Maintaining Self-Worth During Challenging Times
Throughout the most difficult times, we, as individuals, may undergo extreme growth and change and, as a result, we might gain a higher understanding of ourselves. Presently, I’m undergoing some major highs and lows myself. With that, my physical vision is the worst I've ever experienced in my entire life. The majority of you most likely know that I was diagnosed with an eye disease called Gyrate Atrophy when I was sixteen years old and, now that I am in my forties, everything I see in color is washed out, blurry and grainy. It's as if someone has used a fog machine within my everyday surroundings and I see nothing but swirls of mist all day long. In addition to that, I have tunnel vision, meaning my field of vision is the width of a kaleidoscope.
Because I currently see through "fog," simply going from one room into another affects my physical functionality constantly. I frequently must take breaks and close my eyes because, now, it literally hurts to see. More so, I find it harder and harder to do simple tasks, like read the time, gauge the switch of traffic lights turning from green to yellow to red or even find my reading glasses. Essentially, I need glasses to find my own glasses. In any exterior light, I experience strain and drain, so I cannot go outside without feeling uncomfortable and unsafe, because I do not physically navigate as well as I once did before.
As of today, I still struggle to adjust and cope with the gradual loss of my eyesight. That said, with a heavy heart, I feel even more helpless, scattered and less understood as a result.
Please note, I am not expressing myself in order for people to feel sorry for me. I am only sharing the way I currently see and feel, in order to highlight the fact that life truly is a gift. One must consciously appreciate your authentic self to maintain your own value within the face of change.
It's super easy, if one is in relatively stable condition physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, to believe that life is smooth and comfortable. Because when life is good, one most probably does not have to proactively think about how their individual circumstances can possibly be improved. It’s only when one is at a standstill or down in the dumps, that one starts to self-evaluate and investigate their own life from the inside out, rather than the outside in.
Often, the more privileges one has, the greater the need and desire for more. For example, imagine living in a 1,500-square-foot house and then moving into a 5,000-square-foot house. More or less, it's easier for a person to physically move from a smaller space into a bigger space. On the flip side, it's probably tougher for an individual moving from a mansion into a small trailer house because they are most likely used to the luxury of more space. Hence, if you are downsizing, it takes more determination and willpower to enhance and upgrade your life for your highest good. Hardships are the same way; the lighter days may be easier, but the most challenging times force you to dig deeper within yourself to help you decide what better serves you and what does not bring you joy.
That said, I’m always forced to adjust to change because my vision fluctuates from one moment to the next, literally. Simple experiences, like going for a ten-minute ride outside of my town, become a rare treat, almost like a vacation, due to the fact that I don't drive. However, because of my ongoing change of physical vision, God has also given me the strength and courage to experience uplifting and positive change within my life.
My point is to acknowledge and be wide awake to the gifts God has given you, right here, right now. Even physically reading this blog is a true gift in and of itself for many, because blind people or the mentally challenged do not have that golden advantage of doing so.
For me, choosing to go within and experiencing vision loss can feel quite lonesome. While I am losing my eyesight, I am razor sharp focused on increasing my pure insight. Your situation may differ from mine, however, you can use my sense of wisdom as a blueprint. By concentrating on your inner gifts, you can persevere through anything and everything. If you are diligent, consistent and full of faith in yourself, I believe that you, too, can fly through any hardship and land on the other side with great resilience.
By, Amla Mehta
If you’d like to read more about my personal challenges along the path of vision loss, please read my book, "Eye With a View," which you can buy here.