“What in the world is in my eyes?!” I was a mess after giving birth, but I was also working hard to hold it together. But when I walked out into the sunlight after a few days in the hospital, I noticed what looked like shadowy worms whenever I looked into light. I couldn’t quite focus on them, so they were hard to describe. They looked like little wormy life-forms under a microscope in a petri dish.
I became paranoid. Are there worms in my eyes? Parasites?!?!?!?! What in the WORLD?!
After a few days obsessing about the elusive foreign life forms in my eyes, I told my doctor about my concern. He said:
“They are floaters, probably knocked loose in delivery – nothing to worry about.”
Oh. OK. But what do I do to get rid of them?
“You can’t get rid of them. They might go away or they might stay.”
Five and a half years have gone by and they’re still here. It’s weird looking at the world through floater-filled eyes. Sometimes I relax my eyes and look into the light and watch to see where they go. Sometimes up – sometimes down – sometimes around. I never can quite focus on them. Just like there are times I can’t see the forest for the trees, sometimes I can’t see real life for the floaters.
But sometimes I don’t notice the little guys. They float around, teasing me and begging for attention, but if I am focused on the life happening around me, I don’t see them.
Pain is a bit like that.
Pain is an indication that something is wrong. It alerts us to get out of danger: “Take your hand off the hot stove NOW!”
But pain can also trick us into thinking that we’re hurt worse than we actually are. Your body may hurt after a good workout, but that doesn’t mean you’re in danger. Your heart may hurt when your child is disappointed, but that doesn’t mean you need to do everything you can to make it better.
If you’re in pain, ask yourself this: How dangerous is this situation?
Do you need to spend time attending to the pain?
Or would you be better served by pulling your focus off of yourself and focusing it on the life happening around you?
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