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Can You Actually See Your Life?

by AlexisB about a year ago in coping
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Or Are You a Victim of Glare?

Can You Actually See Your Life?
Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

I just received some polarized dark glasses for my birthday having taken up fishing during lockdown. They are useful in fishing because they cut out glare from reflective surfaces so that you can see through the water’s surface and spot any fish lying below. They do this by filtering out the horizontally orientated light waves, ‘glare’, to allow any vertical light waves to come through, hence the term polarizing and the trade name Polaroid which was derived from the technology.

Previously the only way of polarizing light was through clear crystals of calcite which the Vikings discovered, as light from the blue sky is also polarized away from the sun, and by rotating the crystal you can see the sky get lighter or darker, so even if you can’t see the sun you can estimate where it is as a primitive form of sun compass. Before that, I guess we just had to have faith that the sun and its light was out there somewhere and many primitive religions were founded on prayer for its return.

The glasses didn’t help me catch any fish today, obviously, I’ve never caught one yet, nor do I intend to, I just enjoy the excuse for healing time in the water alone or with good friends sharing their sporting passion. But on the way home, I noticed a massive difference in my surroundings and the everyday world to which I returned. I saw how much more beautiful it all suddenly looked. Trees and grassy knolls are emerald green and the sky is a lively intense blue that ebbs and flows as I move my head. Polarizing lenses have the effect of revealing the true intensity and saturation of colours by removing the horizontal waves of reflected light that blind us to the full beauty of the object we believe we behold.

Who knew that we are only ever seeing part of the picture?

That by removing reflective clutter, life could become more intense, simple and enjoyable?

How often do we filter out its beauty by letting in too much noise? How often do we let our life become overcrowded by the wants and needs of others, or let our vision be impaired, interpreted for us by those with agendas?

By taking some time out to polarize our sight we can remember our purpose and concentrate on the bits that are important to us. The term ‘polarizing’ has had some bad press lately becoming misused to describe extremism. Please don’t interpret my musings this way. I just want to focus on the way that life isn’t always the way we see it at the moment. It has hidden beauty and surprises.

We all live in Brigadoon…

On lockdown, we also took up roller skiing for fitness and to cope with the disappointment of no skiing holidays to look forward to. Who knew our local park with its battered old tarmac pathway and gentle inclines was actually a super cross country skiing resort? On our doorstep, all year round with no expensive lift passes or mile-long queues? It has transformed our lives, just seeing it from the perspective of a skier rather than a dog walker or jogger. The wind in our faces, the thrill of the downhill, the apres-ski buzz of aching muscles and deep sleep… Who knew my humble home is actually an alpine villa with ski to door facilities and amenities worth millions to those with eyes to see?

We think of light as pure and trust it to reveal all.

But who knew it comes with baggage? That what we actually see is the result of reflected glare, not necessarily the truth.

We all need to take some time out to identify glare, the noise, clutter, misdirects, distractions, the glitz and the glamour of other people’s mirages that filter out true beauty and purpose.

I could wax on lyrical (skiing pun intended) about distilling life to reveal that which offers challenge and true joy and pleasure to extend our existence in all directions. I could let a favourite theme of mine, narcissism, put in an ugly appearance here with its toxic, twisted reality filters to our true worth and potential.

But you know what? The sun is cracking the stones out there as Nan used to tell me when I was studying too hard, and I have two hours before I have to head out to work… So I think you can guess what I’m going to do instead!

Enjoy the weather wherever and whoever you decide or fight to be today!


About the author


Mother, lover, educator, escapee. Obsessed with finding ease in relationships, health, wellbeing and the juggling of life. @alexisbehrend.

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