Sometimes my life lessons are so obvious I know they will end up in one of my weekly blogs while they are happening. Just the other day I experienced such a lesson. I felt an eyelash or some small object in my left eye while doing stomach crunches. Without thinking, I wiped my eye with the back of my hand and immediately felt my contact lens dislodge and move under my eyelid. Having worn contact lenses since tenth grade, this was nothing new. Past experience told me I just needed to look in a mirror and lift my eyelid to locate the lens and then remove it. It wasn’t terribly uncomfortable so I decided it could wait until after my workout.
Little did I know during that time that tiny piece of plastic continued to travel somewhere in my eye contact lenses were never meant to go. When I looked for it, it was nowhere to be found. Since my whole eye was now red and irritated, I couldn’t feel where it was either. I used the flashlight on my phone to search my eyeball but with no luck. By now my discomfort was growing and I was getting frustrated. I splashed water in my eye thinking it would loosen things up or flush the lens out. That only made it feel worse. The more I searched for the lens, the more irritated my eye became. I decided to give up the search, remove my right lens, and take a shower. Maybe the running water would loosen it for me. Unfortunately, that didn’t work either.
Now I was beginning to panic. It had been in there over an hour. I was nowhere near my trusted eye doctor in Fort Lauderdale and a trip to the emergency room was the last thing I wanted to do. In a moment of inspiration, I googled “contact lens stuck in eye” for some internet wisdom. I followed the suggestions given to no avail. Every tactic I tried only made my situation worse. That lens either found a really good hiding spot or it had already been flushed out. My eye was so angry at this point I couldn’t tell.
That’s when I realized it was time to do nothing and let my eye rest. A dear and longtime friend had asked if I was available for a catch-up phone call that day. I knew talking with her would make me feel better and distract me from my eye situation so I called her. She asked how I was doing and I told her about my eye. Apparently this had happened to her many years ago, but the advice she offered was the same advice I found online. Not wanting to dwell on it any longer, I asked her what was going on with her and we continued our conversation for over an hour. All the while I did my best to ignore the discomfort in my left eye and be present for our conversation.
Then, as our conversation shifted to the topic of deep clarity, I had the urge to go look at my eye in the mirror. I pulled down my lower lid and there was my contact lens folded in half about to drop out of my eye. What a relief and what timing! Of course it revealed itself while we were talking about having deep clarity. The metaphor was not lost on either of us, nor was the life lesson. When we have a problem we usually try everything imaginable to relieve the discomfort as soon as possible. Sometimes the more we try to force a solution, the worse it gets. It is often more beneficial to stop thinking about the problem and focus instead on something that brings us joy or lifts us up. Even though the problem is still there and it may feel uncomfortable, stepping back from it may be exactly what is needed for the solution to reveal itself.
I’m happy to share this little lesson with you so there is no need for you to put yourself through that unpleasantness. It would be my great honor to share more life lessons and tools to help you navigate any situation that is causing you pain. To learn more about Life Coaching or Family Constellations sessions, please look around my website. You can also ask questions or schedule an appointment by sending me an email.
Until next time, if you find yourself caught in a situation that seems to have no solution, I invite you to step back and give it some space. The solution just might reveal itself once you stop trying so hard.