Ever feel like you can’t see beyond the end of your nose? Or that you are blinded to everything that goes on around you? That feeling of darkness and isolation can be frightening. When vision is obscured, your impulse may be to stop and shield your heart and head until light peaks through again. The problem with hiding is that we may be missing the very light that is waiting for us far ahead in the distance. Tunnel vision can strike and deem us incapable of movement. However, I would like to present the possibility that tunnel vision does not have to be a disability in grief. Instead, I suggest you embrace your tunnel vision.
Looking up the definition for this malady, I found the following: medical : a condition in which you can see things that are straight ahead of you but not to the side; a tendency to think only about one thing and to ignore everything else. (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary)
Upon reading this definition, I decided I wanted to have a form of tunnel vision as I journey through my grief. Not the type of tunnel vision that renders you useless and scared. I seek the type of tunnel vision that keeps you focused and moving forward, successfully working your way through the grief journey. As you embrace your tunnel vision, here are a couple of advantages you may find.
Healthy tunnel vision can help propel you forward along your journey, where you find yourself closer to the end than the beginning. Knowing your purpose and what you desire can help you arrive at that destination sooner rather than later. Embracing instead of avoiding will drive you further along on your journey.
Another advantage you gain when you embrace your tunnel vision is the realization that you do not have to wait until “the end” of grief to feel joy. While the grief journey will not really end to the point that things will return the way they once had been, you will arrive to a point in time when the struggle is lessened and your smiles occur more often. However, how sad if you believe that you cannot feel joy now, in the midst of grief. Allow yourself permission to smile at the little pleasures along the way as you keep your eyes focused on the light at the end of your tunnel.
Even if that light periodically blinks and seems to disappear for a while, keep looking! The tunnel of loss does have light for you to find and you can arrive on the other side of grief having learned to function and enjoy life again because you chose to embrace your tunnel vision.
I truly struggle at times to choose what picture to place with my posts. I have chosen this picture because I believe it shows me choosing joy, and being silly, as I embrace my journey. I hope it is evidence that tunnel vision does not have to be harmful – it can be functional and play a huge part in handling grief.
Until next time –
Get your copy of Grief Letters today! Someone you know needs the encouragement it offers to those who are navigating the loss of a loved one. Available from WestBow Press at:
Also available on Amazon.