Is Your Vision Sabotaging Your Life?

I had no idea that a major life lesson was about to be gifted to me when I was called into the nurse’s office in Kindergarten for a standard eye test.  And it’s pretty crazy that 30 some odd years later, as I sit down to write about Dvesha, that my mind has only NOW comprehended the massive gravity that this lesson holds. *(Dvesha is: the attachment to our aversions. In Yoga there are five Kleshas or afflictions of the mind and Dvesha is the fourth Klesha).

I was asked to look into one of those machines where it’s like putting your face on a pair of binoculars and the doctor can shut off the screen in one eye, so the other eye can see something different, thus the ability to establish the quality of vision in one vs. the other.  When the doctor shut off the screen for my right and I was asked what I saw in the left eye’s screen, I, without an ounce of thought, picked up my face and set my right eye on the left eye’s place, and proudly answered the question.  Needless to say, I failed the examination and was declared legally blind in my left eye!

So what if we compared that vision test to the way that we perceive life???  Sometimes it’s with the left eye, sometimes with the right eye, and sometimes, on rare occasion, it’s with both.  Maybe seeing with the right eye is the lens of our pleasures, and the left, is the lens of our aversions, and that lens right in the middle, that is the lens of TRUTH.

As I continued to grow up, I considered myself fat, even earned the nickname, “big girl,” and made it my mission in life to get skinny.  My left eye became the fat lens and my right eye became the skinny lens and this became my entire view of the world. I couldn’t see a vacation as an opportunity for exploration and discovery, beyond whether or not I was going to have to put on a bathing suit. I couldn’t see a wedding as a celebration of love, as anything beyond how fat my arms looked in the dress I was going to have to wear. I couldn’t see the truth with both my eyes, I couldn’t see that Andrea existed beyond the fat and skinny lenses. I couldn’t see that I was valuable and worthy of love beyond the flesh that encased my being. 

This is Dvesha, seeing life through a distorted lens, a lens of fear, anger, lethargy, jealousy, fat, skinny or any other lens that perpetuates negativity.  And I am by no means suggesting that we pick our faces up and set the other eye down on the lens of our PLEASURES……what I am suggesting is that we begin to become aware THAT WE ARE WEARING LENSES IN THE FIRST PLACE!! Lenses that we may have been wearing as far back as Kindergarten!  These old lenses are not meant to be held up for judgement or criticism, they are simply meant to be noticed and attended to.

The commitment to paying attention to yourself, to noticing if you are wearing lenses, and making the effort to wipe them clean is the practice of yoga.  You might even declare yourself legally blind on some days…..that’s why it’s called a practice and not a perfect!! 

Just keep showing up at the nurses office, with the faith that one day, you will no longer need to adjust your prescription because your vision will become the vision of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for self and for all of humanity.

And so, yeah, as the saying goes, “All we really need to know, we learned in Kindergarten.”

Andrea Behler