"> My Myopia, Or My Mother’s?

My Myopia, Or My Mother’s?

One of the limiting beliefs I like to challenge with clients is “This was a problem with all my family members, so of course I’ll have it too.” Maybe, and maybe not! Yes, you may have the same genetic material (unless you’re adopted), but what we also “inherit” are our parents’ habits and behaviors and ways of thinking. We soak these up before we have language, automatically, like breathing.

Now that you have the perspective of an adult, you have more choices than you did as a child. Just because one of your parents is overweight and has a tendency to use sweets as comfort, you don’t have to! Go for a walk outdoors and let Mother Nature comfort you. Similarly, if one or both of your parents had vision challenges, you can write a different seeing story for yourself.

Many studies have proven that myopia is not hereditary. Children of clear-sighted parents can develop myopia from poor vision habits. People of all ages are improving their vision, which shouldn’t be possible if eyesight is in the genes, and our genes are our destiny (which I don’t believe either but that’s a different article).

One of the early lessons from my energy medicine teacher Deborah King is to examine an unexpected symptom, say a feeling of anxiety “out of the blue”, or a sudden headache, and ask “Is this mine or someone else’s?”. If you’re close to someone, your energy fields overlap, and it’s easy to mix up who is who. This is especially true of mothers and children. If your mother is worried about something, can you remain calm, or do you take on her worry automatically?

A simple re-framing technique can distance you from the problem too. Doesn’t “this myopic pattern” sound less like a life sentence than “my myopia”? Patterns can be changed! Why claim it as yours if it’s not who you really want to be?

My own mother grew up in WWII in a large poor family. Her father was away in the service for long periods of time. I’m guessing she was in at least a low level state of fear, not feeling safe, for most of her life. She got eyeglasses as a teen, and I never remember seeing her face without them. She tended toward anxiety and worry — my father often pointed out that she saw everything as a crisis.

If my mother had been more relaxed, with more of a “go with the flow” attitude and less in Survival Mode, could she have improved her vision? I don’t know. Yes, I share her blood and genetics, but her anxious life view does not have to be mine. I don’t have to continue to share her tendency to feel fear so readily. As I keep working on relaxing my whole body (not just my visual system) with practices like meditation, my eyesight keeps getting better.

Are you seeing through someone else’s eyes, or your own? It’s your one precious life — own it fully and take the reins. The view ahead will keep opening up for you.


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Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, from age 5 into my 40s. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.

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None of my parents had any vision problems, but they both had and have narcissistic personality disorder. Back there they didn’t want their children to have their own point of view on life. They wanted us nearsighted so they could project their perception on their daughters. While my blood mother was pregnant with my youngest sister, my parents were planing to move to another town. This distracted them from imposing limits and restriction on her. And she is the only one with good vision.

Таня Двойникова

Hm… It’s really interesting. My dad has -9 and my mom has normal vision. It always seemed that I inhereted my dad’s myopia (I stopped at -8 on the right eye and -7,5 on the left), and my younger brother has normal vision like mom. But I was exposed to the computer much later than he (I already had like -5 before I knew what the internet was!). Yes, he had that “farsightedness cushion” when he was born, and I hadn’t… but maybe that’s it? I feel that I abused my eyes for such a long time partly because of this “it’s hereditary and you can do nothing about it” mindset. Funnily enough, I knew about Bates method since childhood (it seems like here in Russia doctors aren’t as in denial about it as in some other countries), but never even tried it, I thought it’s something for “healthy people” (those who wear glasses with their -1).

Nancy L. Neff

It’s totally possible to improve your vision, and yes, we are going against the tide by doing so. If you feel that you abused your eyes, it’s time to start being kind to them now. And you will learn so much about yourself! See yourself as a healthy person too. (smile)


This does rather relate to me. Neither of my parents are severely myopic. My mother is farsighted, and my dad goes most of the time without glasses. He has no restrictions on his license, so his vision must be around 20/40 or so. Pretty good considering that they’re pretty old. Here’s what I think the situation is for me. While I was still in my mother’s stomach, she migrated to the U.S. She claimed that while she was pregnant with me, she went through a lot of depression and worry accompanied with lots of crying. It appeared that she wanted to go back to her home country. Perhaps the stress of my mother experiencing a strange, unfamiliar environment transferred to me? I’m not sure about this but this would make a lot of sense as to why I’m easily threatened out in public, and prone to a strained way of interacting with the world. If I ever have children in the future, I would make sure that the mother of the child is in a comfortable, familiar environment. That way, the trans-generational cycle of stress imposed upon the child may be lessened. Come to think of it, I was rather social earlier on in life. Perhaps the trans-generational stress theory doesn’t hold water. When I was a toddler, I enjoyed myself quite a bit. I started becoming myopic at the age of 8. Strangely, this is the time that my mother started working, and I was left all alone at the house. There are many factors at play. I’m still trying to reveal why I feel uncomfortable in public, and social situations and work on reversing it. Nevertheless, thanks for the article. It made me reflect upon my life.

Nancy L. Neff

Thanks — one of the best things you can say to me as a writer is that my words made you think! As a fetus or small child, Mom is the entire world. If she is depressed, it’s total. We don’t have the perspective to see that we can be other than she is. She is our survival, and if she’s not OK, we’re not OK either.

As I’ve said to you before, good for you for your high level of awareness. Knowing you have choices will keep you seeking the ones right for you. Keep up the good work!


Thanks for the response. I have been contemplating many things lately. I put this stuff out there to help others; maybe they have similar situations I have had. It’s still a journey for me. I’m learning new things everyday. But one approach I think worthwhile to take is a Buddhistic approach; an approach that views life as a collection of impermanent experiences that are neither good or bad. This does make sense. Every time I do get improved vision by central fixation, my view of the world becomes neutral, and impartial. Perhaps there is a purpose to why I got poor eyesight. Maybe it’s a journey that is actually hinted at dealing with and processing strain and discomfort within the body.

Nancy L. Neff

Yes, I have noticed a more accepting mindset in myself when my vision is clearer. I’m still looking for the Big Meaning behind why I had poor vision for most of my life. It’s taught me a lot, that’s for sure.