busyness of life, unfortunately. Appreciate your best wishes in the outcome of this decision. I have a good feeling about it that all is well and I’m in good hands. 🙂

  2. I can relate to what you are going through. I have worn glasses since the 4th grade. The day I got my first pair I was so excited to be able to see and so crushed at the 4 eyes name calling. Some things just stay with you forever, especially if you have low self-esteem. I am still going through testing with my eyes. It may be cataract surgery one day or something more involved. Until then I just remind myself to be thankful I have had the gift of sight for however long I have it.

    • Oh Cheryl — I’m so there with you, my friend and can understand how you feel. It’s a daily challenge but, like you, I’m thankful for the eyesight I have. We don’t realize what things can affect our self-esteem in the tender years of youth. But It sure looks like it does. So, for me, I think there’s more going on than eyesight issues.

      At least, that’s what resonates when Dr. Jacob Lieberman, in “Take Off Your Glasses and See“, explains how most vision problems are the result of an unconscious decision to “close your eyes” to emotional discomfort or pain.

      I hope your tests will help you in the long run find clear eyesight whether perfect correction or cataract surgery. Hopefully, sooner than later, you’ll find the answer and won’t be standing at a crossroads, like me, trying to figure out what to do. Thank you. 🙂

  3. Pat, what a beautiful post so full of heart and transparency! Thank you for sharing your story of pain and tenderness. Life throws some trials that can really lay us low. You have not only dealt with your eyesight, but risen above the problem to be a light and encourager to others. I have severe hearing loss that happened in my early 40’s over a 3 week timespan. It threw me on my backside for a long time. But i’ve pulled myself up, with God’s help, dusted myself off and continue to walk this path of trust. Bless you Pat!! I’m so glad you are in my life.

    • Thank you, Susan, for such warm and comforting words of encouragement. I’m sorry to hear of the problems you had in hearing loss. I can definitely see where it could seriously set you back with happening in such a short time. You’re right — life certainly does throw some curves and it takes time to regain our footing on solid ground again.

      I’m glad you were strong and pulled yourself up and with God’s help, no doubt. Look at what you’re now putting out. It’s beautiful to learn and see the world through your eyes. I’m thankful you had the courage to take those leaps and push through the obstacles to the other side.

      I’m thankful for coming to this crossroads and looking forward to getting to the other side like you. I can feel the divine guidance. It is a path of trust and I’m grateful to have you here in my life, too Susan, and for your support. It means a lot, my friend. 🙂

  4. I have been there my friend. I’ve worn glass from a very early age. I have faced many of the same challenges you’ve shared. I too am now coming on the same challenges having to make the same decision. Life certainly is one big constant challenge with a set of decisions to go along with each challenge, isn’t it? Sigh!

    • Oh Wow, Susan. I didn’t know you had the same challenges. It seems like a lot of us have the same types of things we live with day-by-day. For years, like you, I’ve been able to compromise and manage it until now. But, for me, it seems like the universe has more to teach than just eyesight issues.

      You’re right, life certainly is one big constant challenge, especially as you age. I remember Dr. Wayne Dyer talking about a hair he found on his pillow. He wondered what held it in yesterday. I also remember my daughter, now 39, once asking me, “Mom, does your nose get bigger when you get older?” Life will certainly throw us curves for sure but, hopefully, in the end we can laugh and not take ourselves too seriously.

      I hope you’re able to find what best works for you, my friend. There are a lot of options out there. Thank you for sharing and being supportive. At least I don’t feel alone in these challenges. 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing, Pat! I’ve found that times of challenge are tremendous gifts that need to be opened very carefully. 😉

    I remember being the first time I put on my glasses, and saw all the individual leaves on the trees. You’ll find a happy solution for your eyes!

    Please do share your journey, with its ups and downs, whenever you feel comfortable doing that. We all make similar discoveries and learn similar lessons from life, they just present themselves differently for each of us.

    • You’re right about that, Bethany. I can sense that with this challenge comes more things that will open up to me. Though it’s difficult, there’s an air of excitement and possibility. I’m not in a desperate, pleading mode. It’s all good.

      I know what you mean when your saw individual leaves on the trees when you first wore glasses. I can remember that, too, though over the years they’re not as sharp. I think you’re right in that I’ll find a happy solution. I’m just trusting and feeling my way through taking one step at a time.

      Also, thank you for commenting on me sharing my journey of the ups and downs. It seems like this 5th time is significant in working through the Presence Process. I know you and I have talked about it. I don’t know what it is but I’m cautiously entering it this time as I feel the coming of some major life changes. I’m at a crossroads in many ways and have held onto stuff I haven’t known how to get rid of. I’m feeling I’m beginning to find out how. I hope I’ll be able to write about it so it may help others. We’ll see — at least it’s what’s in my head for now. 🙂

        • Thanks, Beth. I’m working on it, though doing my part to learn to let go, too. According to the surgeon, I am a definite candidate for cataract surgery and astigmatism correction. I’m due to make a decision the middle of December. I’m happy for that option and we’ll see how it all plays out. I’m feeling that there’s more happening with this than eyesight. I hope I get the messages — loud and clear. 🙂

  6. Oh Pat, I am so sorry you have been battling like this. I knew you had some things going on and I have been praying for you. All this sounds so familiar. I have an astigmatism in my left eye and have been wearing varifocals since my 40s, graduating from reading glasses that I didn’t have to wear until my early 40s. My middle boy came home from school as a 7 year old one day saying he couldn’t see the chalk board and even though I had his checked regularly, he became severely near-sighted very quickly. So he too had to wear glasses but when he turned 15 he asked me if he could have contacts and has been wearing them ever since. A friend of mine just spent a fortune on special surgery to prevent cataracts and also to restore her vision so for the first time since she was a little girl she can see perfectly without glasses and won’t need to worry about cataracts. I would love to do this (I don’t have cataracts but to prevent them) to eliminate glasses but she doesn’t have an astigmatism as you and I do and no way could I afford it as she can. Who knows what will happen in the future. For now, I am thinking of you and hope that you will have all peace in your decision and that you will be guided with wisdom as you make the choices you are led to. Big hugs to you my friend…remember, you are not alone 🙂

    • Aw, thank you Sherri. I can feel those prayers, my friend. It’s really not quite the battle as I had when I was a child. It’s different this time somehow. I guess the biggest challenge for me now is seeing because I no longer have my contacts and my eye doctor has directed me onto this other path. So, I’m just relying on old varifocal glasses. I know it’s the right thing to do as it took 4 months last year to get the right correction I could live with for contacts.

      It sounds like you know a little about this from what you shared from you and your son’s eye problems. Also, from your friend who can now see perfectly and won’t ever have to need glasses. That’s what I’m shooting for and have already put my request out to the universe.

      But, for now, given the spiritual quest I embarked on in the past couple of years, no surprise I would be faced with a challenge such as this. It feels right and I’m happy to say I’m feeling a gentle, sweet guidance.

      I can’t help but think it’s more than a coincidence or age-old timing. There’s more going on, especially from what I first read on the inside flap of Dr. Jacob Lieberman’s book hubby handed me that he’s had in his library for years. It says, in part “…an internationally recognized authority on holistic vision care explains how most vision problems are the result of an unconscious decision to “close your eyes” to emotional discomfort or pain…” This peaked my interest and resonated with me.

      Like you said, who knows what will happen in the future. I’m glad to be in the middle of it, though, and with divine guidance we’ll see how it will turn out. Thank you, my friend, for caring and being supportive. It’s a comfort to have you there and not feel alone. 🙂

      • What’s so wonderful in all of this Pat is that you are experiencing a most wonderful ‘gentle, sweet guidance’. You sum it all up in those three words and that is what is most important. I sense your calm in all this as you seek divine intervention. What a great blessing. I was interested to read Dr Lieberman’s thoughts. It reminded me of my Aspie daughter. As a baby, she was incredibly observant from the moment she was born, taking in everything around her, unusually so as a newborn. So much so that the midwife who took her to the nursery very briefly comment to me when she brought her back that in all her 20 years as a midwife, she had never known such an observant baby. I was just happy to know she was healthy and safely delivered, my darling precious little girl. But what I then noticed was that from day one, if there was any tension around at home, say the boys getting too noisy in their play or her father getting cross and also her picking up the stress vibes from the neighbour problem we were having at that time, she closed her eyes tight and fell asleep. But only in my arms. I soon noticed that she closed her eyes off to any stress and this was her way of coping, of shutting out the overload. Even then, her senses were on high alert causing her the mental exhaustion that would go on to mark her life. So I thank you my friend for sharing this with me and the thought process it sent me down. Bless you and sending hugs around our kitchen table 🙂

        • Aw, as always, I love talking with you Sherri. It’s interesting how we can pick up on the same insights. It certainly sounds like your darling daughter is tuned in possibly more than the rest of us. It’s amazing how observant she was as an infant and how she responded to noise and stress going on around her by closing her eyes. I’m not sure if I did the same thing physically by closing my eyes or not but I now think it’s what I did emotionally.

          She has her own demons to face, I’m sure, but when she realizes the gifts she has and how to use them what an impact she’ll make on the world. She’s still young and has plenty of time ahead for discovery and with a sensitive, intuitive mother to help her. She’s is so fortunate to have you as her mother for love and support.

          I’m glad you checked out Dr. Lieberman and his holistic approach to correcting eyesight. It’s fascinating to me, like the Presence Process, how trapped emotional discomforts and pain can go on to affect our bodies physically, even our eyesight. Like they say, the eyes are the windows to the soul and if they’re closed there’s a lot being shut down and removed from us. I’m hoping to find out and looking to come out on the other side. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and reflections. I love engaging in these discussions with you. It makes life truly interesting and keeps taking us higher and higher as to what is possible and what we’re capable of. 🙂

  7. Pat, yes this is a crossroads that many of us face in our senior years. The positive side is that cataract surgery, from what I hear from many people, is a definite improvement for vision and often people who have the surgery no longer have to wear glasses. I sympathize with your situation of not having full insurance coverage…however I’m with Lois – go with your husband’s generous offer and look at it this way – you won’t have the ongoing expense of replacing glasses and contacts. Eyesight is a priority for you Pat…look after yourself please…we want to keep you blogging for many more years! Hugs to you. Bev

    • Thank you, Bev, for weighing in. It helps with my decision on what to do. I’ll have to see what the surgeon says Monday and consider all the options and expenses. I sure don’t want to incur more expenses than is necessary, especially $5K out-of-pocket. I know I’ll be shown the best course of action to take. You’re right, eye site is a priority and, as you know, God works in mysterious ways.

      I’m touched, Bev, with your care and concern. You’re dear to me and I’m working on looking after myself with the hope to be blogging for more years to come. This will give me more to talk about. Appreciate you so much — hugs back, my friend. 🙂

  8. I’m in the same situation — thick trifocals, cataracts, never got lasik, and am very much looking forward to finally being able to have clear vision. You should definitely get the astigmatism corrected when you have the surgery, even if you have to borrow the money. I haven’t yet looked into what my insurance will cover; but whatever I have to pay to get the best possible vision, I believe it’s well worth it.

    • Thank you, Meg, for your advice. I’m sorry to hear you’ve got the same stuff going on. Hopefully, when you come to that crossroad where you need to decide the perfect course of action will be there for you, too. I’ve got a lot of options to consider for which I am thankful. I agree perfect vision is well worth it. 🙂

  9. So sorry to hear about your eye sight struggles, Pat. At first, I thought it was the melancholy of the season that had gotten into you. I understand your nervousness. I wear contacts and have a slight astigmatism as well + glaucoma runs in the family so I need to be mindful about that as well. Wishing you all the best of guidance in whatever decision you’re gonna make.. and trust that in the end it will be all for the best.

    Thanks btw for the extra links. It’s funny how you link eyesight with in’ner’sight as well.
    “I can see clearly now” reminds me of my own excruciating painful corneal abrasion earlier this year and how I got to have an insightful moment(s) by reversing my view within. (if you’re interested to read about it’s in ‘Live life in the clear – looking through the inner lens)
    I’m particularly interested in the last book ‘Take off your glasses and see – how to heal your eyesight and expand your insight” .. the title sounds promising. Let me know your reviews

    • Hi Karin — thank you for coming by and giving your support. It’s not a bad thing — just something that needs to be addressed once and for all and not just managed. I’ve been grateful for all the alternatives I’ve been able to take advantage of over the years and the technologies available. I also just had the same Optomap Retinal Imaging that you had and I think that’s what detected cataracts. It’s amazing to see that inner part of your being.

      I can respect what you say of being mindful of sight issues, especially ones that run in the family, though we haven’t had glaucoma like you. That’s a whole other Pandora’s box best to leave alone. It’s funny, I’m the only one in my family that has had sight issues. My mother and dad never wore glasses until later for reading and my sister now wears glasses but I think that’s from normal aging process. She never wore them in the early part of her life all of which lead me to believe it’s personal and more of what’s going on the inside of me.

      I think it goes along with what you were talking about in the corneal abrasion you had earlier this year that you wrote about. I like what you said in viewing your digital imprint of the macula, “that the eyes are the portals to the soul”. I definitely feel that and was touched by the dialogue you had. It definitely speaks to me and goes along with Dr. Jacob Lieberman’s book, as far as I know, “Take Off Your Glasses and See“. I’ve just started it and first thing in reading the inside flap resonated with me and goes along with what you wrote. It said how he explains how most vision problems are the result of an unconscious decision to “close your eyes” to emotional discomfort. Speaks volumes with some of the work I’ve been experiencing in the Presence Process.

      There’s no accidents for sure in why I’ve arrived at this juncture of my life — there’s more going on and aligns with your dialogue. I’m excited for the journey and looking to see how it will all turn out. Truly appreciate you directing me to your story and for your encouraging words. It means a lot to read what you experienced and how you feel about it. 🙂

  10. Pat, sometimes you need to ‘lay low’ and spend that time with yourself, alone, to face those demons, whatever they are. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having these problems which have obviously caused such challenges throughout your life. I can empathise with you in terms of the teasing and insecurity (though for different reasons), which then has such an impact on how you conduct yourself and feel throughout your life. The murmuration of starlings is such as life-affirming sight and I can feel your reaching for that freedom and joy. Good luck with your decision, whatever that may be. Sending positive thoughts your way 🙂

    • For sure, Andrea, laying low helps to rejuvenate and get your bearings. I think we all have ‘demons’ to face and problems to work through. Life is just that way to help us become the best we can be. It’s been challenging but so worth it in the person I am today and what I’ve learned in the process. I definitely think I’ve been brought to this point for a special purpose and will come to an understanding of issues that have haunted me for so long.

      I’m glad you watched the murmuration of starlings. It truly is life-affirming in terms of what I feel is happening in my life. Thank you for your kind words and positive thoughts, Andrea. It means a lot you stopped by to share and give me support, my friend. Thank You! 🙂

  11. Oh Pat What a struggle you have gone through in parallel but so different to my own. Sight is so precious and I’ll take your advice and go out and look at the birds for inspiration. I hope you don’t mind me reblogging this post and I wish you well in your search for good health in your eyes.
    We took ourselves off to Corfu on a late break deal to help gain better equilibrium and peace of mind. I too have found it hard to write my posts but will write the next one on our trip and how it helped.
    Best wishes my friend. I’ll be thinking of you

    • Thank you, Diana. It’s been a challenge for sure but, no doubt, worth it in what you learn about yourself and faith. Our sight is precious and I am truly thankful to see. There’s so much beauty in the world. How can you not be touched with love and trust.

      I’d love it in you reblogged. You would probably have to do it by way of “Press This” or copying/pasting as I don’t have the automatic “reblog” feature as a self-hosting WordPress blogger. Can you send me the link?

      I know what you mean about taking a break to regain your footing and recharge to write. Having just published a book, though, I would say you earned a little free time to take a breather, my friend. 🙂

      P.S. I saw your reblog (http://selectionsofreflections.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/a-struggle-to-write/). Thank you and I’m happy this was helpful.

  12. Pat, so sorry that you are going through such a rough time right now. I didn’t know. Often when a blogger does not post it is because they are quite busy with family problems etc. Your struggle and the feelings that well up from it must be devastating and I sympathize with you. Still it is good that you are now able to see you are not alone. We all care, and I will keep you in my prayers. Please keep us informed on your progress. Best to you.

    • Aw, thank you, Patricia, for your warm words of encouragement. You’re the best, my friend. Your prayers and best wishes mean a lot. 🙂

      It’s all good and it feels like it’s part of a spiritual quest. I don’t know. It’s like I have this knowing “all is okay” and I’ll come out on the other side much better than I’ve ever been. But it’s a little harder these days spending a lot of time on the computer, as I can’t see as good without my contacts.

      You’d probably laugh, if you saw me at my laptop, as I’m wearing my old prescription glasses with reader glasses on top of them. What a sight! 🙂 For now, after seeing the eye surgeon I have until the middle of December to decide if I want to go ahead with the cataract surgery. I’m thankful for that option — just looking for creative ways to come up with extra $ that insurance won’t pay.

      In the end, it will all work out, Patricia. I know it and I’m better in my heart for the challenge. It’s teaching me a lot about being real and trust. Hugs and thank you again for caring. 🙂

I would love to hear from you. . .thank you for stopping by.