4 Problems Worse Than Blindness

I get asked all the time what the hardest thing about being blind is. People naturally assume it’s not being able to drive or read or… well, there are a million things that are really hard about being blind. Bruises. Isolation. Dependence. Those are some things about blindness that are really, really hard. But, then there’s having to constantly manage my frustration with being slow at tasks or even flat-out unable to do something without help.

Yep, it totally stinks.

Truthfully, even though those kinds of things drain my brain and drive me crazy and often, bum me out, the really hard stuff of blindness doesn’t require patience or a cane or a talking computer.

The really hard thing about blindness has nothing to do with my eyes; it has everything to do with my attitude.

Blindness really isn’t my biggest challenge, and it isn’t my biggest problem either.

So, let me share with you some of my bigger problems — problems far worse than blindness:

1. Self-pity

When I feel sorry for me, I make my life darker than it has to be. The bigger problem I face is to think my problem is the biggest problem ever! We are all at risk to pull inward and think no one has it as bad as we do when we’re hurting. Self-pity is a bigger problem than any other problem you may have because it keeps you stuck in a pit of “poor me.” It isolates you and keeps you from others.

Self-pity isolates you. Seeing others’ problems connects us to them with empathy. [Click to Tweet]
I never well, I try not to anyway — minimize my blindness and the toll it takes on me. At the same time, I realize that somebody else’s challenge is just as challenging to them. I am not the only one who struggles and gets weary and fights constant frustration. When I broaden my view, I can see others. And, when I see others, I don’t feel as sorry for me. I can connect with them with empathy. Self-pity is a pit — why do you think it’s called self-PITy? Because you end up down in the dumps — just you, all by yourself.

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2. Fear

A bigger problem than blindness is fear. If I give in to fear and let the hesitation that comes from all the uncertainty blindness brings rule me, then I am stuck in a darkness that I create. If I let fear keep me from taking the next step when I’m not quite sure where I am, then I let fear convince me that it is more powerful than my fight. If I try to avoid the panic that comes from getting disoriented, because I am afraid of feeling so out of control, then my self-imposed limitation is bigger than blindness.

Blindness means I can’t see, but giving in to fear means I choose not to.

Courage and fear often share the same heartbeat. I am not saying I am never afraid. I am often. Panic becomes my instant companion when I lose my footing and start to fall down the stairs.

Giving in to fear and dread are bigger problems than whatever you’re facing. [Click to Tweet]
Dread wells up in me when I pack a bag knowing I am about to have to deal with airports and planes and hotels and venues that I am completely unfamiliar with and I am about to get help from people who I have never met. But, feeling the fear and dread aren’t the bigger problems, giving in to them is. If I give in, it won’t be long until I give up.

3. Discontent

Discontent is a bigger problem than blindness because it convinces me that no matter how good I’ve got it, someone else has it better. It drapes everything in gray gloom and never lets you see what you have. It only sees what you lost or what you wish you had or how much better your life could be.

Discontent robs you from living in the present and experiencing the presence of God.

The hard stuff in life doesn’t have to satisfy us; sometimes there is just nothing satisfying about what we are dealing with.

Discontent robs you of living in the present and experiencing the presence of God. [Click to Tweet]
But, we can find satisfaction in what that hard thing brings to us, what it teaches us, how God uses it to grow and change us. When we are satisfied, we are content. If you walk long on the path of discontent, it will lead you straight to envy and bitterness.

4. Bitterness

Bitterness is worse than blindness because it creates a constant undertow that tries to drag you down. It sucks the joy from you and weaves itself through every thought you have. It tries to make you jealous and envious of others who you may think have it easier than you.

Bitterness is a stepping stone to resentment. [Click to Tweet]
It is a thirst never quenched so you just keep gulping and swallowing all its toxic perspectives. It’s called bitterness for a reason — it leaves a bad taste in your mouth… in your thoughts… in everything about you.

Bitterness is a stepping stone to resentment.

When you resent, you can’t receive. When you’re mad because of what you deal with, you never get to receive all the potential good that can come from it.

Blindness? Can’t change it.
Self-pity? Can change it.
Fear? Can change it
Discontent? Can change it.
Bitterness? Can change it.

And… who says I’m handicapped?!
Ha!

Sisters, truly, we create a lot of worse problems with our attitudes — so let’s choose healthy and helpful attitudes so we don’t make the problems we didn’t choose worse!

How do you handle discontent and self-pity? Please share in the comments below.