Instead of weaving a story, I’m going to get right to the point in this post.
In two weeks I am going to have Lasik surgery to correct my vision. I’m extremely excited about this upcoming change in my life. And I also want to admit and explicitly state that there is a part of me that is thinking / feeling that:
- I’m cheating
- I’m a fake
- I don’t deserve this
I would wager that for some people getting Lasik performed is not that big of a deal. I’m not talking about the considerable financial expenditure or the fear that most of us feel about having something done to our eyes. I’m saying that it hardly even registers a blip on their philosophical radar.
Last night I realized that, for me, having horrible vision has been a part of my identity. While I’ve worn glasses (or contacts) for almost forty years at this point, it’s not the fact that I’ve utilized corrective eyewear. It’s that I have treated my severe nearsightedness as an essential part of who I am and something that I’ve had to accept as a matter of humility. It’s been the burden I’ve been meant to carry. I’m not going to get off on a tangent about the symbolism of accepting and clinging to nearsightedness; I could create a post all of its own on that topic. That’s not what this post is about. This post is about the impostor syndrome. So, let me get back to those three bullet points above.
Why do I think I’m cheating? I am having my vision corrected through surgery. I am not earning better eyesight; somebody else is just giving it to me.
Why am I a fake? I was born with the genes that determined that my eyes would grow and take on a shape that caused me to have both myopia and astigmatism. The surgery is changing the shape of my eye. But, that’s not how my eyes really were. Now I am going to be able to walk around like somebody who was born with good eyes. Is it right for me to fool people who didn’t know me before my surgery? Should I wear a disclaimer on my clothing: “Attention: the invidividual you are about to meet has had Lasik surgery and had quite horrible vision previously. Don’t make the false assumption that he was born with good eyes.”
Why don’t I deserve this? I am spending a lot of money on something that is not essential. I could do better things with that money. I could even be helping somebody else. Also, as I mentioned in the cheating point above, I didn’t earn this. I didn’t have to work for it.
The most important question is “Why do I have these (aforementioned) concerns?” From where is this coming? Why am I suffering from the impostor syndrome? I’m not going to answer those questions in this post. I’m simply going to stop at admiting that I’m experiencing these thoughts and feelings.
Actually, I’m not stopping there. I’m pushing through all that and giving myself the gift of good vision.
I am hopeful that even more than improving my eyesight, having Lasik will create a larger ripple effect in my life. It will be part of the process of:
- learning to love and nurture myself;
- teaching myself that I am worthy;
- letting go of parts of my identity that I never had to carry around with me in the first place.
I give thanks to the Universe for the abundance it provides me. I surrender and am open and ready to receive.
Bhavatu sabba mangalam - May all beings be happy