Many people who start vision improvement and spend time without their glasses are taken aback at how their vision fluctuates throughout the day. This is a good thing — natural vision naturally varies, with your energy level or your mood or even your level of hydration. Yet with a prescription lens in front of your eyes, they will be frozen at that level of acuity, like a motor that only goes at one speed. And when the motor is turned off (glasses are removed), since you were so dependent on it you may not be able to do much on your own without it.
To some people’s surprise, vision can vary with emotions as well. (To me this is a major unexplored area in vision problems, and in vision improvement.) One of my vision students had worn strong glasses for a long time. When he started doing simple tasks without his glasses and his natural vision started to reassert itself, he commented that an upsetting emotional situation had taken away his motivation for vision improvement, when he’d been very excited about it before. This was a perfect “teaching moment” for me to explain that the mind and emotions affect the body, and to encourage him to do some work to release his negative feelings so his whole being, as well as his vision, would be healthier.
A student recently asked about the connection between heredity and nearsightedness. This student is concerned about having children, and passing this “defect” on to them. I said I know of myopic people who have clear-sighted parents, and the reverse. I also cited the study of older villagers in a remote undeveloped area with no vision problems, yet their children started to become myopic when schooling was introduced to the village. The children had begun to strain visually, while their parents were not doing this. The youngsters developed nearsightedness from their poor visual habits. They had not inherited it.
What I do believe is “inherited” in relation to vision is patterns of strain. Just like you may see a young boy mimicking his father’s posture and walking with the same wide-legged cowboy-like strut, the child may also pick up Dad’s peering and squinting habits. In most cases this is not a conscious choice. We just absorb these patterns when we’re very young, as the way to do things. As my EFT Abundance teacher Carol Look says, “If you grow up in France, you’ll speak French!”.
So then the question becomes why one child in a family may be very myopic, and other children with the same 2 parents is only mildly so, or not at all. This was my case, and is also the case with several of my students. Perhaps the nearsighted child was the first, and the parents weren’t too skilled yet, having had no experience. Or perhaps this myopic child is more sensitive than his or her rough-and-tumble siblings.
Sensitivity gets a bad rap, in my opinion. Yes, it means you take most things to heart, and may not be able to shake off an upsetting event and put it behind you as easily as someone else can. Yet you are aware of nuances others overlook. Think about the difference between a carefully calibrated race car engine, and an old clunker which will get you there but is very inefficient. The high performance car needs a mechanic with a delicate touch, one who is yes, sensitive, and can care for the sensitive engine properly.
Remember that most children are more sensitive than the adults responsible for them. Before the age of 6 or 7 they absorb everything like a sponge, good or bad, with no filtering. Even the most well-intentioned parents can hurt a child’s feelings without meaning to. Yet most children, highly sensitive or not, usually recover from these little bumps and scrapes of Life.
A more sensitive child in the family will often be more likely to have some physical or vision problem. Unfortunately, as soon as the child is put in glasses, the vision limitation stops being temporary and likely to clear up on its own, and starts becoming entrenched. As the child moves to stronger and stronger glasses, the vision problem gets locked into his physiology, and may take years of vision improvement work in later years, and/or emotional work, to undo.
For me, it took a long time to admit how sensitive I am, since I saw it as a defect, that I was weak, not tough enough. I am owning it now and seeing it as one of my gifts. I love that I am attuned to subtleties others often miss — this helps me navigate the world and connect deeply with others. Yet as a sensitive child there was so much input coming in I often got overwhelmed, in particular when I didn’t feel safe. So I know I started to shut down my visual channel by blurring my view to protect myself.
Now I’m learning to open up that channel again and let in the visual glory of color and shadow and depth and yes, clarity. I don’t want to “toughen up”, I want to appreciate and honor my sensitivity, and to manage my environment to keep the level of input where I can handle it comfortably. And as I learn more about relaxing, and about remaining calm despite the circumstances, I am finding, to my surprise, that the level of visual input I can handle while staying tranquil is increasing. I am seeing more, and seeing it better, and feeling really good about it.