I can see
This morning I lived out a metaphor.
I wear contacts. I've worn contacts since I was twelve years old. I remember my early days combatting with them, spending 30 minutes trying to put them in, filled with pain and agony. I'd go to school with watering red eyes and my 8th grade science teacher would accuse me of "smoking dope" before class at 7:30am (he was joking).
I didn't understand his reference until ten years later.
Nevertheless, I figured out the secrets to successfully wearing contacts and nowadays I never have problems, unless a lens gets torn or has something on it.
This morning I fought with one of my lenses because I was convinced there was something on it that I just needed to rinse off.
I rinsed. And rinsed. And re-washed my hands. And rinsed again. Each time I placed my contact on my eye, it watered. I felt like I was putting sandpaper on my cornea. I blinked. I closed my eye. I looked up, down, sideways. It just kept hurting, no matter how much I cleaned it. What should have taken ten seconds was taking fifteen minutes.
Finally, I said, "Why am I trying to make this lens work so badly?" The truth is--I wear my contacts longer than I'm supposed to because insurance only covers a 6 month supply. The contacts were two weeks old and ready to be changed, but in an effort to make my money go further, I wanted to get at least an extra week out of them. But finally I said, WHATEVER, and I changed it.
And the relief I felt with the new contact was immediate. It was cool and refreshing. My eye stopped feeling traumatized, and I wondered why I fought this for so long.
It made me think about how often in my life I try to make something fit that doesn't fit anymore. I make changes--wash my hands, take it out, try it again-- and not see any improvement. Not to mention, it hurts. But I am so determined to keep this thing, despite the fact it's causing me to suffer, because it's a part of me and I've committed to it, and I forget there's another option. It doesn't even occur to me that maybe I'm not the problem. Maybe it's this thing. Maybe I'm trying to make something work that isn't supposed to work anymore.
And as soon as I let it go, I am rewarded with something cool and refreshing. I am instantly relieved. And most importantly, I am able to see again.