Seeing with your Bad Eye
Why looking at everything in a positive light can actually prevent you from healing
Have you ever gone to the eye doctor to get your eyes checked, and needed some sort of corrective lenses? Is one eye worse than the other, even by a small fraction, technically speaking? Before obtaining these glasses or contacts, did you ever put more of your focus on your good eye, maybe even closing the ‘bad’ one, or covering it up with your hand in order to perform some daily tasks or see something small and maybe far away?
If you haven’t, that’s okay. It’s better for your eyesight not to do that anyhow.
If you have, I’m right there with you.
I’ve had to wear glasses since I was around the age of 8. While both of my eyes are horrible, my right one is by far the worst. Whenever there are any sort of changes, my right eye is the first to go, and I end up favoring my left eye to get through the day.
This seems like a natural response, right? Not just with eyesight, but with many aspects. If you injure a foot, you favor the other one, putting most of your weight where it doesn’t hurt. While this can allow time and conditions for this foot to heal, you can also wear down your healthy foot. It takes on all this extra strain, with no help from the one who’s supposed to carry half the work.
This is the same with eyes, except for one big consequence. Your bad eye doesn’t actually heal without help. In all honesty, it just keeps getting worse. The constant strain to even see normally can damage those muscles and nerves further, making your vision continue to degrade over time. Not only that, but the constant strain and effects of blurred vision can also take a toll on other aspects of your life.
Maybe you get headaches. Maybe you can’t read as well, and fall behind in work, school, or leisure activities. Maybe you can’t judge distance, and clumsiness takes over, having you run into things, drop objects, ect. Maybe, maybe, maybe.
As this eye with poorer vision continues to deteriorate, your good eye can go with it. The extra work it has to do constantly in order for you to live your life means it's working overtime. This can cause your eyes to be tired, strained, sore, or even dry. At this point, even your good eye is struggling to function properly.
The same thing can happen with your mental state.
Everyone has positive and negative thinking potentials. Everyone needs both of these styles in order to live a balanced life. However, most people say that a positive mind and attitude is always the better way to go.
“Just focus on the positive!” “Look on the bright side!”
But, is this always the right answer?
If you’re always looking out of your good eye, your brighter mental lens, you don’t give your bad eye, or darker lens, a means to heal and change for the better. However, you don’t want to put all of your focus on your negative thoughts, either.
You need a good, healthy balance, and sometimes, this isn’t always possible on your own.
When you get your eyes examined, you have to use your bad eye. You have to see with it, see what you can and can’t do with it in order to find the issue. Once that’s discovered, you can work to create a remedy, whether it’s a new lens prescription, surgery, or other means of support. This isn’t something you can do on your own. You need assistance from a professional, someone who can look at the good and the bad in your situation and figure out what’s wrong so that you can work towards a solution that fits you.
This is the same with mental health. Sometimes, you need to sit with your demons so that you can figure out what the problem is, and work on healing. Sometimes, you need to see a professional so you can work together to see what you need to do in order to improve your daily life. Sometimes, you need to see the negative in order to understand the whole picture.
If you always try to “fake it until you make it,” you’ll never make it. Those negative thoughts will continue to fester and grow. They feed in the darkness, and ignoring a problem doesn’t make it go away. You have to shine that light on those thoughts, bring them into the foreground, and work to weed them out. That means admitting that there’s a problem.
The show Bojack Horseman says this really well. “When you look… through rose-colored glasses, all the red flags just look like flags.”
This endless optimism and bright side thinking are those rose colored glasses. You gloss over and ignore these red flags, because this overwhelming sense of “be happy! Look on the bright side!” thinking makes it harder for your negative thoughts to tell you there’s a problem- until the damage has already been done.
Now, I’m not saying always go out and look for the worst in everything. But, if you’re having a bad day, if you’re stressed, if you’re going through a rough time, don’t always sugarcoat it. Sometimes life sucks, causes harm, and needs to be healed. However, you can’t heal it if you put on a happy face and pretend everything is okay.
You can be sad. You can be anxious. You can be angry. You can be whatever emotion you need to feel. Recognize it, feel it, and if it’s a deep wound that needs care, seek appropriate aid. Professionals aren’t going to know you need help until you ask, and for that you need to recognize there’s a problem.
Take off the rose colored lenses once in a while, and see with your bad eye.
You might just see the red flags.
About the author
French enthusiast, non-binary trans person, artist, writer, lover of animals, space, and the right for every living thing to experience their existence authentically.
Pronouns: they/them (English) iel (French)