Sight Loss as a Challenge

Greetings. I have a dozen things to do and very little done. Maybe writing a page will help to get me motivated.

I read the pages from our two, most recent guest authors. Great pages from what sounds like two, good people. They both sound like people who took their vision loss as a challenge rather than a death sentence.

People who may have had to let their disability slow them down but never let it stop them.

Right now i’m pretty sure there are some of you who are bristling about that last paragraph. How can sight loss be a challenge? Challenges have a chance of being overcome. How am I going to overcome THIS ? I cannot accept this. I can never resign myself to going blind!

I touched on this a little before but I want to go into this concern in a bit more depth. Acceptance is not resignation and resignation is not acceptance. Acceptance is acknowledging a set of less than ideal conditions exist. For example: I am losing my sight. Acceptance also means acknowledging there are some things you have to give up or some new strategies you have to adopt in order to get by. Acceptance allows you to test the environment and make the allowances needed to move forward.

Resignation is not acceptance at all. Resignation means giving up. It is ripping your clothes and throwing yourself on your proverbial sword. Done. Over. Finis.

I know people who have given up. After all, “I is a psychologist; I is.” They moan. They complain. They lament the truly raw deal they have gotten from life.

What is left for these people? Not much. Not if they don’t learn to accept their situation. Resignation is a dark pit with no ways out. Acceptance allows you to see the branching tunnels with the glimmers of light at their ends. Acceptance makes room for hope.

There is a saying, “happiness is wanting what you have”. It is sort of a pop culture rendition of the Second Noble Truth. Yeah, Buddha again, and I’m a non-practicing Methodist, for crying out loud. What can I say? Siddhartha was one enlightened guy. I like him!

To refresh your memory, the Second Noble Truth says that desire, craving, wanting is the root of all suffering. In other words, pining after what you don’t have and you cannot get makes you miserable. Accepting the situation and being grateful for what you have left lightens the load.

This is not exactly easy. Looking on the dark side has survival value. Therefore we are pretty much pre-programmed to keying into and lock-on to the negatives in life. After all, your ancestors needed to see the wolves in the bushes, not the pretty flowers that were on those same bushes! Seeing the positive takes constant effort and a whole lot of – another DBT alert – turning the mind towards what you need to do to accept and feel better.

So kudos to Vickie and Bob. They seem to be actively working to accept, make the best of bad situations, and move forward. And encouragement to the rest of you. Accepting you are losing your sight will free you from hopelessness. It will free the energy you are using on worrying and fretting and allow you to use that energy to find ways to enrich your lives.

Remember accepting is not resignation and we who accept are NOT giving up. There will be an answer. We will find it.

January 13th, 2018


Next: Underwhelmed

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