A Personal Journey in Healing
The black cloud covering my vision grew; it was not getting smaller as I had wanted. “I think I’m going blind in my right eye” was being repeated too often and a guardian angel of sorts told me to see a doctor. I did not question this instruction even as I make it a habit to avoid doctors as much as possible. See, I believe that we have an innate ability to heal and grow from our physical ailments. Many examples in my life experiences proved that was a correct notion. In my past doctors often made my condition worse. But when my eye lost the ability to see anything at all through that dark cloud, I needed to seek help. Even if I was going to heal myself, I wanted to know what I was healing. Meanwhile I was asking myself: what is the blind spot I have? What blindsided me? What perception am I missing or blurring? Questions such as these help me to grow, to redeem a “negative” situation and to value whatever is going on in my life regardless of whether I prefer it or not. Our best lessons come through pain, discomfort, and the unknown.
I had ideas about these unanswered questions; I could understand where these questions fit into my life at the present time. I wanted to improve, to learn, and expand, and become more aware of my inner journey, or what some may call my soul’s journey. Often our physical conditions show up to point out where we are. My non-seeing eye was a signpost, a symbol, if you will, of my inner seeing, my inner view and perception. I had discovered long ago that the inner and outer world are a reflection of one another. What we fear we make manifest, or said another way, what we resist persists. Attending to our fears without awareness is a path toward being imprisoned by those very fears. Whereas attending to our fears with awareness allows for change, a chance to allow ourselves to shift, to substitute fear thoughts with other thoughts of our own choosing. Conventional medicine does not include in it’s training a process of insight and introspection.
I also thought I’d get an acupuncture treatment for my eye: acupuncture always brings me relief and a shift. When I called my acupuncturist she told me to see the eye doctor first before she would work with me. Later she told me she knew what was going on with me and sent me to the eye doctor as a medical emergency. I called the ophthalmologist to get an appointment. I learned blind spots get you right in, just like heart symptoms gets you seen right away. Within an hour I was sitting in the hot seat listening to the doctor tell me that I had a detached and torn retina and if I don’t have surgery pronto I would lose sight in that eye permanently. She sent me to a surgeon and within two hours I was done with surgery and had a medical propane gas bubble in my eye to press the fluid out and the retina back in place and a cryo-substance to seal the tear. The surgery was scary sounding but actually rather pain free. When the good doctor asked me to breath deep as she put the needle into my eye, I did so easily and she was impressed with how controlled I was. I joked that I learned to breath like that when I was pregnant, but the truth is many decades of yoga have made breathing a conscious activity for me. Add to that the requirements that singers have to breath expertly, and you have a recipe for optimal, healthy, breathing practices.
The doctors saved my eye! I experienced profound gratitude for them both and for this crazy treatment surgery that can restore vision. Modern medicine was a savior of my sight and miraculous in the creative care and healing that would occur from the bubble in my eye and the cyro substance ready to seal the tear. Now I needed to heal. Fortunately my wife is a Reiki Master and I have a dear friend who is as well. These energy healers did their own special work to heal me over the next few days and weeks. I also did meditations in healing. I put my intentions to heal forward. I set the wheels in motion. Then let it be. The body knows how to heal. My eye knows how to heal. I can get out of the way and let them do their thing. No need for me to obsess on healing; it goes on without me. Setting my intentions allowed for cooperation and harmony to align my inner healing with my personality self. In my afternoon quasi nap/meditation I habitually enjoy, I would experience a healthy eye and a heart full of love as I reignited my intention to heal and be whole.
The combination of Western conventional medicine with “alternative” medicine was a rare gift for me in this instance. I had only seen a doctor a couple times in the past few decades; but now I was getting the best of both worlds. I felt blessed. . .
Then came the dark thoughts. What if? What if I don’t get my sight back? What if I go blind? What would this mean? How would it change my life? And my family’s? So scary were these thoughts. Yet I had to face them. I had to turn towards them and not turn away in fear. By facing my fears I would have an opportunity to change them, to overcome them, to fear less; I have always striven to be fearless. Fear clouds our perceptions while fearlessness allows us to see more clearly. I needed to live out the fantasies of going blind since those fears were really for me to grow from. My mother taught me this long ago in the darkest moment of my life. In the end, I saw that even if I were to go blind I would be okay, my family would be okay, and I would simply have to adapt to a new reality. My fears dissolved after the confrontation and experience of living them out in my mind. Healing was coming back. The stuckness I felt during week four of my healing was now replaced with openness and healing once again. A relief blew over my body. I continued to meditate on healing energy and wholeness. My mantra was “I am repaired, healed, and whole”. I saw my acupuncturist and got a treatment for my eye and to balance my body’s energy.
By week six I was, in spite of my healing practices, growing impatient. I was wanting my bubble to go away so I could be free to exercise, workout, garden and lift things again. I was complaining to my wife that I wanted the bubble to finally dissipate as the doctor said it would around this time. I complained to friends when asked about my eye. In the wholeness of life and the continuum that connects everything in a circular fashion, opposites and contradictions and paradoxes abound. We often think in black and white but Life is blended. The positive actions and thoughts I cultivated we’re there, AND, so were the fear and negative energies. At this point the impatience that is always close to the surface for me, became most prominent and my complaining got the best of me without awareness. Then one day while complaining in my head to myself I suddenly said “wait! This bubble saved my eye! I so appreciate this bubble!”. And I proceeded to make friends with my bubble in ways I hadn’t yet. I told the bubble “thank you” and made sure to remember to be grateful and shift from my habitual impatience. Boy did that feel better. Not my eye, but my heart felt better- impatience seems to close my heart where gratitude seems to open it.
Week seven brought me back to my surgeon for the fourth follow-up appointment. I was really intending and wanting her to tell me that I would have no restrictions any longer and that my eye was healing nicely. Careful what you wish for was a lesson I had to respect once again. I did get the go ahead of no restriction from my doctor, and my retina was still in place and healing nicely. But! I had another tear in the retina! What a disappointing blow that was. Luckily she could laser the eye right in the clinic to take care of the tear. Thankfully I had to teach that evening which took my attention of the disappointment, because I was beginning to feel sorry for myself and despondent. Working lifted my spirits as I am fortunate to work in the arts which are abundant in creative activity and creative, imaginative thinking, as well as chock-full of healthy practices. The next few days brought me relief and back to my happy self. But then I began to see a cloudy substance in my eye.
My heart sank again. I could not stop my imagination from considering that I had detached the retina again. I would challenge that thought by saying maybe it is just another tear and can be done in the clinic again and no hospitalization will be necessary. But I knew from my research that sometimes the surgery I had does not work. Sometimes it requires a buckle in the eye that requires hospitalization. Am I going to see again? Am I going to regain my vision? Am I going to lose sight? Again the demon thoughts of fear rushed my mind and heart. It was the weekend and so I called the emergency number. My doctor was on call so I got to speak directly with her. She did not want to see me right away so I felt good that she said come in first thing in the morning at 7. I slept poorly and got to the office ready for whatever she was going to throw at me. I desired to be strong and resilient. She took pictures, checked my eye pressure, did an extensive examination of both eyes and miraculously enough said there was no tear and the retina was still attached! My fist impulsively shot up in joy and power. She said she would see me as scheduled in three weeks and that the substance is fluid that is not a problem.
It’s been a week now since I got that good news. That good news alone has brought me to a new state of mind of confidence and relaxation: both very necessary for healing and optimal living. What we believe affects our reality. We are co-creators of our lives because every thought, action and feeling change our biology and our neural activity. Our brains are never the same in any two moments of our lives; we can make them into what we desire by consciously thinking what we want. To do this one must remain detached from one’s thoughts so as to witness them and to make a decision about what thoughts you want to keep and what thoughts you want to change.
We also can change our genetic expression and assist our healing by turning on certain genes or dis-empower our healing by turning on other genes. We cannot do this consciously by simply desiring to change our genetic expression. But we can do this consciously by attending to what we eat, what we think, how much sleep we get, and how harmonious our relationships are. This is what all the “lifestyle” suggestions are all about these days. We now know that our lifestyles change our genetic expression and deeply affect our reality. We can create experiences we desire and that can lead to health and vitality. We can eat healthy, whole, organic foods, and get optimal nutrition. We can insure we get a good night’s sleep and gain from the intense cleaning that occurs in the brain when sleeping. We can think loving thoughts and feel the joy that emits wonderful hormones of feeling good. We can exercise and benefit our bodies and minds with the endorphins that accompany physical activity and bring rejuvenation and more good feeling. We have power to make our existence what we want, at least within our relationship to the outside world. With that comes great responsibility. When we consciously create harmonious relationships we bring coherent heart and brain patterns to our experiences. All of this is exciting and empowering when we take charge. Drugs are good, but If I can heal without the side effects I will remain healthier. The more I practice, the more I improve and the better I get.
I am equally grateful for our conventional medicine and our “alternative” medicine and healing. When brought together they are a very powerful combination. When we can remain open and not dogmatically positioned at just one end of the polarity, we can integrate and get the best of both worlds. Both worlds intend to heal and renew after all.