It’s getting close to the date of my first cataract surgery. I’m excited! In recent months, my vision has deteriorated pretty badly—I’m no longer driving, and even seeing the computer screen is now difficult.
I’m starting to get nervous—but amazingly, only the tiniest bit, and I refuse to focus on that. Why should I? The benefit will be HUGE—to be able to SEE again? How wonderful….
So I’m trusting that the outcome will be excellent…and I also know that the outcome WILL BE for the Highest Good.
Now, those two things are a little different.
I remember visiting the dentist fifteen years ago for a repair to a crown on the lower left molar. I KNEW that all would be well. I’d been attending a spiritual center regularly, and had learned Spiritual Mind Treatment (which is a very effective form of meditation and prayer). I had treated for a positive outcome, and for the Highest Good.
No problem, then, when the touch of the dentist’s needle sent shock waves of electricity up and down the nerve in my jaw. That needed to happen, I told myself, but all would be just fine. No worries. The pain was momentary. I will admit, though, to being puzzled at the time, though: How could that stab of pain be “for the Highest Good?” [If you’re interested, you can read more about this amazing experience of pain in the “Two-by-Four” series, starting here.]
Well. Fifteen years of pain later, I have a more informed understanding of the “Highest Good.” I do believe, after years of struggle, that the pain is/was indeed necessary for a higher purpose. It’s done many things for my psychic growth, most of which I still don’t understand, and may never understand in my lifetime. But some things I do get.
Primarily, I now am able to see this experience of chronic pain as part of my repertoire. Let me explain what I mean by that.
In my life I’ve had so many “weird” things happen to me that do NOT happen to most people. Synaesthesia, for example—the experience of hearing color or seeing sound. While many of you will have heard of that, I’d wager that no more than a few of you have ever experienced it.
My case is a bit different, though. Thunbergia flowers sang to me once—and their songs were a vibrant orange color, like the vibrations of light turned into sound. Another time, majestic classical music performed in a cathedral one Christmastime sounded deep, soulful grays and blues which rose through chords woven of green and gold into and through the dome high above. There have been only those two instances, spaced many years apart.
Though I do not use drugs, I’ve had “visionary” experiences of altered states: Some have been ecstatic, lifting me up and out of my body to a sense of joining with the Universe. Others were profoundly “inward” and “downward,” dropping me through the reptilian brain and back to a place where “life” and “death,” “pleasure” and “pain” have no meaning whatsoever.
Fortunately, none of these lasted long; but the visceral memories remain. They are part of my experience, part of my “repertoire” of understanding. It’s really, really hard for my clients and friends to shock me, no matter what experience they share.
I’ve come to understand these experiences as a gift—they’ve vastly increased my compassion and empathy for myself and others. They provide a kind of “hook,” or framework of understanding, so that I’m not overwhelmed by what I see around me, or by what people share with me in confidence. Without this framework, I could not do the work I do in the world.
So the pain in my jaw that I suffer daily is a blessing, in this sense. There is no understanding of chronic pain unless you’ve experienced it, and you cannot experience chronic pain without it being, well, chronic. And long-lasting. And almost unbearable. So I’ve got that experience in my “toolbox.”
I’ve also got ways of coping with it—and of not coping with it—in that same toolbox. There are days when I just want to lay down and die…and there are days when I am so grateful for the experience that it brings me to tears right alongside the pain.
So I expect the outcome of my cataract surgery to be wonderful. I expect to be able to see very well indeed, just as I’m promised by the doctors and friends who’ve experienced the procedure, as soon as I wake up. And I am looking forward to that so much!
It will all be for the Highest Good, of that I am utterly certain. Let’s just say, though, that I have a more nuanced view of what the Highest Good actually looks like in “real life.” It’s not always what the ego wants to experience—but it’s exactly what the Soul has called forth.
What a beautiful, blessed life this is!