If You Don’t Like Something, Try Liking It!by Robert Meagher on 02/02/20
A couple of months ago I got a new pair of eye glasses. What made this of significance for me was that it was my very first pair of eye glasses! Yes, at 53 years young, I was needing eye glasses to help me read. But the ophthalmologist said I also needed glasses for seeing far away. So I was prescribed ‘progressive lenses.’ Progressive glasses incorporate three different prescriptions in one lens—near for reading, middle distance for working at the computer, etcetera, and far for seeing off in the distance.
From the moment I put on my new glasses, I didn’t like them. I quickly became dizzy and nauseous. While my distant vision was better with the glasses, my middle distance was blurry, I could not read with ease (the vision kept wandering in and out of focus), and my peripheral vision was almost useless. Everything was blurry!
Over the next few days, I tried to use my glasses, but I kept thinking about why I didn’t like my glasses. I couldn’t imagine ever being able to see well with my new glasses. They were far more an annoyance than they helped me see better.
As my list of reasons for not liking my glasses grew, I considered taking them back to the ophthalmologist and having them test my eyes again. Surely, there must have been a mistake made in my prescription. Overall, my new glasses were making my vision worse, not better!
The next morning I woke and decided to try something different. Instead of focusing on why I didn’t like my glasses, I decided to think of one reason that I ‘did’ like my glasses. Well…it was clear to me (pun intended) that my distant vision was more clear with my glasses. Check! Okay, that was at least one reason I liked my glasses. Could I think of another reason I liked my glasses? I was aware that when I wore my glasses outside, the glasses blocked the cold wind. The glasses actually helped to keep my face warmer. Great! That was now two reasons I liked my glasses. In the days that followed, I started to get more comfortable reading with my new glasses. I began to like reading with my glasses because I could see what I was reading more clearly. Hey!...now I was up to three reasons I liked my new glasses.
While I was still concerned that my middle distance was blurry and my peripheral vision was poor, I now had ample reason to like my glasses. As I began to like my glasses more and more, my concerns about middle distance and peripheral vision faded away (pun intended). And when my concerns faded away, so to did my last remaining issues fade away.
Our minds are very powerful. We focus on whatever we allow our minds to focus on. When I began to look at why I didn’t like my glasses, I realized it had nothing to do with the glasses. It had to do with my sense of growing old and my body giving out on me. I was angry that I could no longer do the things I used to and I projected my anger onto the glasses.
As I began to focus on why I liked the glasses, something quite remarkable unfolded. I was able to shift my thoughts from fear and anger to one of joy and love. The transformation from fear to love eventually was completed, all with a simple, conscious decision to move from a focus of why I didn’t like my glasses to why I ‘did’ like my glasses, from a focus on the dark to the light—from a focus on fear to love.
Robert Meagher has been ordained as an Interfaith Minister and certified as a Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) Therapist. Robert is the Founder and Spiritual Director for Spiritual Guidance and Co-Founder of the Center for Human Awakening.