Use These Super Senses to Transform Disability Into Possibility

Woman in the Midst of senses
Woman in the Midst of senses. Harry Williamson/Spring Studio

We are naturally aware of the 5 physical senses: seeing, hearing, touching, smelling and tasting. Therefore, it seems logical to assume that if the organ of sight is beginning to fail, this means that only 4 senses remain.

Not true. There are 2 other senses we should also bring into focus here that work to enhance your ability to take hold of opportunities on your journey with low vision.

The good news is that you already possess these senses yet may not be using them to maximize your full potential to continue your enjoyment of life.

But first, it is important to demolish one simple D-word that can stop you in your tracks.

Break Through the D-Word

The D-factor is believing you are completely ‘disabled’ by a diagnosis of blindness. But it is your eyes, not your entire self that is unable to work to its full capacity. This one word can do a lot of damage to your sense of self.

For example, did you know that being ‘disabled’ literally means:

·       being without the capacity to do things

·       lacking competent power or strength in either physical or mental abilities

·       being deprived of the right to engage in action

·       being in an unfit condition to participate

How cruel this D-word is! Your lack of eyesight doesn’t weaken your ability to function in other areas of your life. It merely means you become more in touch with a new Sense-Ability.

Here are the 2 super senses you can rely on every day to stay fully engaged in life.

Super Sense 1 Trust in Your Gut Feelings

You’ve heard of having a sixth sense?  For some people, a gut feeling is what they experience intuitively at times when standing at the crossroad of indecision. It helps them to take a step forward. For others, this sensory perception is heard like a ‘small voice’ within.

Blind and visually-impaired people probably tap into this resource more than sighted people do because we all live in a visual world, with visual cues, and those with low vision or no eyesight have to function differently.

What I have learned from not being able to rely on my poor eyesight is that to take notice of my gut feelings or intuition requires great trust. When I have been able to trust my intuition and reconsidered the mind’s logical reactions, I have been freed from the conflict between rational thinking and insightful guidance.

We all want to make the ‘right’ decision when confronted by needing to choose a plan of action. So how do you allow intuition to guide you when your eyes cannot help you?

·       trust you know more than you think you do.

·       follow your gut feelings even when you can’t explain them.

·       disengage from logical argument when the heart wants to rule.

·       act when you have clarity of inner vision.

By trusting your sensory impressions, choices become clearer. Your creativity is awakened and you are inspired to take the ‘right’ steps, with confidence, to achieve your aspirations.

Super Sense 2 Lean on Your Sense of Humor

To stay fully engaged on the journey of life, consider how crucial it is to have a good sense of humor.

It becomes much easier to face frustration as a visually-impaired person experiencing an awkward situation when you activate your sense of humor.

Humor allows you to see the funny side of life instead of being overwhelmed by a total embarrassment that can ruin your day. When life’s frustrations challenge you unexpectedly, be ready to take advantage of any opportunity that arises to turn a difficult situation around.

For example, one evening at a wine bar, a friend and I sat chatting. Two men she knew came up to join us. One of the guys offered to shake my hand but I couldn’t see his friendly gesture.

My friend burst into embarrassed laughter and said, “That’s not going to help. She can’t see you, she’s blind.” The next thing I knew, the guy had leaned over a little closer and took my hand in his, saying cheerfully, “Don’t worry, honey, in a couple of hours, I’ll be just as blind as you are.”

The moral of the story: if you allow yourself to become more flexible and can trust your journey with vision loss, you open yourself up to a whole new world of possibility.

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