I’ve just had my annual eye test.
My mum left her children and grandchildren with the blessing of cataracts. Two of my children have already had cataracts removed from both eyes.
I got away with something different: opacities: “firework displays” in each eye, as one optician told me one time.
So, I know I don’t see the world as you do! Different conditions of light and tiredness are issues to deal with; fortunately, the eye test tells me nothing has changed since last year.
Here are a couple more eye tests which can lead to better vision.
When I think someone else can’t see things clearly, maybe it’s me.
Am I prejudiced about something but unaware?
Do I think I know better than someone else?
Is this really what the “customer” wants, or is it what I want?
Bernadette Jiwa writes about, ‘the ability to see an experience through another person’s eyes’.* This helps my vision no end.
‘Humble inquiry maximises curiosity and interest in the other person and minimises bias and preconceptions about the other person. I want to access my ignorance in the least biased and threatening way.’**
As someone pointed out, my problem with seeing may not be the speck in the other person’s eye, it may be the log in mine.^
Here’s an eye test (being more present) for when you’re with others and things aren’t going your way – it only takes a minute or two; no-one needs to be aware of what you’re doing:
Sit comfortably in the room, feet flat on the floor.
Acknowledge: where you are, what you carry (aches, issues at home, etc.) how you feel (frustrated, wary, annoyed, etc.).
Become aware of your breathing (it’s a gift): not only gathering the air you need, but also your humility and talents, gratitude and curiosity, hopes and caring.
Expand your awareness: into the space, the conversation, the people, bringing what you have reconnected with in yourself.^^
(*From Bernadette Jiwa’s Difference, as she reflects on the practice of IDEO.)
(**From Edgar Schein’s Humble Inquiry.)
(^It was Jesus of Nazerath who told his disciples this.)
(^^Adapted from Mindfullness from Mindfullybeing.)