Jan 22, 2008


X-Ray vision, now there's a superpower! I remember being a kid and looking through a stash of my Uncle's old comics (which I should have guarded a little more closely, but anyway); there was an add in the back for "X-Ray Specs." You have probably seen them on some movie or
read about them in the same comic book, but--for those of us who are less enlightened when it comes to superpowers--they were supposed to let you see through walls, doors, and whatever else you can imagine a teenage boy longing to look through. I never got my pair of "X-Ray Specs." Apparently, no one made the magical glasses by my time, but I always wondered if they worked. Go ahead, be a cynic...but I have always held on to the hope that they might work. If I ever find a pair, I will let you know for sure.

About a year ago, I started to have vision issues. I spend a lot of time reading and working at the computer, so my doctor suggested reading glasses. He said that my eyes were getting tired throughout the day and that was affecting my vision for the drive home, which is where I was really noticing the problem. I gave the glasses the good old college try; almost a year. My vision got worse. Finally, I decided to get a second opinion. I met a great new Optometrist and she noticed a few small issues that added up to my vision problem. Two days later, I was sporting new glasses. It seems that the first doctor had decided that I needed reading glasses before he really checked out my eyes. It only took the new doctor a few minutes to realize that he had given me exactly the opposite prescription. I am near-sighted, not far-sighted.

It is wonderful to see the leaves on the trees, It is amazing how much easier it is to drive when you can read the signs. But, I have to admit, the first few days with glasses was a little tough. I picked them up with a friend and put them on to walk out of the office and to the car. I must have tripped five or six times. They made me feel like I was walking on stilts. At first I thought that this doctor screwed up too; then it hit me, maybe this is how I was SUPPOSED to see. Maybe, I had gotten so used to life as usual, that I had forgotten what the world really looked like. Maybe I had never seen the world as it really was, until now.

There is a lot to our journey that I have not shared. Most of it is too personal to be of any interest to anyone other than Carolyn and I, but some things just need time to come out into the world. One such thing, is my crisis of world view.
Until six or seven years ago, I was quite sure of my place in the world. I knew who I was, where I was going, where I belonged. A lot happened to confuse my compass. It was not until last January that I really began looking for North again. I'm still drawing maps and and stumbling around a little, but I have realized a fatal flaw in my thinking that caused me to lose my way. I let someone tell me that I was not good enough and I began to believe it.

I had, at the time, several people in my life that were destructive. They pawned off their issues onto me and told me repeatedly--in word and deed--that I was not who I was supposed to be. They let me know that God didn't like me the way I was and that He expected me to change. They were quick to inform me that most of my personality was not acceptable. It has taken me some time to realize how poisonous and deep-seated these beliefs had become. When I broke off the relationships I had with these people I spent a long time wondering if I would ever be worth anything again.

Tonight I was at a Weight Watchers meeting (yup, I've lost 25.6 pounds!) and the leader repeated something that she had said a dozen times since I began attending. "Beliefs turn into words, words turn into actions, actions turn into habits." I never realized how true that was until tonight. I began to believe that I was bad/evil/etc.. Which I turned into messages about every area of my life. That began to affect how I approached all of life. Finally, I got stuck in the rut.

Last years departure from consumerism shook loose a few of those habits and suddenly, I was having blurry vision. So I called in some help. I decided to get my health back, so I joined Weight Watchers. The meetings gave me a new pair of glasses. Now I see my relationship with food is a symptom of many other arts of my life. It's a little weird, but maybe this is how I am SUPPOSED to look to myself.

The people that filled my head with the wrong beliefs were simply misdiagnosing me. The "problems" they were seeing where not really problems at all. They had not taken the time to find out who I was or what I needed. They gave me the opposite.

I wish that I had "X-Ray Specs" that could let me look right inside myself and see what's right or wrong, but I'll have to peel away the layers one at a time to find the truth. It will take a bit, but hey...that's life. At least I know this, Jesus loves me and I'm worth something.

Oh yeah, and I look darn good in glasses ;))


Carolyn said...

He's right ...the glasses look GOOD. :)

Anonymous said...

My husband and I get our glasses from http://zennioptical.com/cart/home.php

Around Thanksgiving, we each got 2 pairs of glasses and a pair each of rx sunglasses for $63. So far, we love them. Especially if your rx is a simple one, this place is worth a try.


missy said...

Matt, You appear to be an intuitive personality type. Few people understand intuitives, since only about 15% of the pop. is intuitive. Learn more about intuitive vs. sensors and you'll learn to take most people's opinions of yourself with a grain of salt. I emailed carolyn before about personality types and simple living and writing. love reading your stuff.

Caren said...

I love this post, Matt. I'm so glad you have been able to slough off all the BS about you not being good enough for God, blah, blah, blah. I too am on a journey of learning to take care of myself and treat myself with respect. It's an uphill journey for me, but a good one.

My husband just finished a book that's next on my list that I think you might really like. Check out Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr. Here's a quote for you: "The small calculating mind wants either/or, win/lose, good or bad... We do not think outselves into new ways of living. We live ourselves into new ways of thinking." You guys are doing just that.

Lizz said...

I enjoyed looking around your blog. The writing and real life parenting, simplification and spiritual journey is...well...lovely!