How to Appreciate You

How to Appreciate You

How many times today have you looked in the mirror and allowed an unsavoury thought about your image to manifest? Have you sighed at the sight of something creased, sagging or ‘imperfect’? If so, you have missed countless miracles in the making right before your very eyes.

I was reminded of this very fact when I recently had my first digital retinal scan as part of a routine eye check. This was a completely new experience to me, so I had no expectations of the process other than I knew a number of health related issues could be identified. I crossed my fingers hoping all would be well as i entered the room. I actually have an irrational fear of eyes, that is, I can't touch my eyes, can't look closely at my eyes, or worse still, anyone else's! If you want to get me out a room quickly, all it takes is the pull of an eyelid and I'm out of there. Not perturbed by my incessant need for reassurance that nothing would be dropped, pinged, or puffed into my eyes, the young optometrist guided me to place my face against a machine. I positioned one eye at a time over an eye hole and a few bright flashes of light later, I was finished.

I was not prepared for the image that appeared on the screen before me. This high definition, full colour image of the inside of my eye looked more like an image sent back by the Hubble telescope from the farthest reaches of the universe! I was completely in awe. Here I was, looking at the inside of my own eye. It was beautiful and amazing. As we looked at each image, the optometrist pointed out the optic nerve to me. To my untrained eyes, I saw a white dot and wondered if something was wrong. On the contrary, the image showed a very healthy optic nerve. As the image zoomed in, I could clearly see what looked like the end of a white tube, full of white light. "It goes straight to the brain," the optometrist told me. I think I sucked in air at that point, but didn’t faint which was good.

Looking into that tube of white light was like looking in to another world. Was I looking at something that I shouldn’t be privy to? It was as if I had seen creation itself and was staring a higher energy in the face. I was looking at a tube of apparent nothingness, which sent messages to my brain and which in turn...well you know the rest. It really was an incredible moment and I was so struck by the miracle that had made these eyes, my eyes! I had taken these delicate and fragile, yet incredibly powerful and miraculous pieces of me entirely for granted. I was instantly humbled by all that I am and the force of creation which brought me into being.

I questioned myself. Who am I to complain about any part of me after looking behind the scenes of just one piece of my incredible body and seeing the miracle unfolding before me? Looking at this tiny optic nerve, which itself contains around one million nerve fibers, instantly restored my self-appreciation and renewed my level of endless wonder of the creative powers of this incredible universe.

As my appointment ended, I was very happy to leave my irrational fear of eyeballs firmly behind, along with my utterly ridiculous and untrue thoughts of my ‘imperfect’ self.' In the words of Ken Keyes Jr, everything and everyone around you is your teacher.