Taking the World by Storm

One of my yoga buddies has a child who was born with a malformation of the optic nerve. Since she is still so young, no one is totally sure what she sees.

What this child lacks in sight she makes up for in attitude. She is a pistol! Drives her mother crazy.  Sadist that I am, I find it amusing.

I told her mother not to worry too much about it. She may be (what am I saying may be for? She is!) a challenge now but she will need every bit of that determination as she grows up visually impaired in a sighted world.

This brashness, this chutzpah if you will, I see as ego strength. Ego strength is that which allows us to deal with the demands of the world. Ego strength is the ability to maintain a sense of personal identity and sense of self in the midst of all of the nonsense. According to verywell.com those with good ego strength are confident in their abilities and are good at coming up with solutions. They approach problems with the belief they can and will overcome. Challenges are to be mastered. Good ego strength goes along with optimism. Resilience is part of the package as well.

I looked online for info on ego strength and vision loss. Did not find that much. My guess is each one of us came to where we are now with our own, individual level of ego strength, our own perceptions of how we handle problems and of our resources to cope. Some of us functioned pretty much as we expected we would. Some did better. Some did worse.

If we did worse than we expected we would, ego strength may have taken a downturn. Confidence may be low and – unlike our young friend! – we may be wracked with doubt. Self-doubt is paralyzing. It is generally best to ignore it. Low ego strength can also cause emotional reactivity and pessimism. We may put our sense of self-worth in the hands of others.

Ernest Hemingway said “We are all broken. That’s how the light gets in”.  Our impairment may be sight loss but just about everyone else has a problem, too. The idea is to use our problems are impetuses to growth. To display ego strength…even if we fake some of it!

Chabad.org has a nice list of things to remember when you are trying to bolster your ego strength. Their article says you have value and only you can say how you are doing with the challenges you have been given. Don’t let others judge you and don’t use others as a measure of how you are doing. Also, everyone can contribute something to make the world a better place. Be aware of and value your contributions, big or small. Practice gratitude. Accept yourself just as you are.

So that’s that. Thoughts inspired by a strong-willed preschooler with a visual impairment. Taking the world by storm. Personally, I don’t think the world has much of a chance!

written September 15th, 2017

Next: A Cat Eating a Shoe

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