Several of my coaching clients (both vision clients and others) have talked about being made to do something as children they didn’t want to do, and how they still carry resentment about this. I was musing about my eyesight history recently, wondering if and how resentment played a role, and the image of an infant in eyeglasses popped into my mind! Although I didn’t get glasses myself until I was 5, that picture of a baby trapped behind eyeglasses touched me deeply. Was this how part of me felt as a child?
Dr. Bates, the natural vision pioneer, said over 100 years ago that the sight of a child in spectacles was “enough to make the angels weep”. He taught that clear sight is all about relaxation. When we’re forced to do something against our will, we resist, if only internally. And if part of us wants to do something, say please our parents, and part of us wants to do something different, we’re not congruent. That’s not the optimal state to be in — you’re fighting yourself. My EFT teacher Carol Look says to achieve the best results, we want our head, our heart, and our gut to be in alignment.
One of Dr. Bates’ key teachings for me is about optimums and pessimums. Optimums are those things you see better than others, maybe because they’re of your favorite color, or are words which start with the same letter as your name. A pessimum, on the other hand, is something which is more blurry than you’d expect, because for some reason you don’t like looking at it! If we were all machines who just needed to be calibrated to see perfectly, instead of sensitive emotional beings, the concept of optimums and pessimums wouldn’t exist. We’d have the same feelings (namely, none!) about looking at everything, and would see it all with the same degree of clarity.
So let me play devil’s advocate here. Suppose I’m a child, and I can’t see what I’m supposed to well enough to satisfy my parents or teachers. Often it’s the board at school. However I seem to have no problem seeing the ball outdoors if I’m playing a game with my friends. If I’m put in eyeglasses to make me see better, is it likely that I’ll be 100% thrilled about that? Or is it possible some part of me will sullenly resist, even though I go along, since I don’t seem to have any choice? All of a sudden, I am not congruent!
I’m long past childhood now, and got glasses so early I honestly don’t remember what it was like to function without them. And I know my parents thought they were doing their best for me. It wasn’t common to focus on a child’s feelings back then — there was work to be done! Yet I can’t help wondering what would have happened if someone had noticed that there were times when I saw pretty well, and some sights I liked looking at more than others. Maybe I didn’t have “bad eyes” after all (I still cringe at this phrase I heard so often), I just didn’t have enough to look at that made me feel good!
Today I consciously give my vision “treats” of bright colors and interesting sights and plenty of rest. When I talk to people about holding onto resentment now, I remind them that they have more choices than they did as children. Energy work like EFT or journalling or another releasing or forgiveness practice may be in order to let the past go — please don’t let it ruin your present! See yourself removing that coat that doesn’t really fit you and never did, just setting it aside, like the child in the photo is doing with those glasses he doesn’t want. It’s your life now — create it exactly as you wish!
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