Gaining Perspective Through Vision Therapy

Part 9 of a series.  Click here to start at the beginning or here to go to the previous post.

I’ve been making a lot of progress with vision therapy.  As it's continued, my peripheral vision has increased.  Last week I was out on a run and felt that I could see 'more’.  I’ve run literally hundreds of miles but this day was different.  I could recognize things around me and in the distance that I’ve never noticed before.  But what does my vision therapy have to do with you?

The other night, after my 20 minutes of light therapy were done, I went downstairs to spend some time with my husband, Mike.  He was watching the Wild play hockey.  Although I would have preferred to listen to music and talk, I decided to snuggle up to him and just be together.

Once in a comfortable position, I looked towards the TV.  It was so clear!  I turned to Mike and asked, ‘is the TV clearer than it's ever been?!?’  He was focusing on fact that Winnipeg had just tied the game with less than 4 minutes to play so he mumbled, ‘ah, yes, it’s clear’.   I paused and took another look.  ‘But is it always this clear?’  Being the kind soul that he is, he took his attention from the game and said, ‘um, yeah, it’s clear.’

I continued to talk.  ‘Everything is so clear!  I’ve never seen the TV so clear!  And look, I can see the windows on either side of the TV!  This is amazing!  In between statements I would giggle and gasp and turn my head from side to side to see if it was just the TV or if everything in my world was taking on a clearer form.

Then I got in his face.  ‘Are my eyes open wider than they’ve ever been?!?’  I looked intently at him, expecting him to say, oh yes, your eyes are bigger, but he honestly said, ‘no’.  It felt like my eyes were magically opened wider like most people when they see a big surprise.  My eyes are small and squinty.  I was sure they had somehow gotten bigger.  I went to the bathroom mirror to check.  Nope, still small.

And then it happened.  Back on the couch, amazed at everything I was seeing, I saw the puck go in the net.  ‘I saw it!  I saw the puck go in the net!’

Now, to be fair, I have actually seen hockey goals scored before.  But this one was so much clearer than I have ever seen.  Mike was celebrating because the Wild went up 6 – 5 with just minutes to play.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Peripheral vision is a funny thing.  It allows you to not only see something, it allows you to recognize it.  In my field of vision, only a small part was ‘recognizable’ or in focus.  I’ve never seen a shooting star or a deer on the side of the road before someone shouts, ‘deer!’.  Most often I can’t see what people point out, especially if it’s small like a bird in a tree.

But that’s all changing.  More and more of my world is recognizable.

Let’s take it a little deeper for all of us.

Do you have good peripheral vision?  How about when it comes to people?  Stick with me.

When someone is angry, you clearly see it, but do you recognize it?  Do you recognize what it really is?  Is it a blurred figure in the distance or can you recognize that it’s the result of fear?  When someone acts timid, you see it, but do you recognize it?  Do you recognize the wounded-ness that causes the behavior?  And how about the loud mouth at the party?  Oh, you see it, everyone does, but do you recognize it?  Do you recognize the insecurity that causes him to almost scream ‘pay attention to me!’?

My vision therapy is allowing me to not only see things but to recognize what they are.  We can all have greater peripheral vision when it comes to seeing others. 

Let's not only see what's around us but also recognize what it is.

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