Words to the Wise: Sharing Life, Lessons, and Observations

Words to the Wise is a collection of stories, observations and insight drawn from my own experience both in the past and in the present, together with my perspective on what I may have learned in the process. Occasional poetry and astrological insights will be included when appropriate. I welcome comments, suggestions and thoughts of all kinds and am happy to respond.

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Seeing the Difference


I closed my newly operated eye and looked at the TV screen through the one with the cataract. Then I closed that eye and reversed the process. I was amazed! The new eye saw a bright, sparkling image. The untouched eye saw a greyish greenish screen of dull colors. I had had no idea what I was missing before I had my first cataract operation. When something begins gradually, it is more difficult to notice. I had had the cataracts for some time before they were considered ready to be removed. I knew I needed more and more light to see by and had trouble distinguishing some colors, but thought nothing of it.


This is the same situation with other aspects of our lives. Habits, for instance grow in us as we become accustomed to actions or even to ways of thinking. Some habits are important to keep: reading labels on cans and boxes to see the sodium, calorie or other important content. Habits that encourage the practice of good mental and physical health like exercise and meditation are to be encouraged. Sometimes situations generate habits: I need to put drops in my new eye four times a day, once for each mealtime and once before bed. Other habits however, may need to be observed and then altered or eliminated.


It is important to become aware of habits that reflect how we perceive others as well as how we perceive ourselves. For instance, if as a result of having a parent concerned about your gaining weight you have trained yourself to see yourself as overweight regardless what you weigh, you have developed a bad habit. This might have once served a purpose but now no longer does. Unfortunately, this habitual attitude also often results in critical opinions of others who are overweight. One way to replace this bad habit with a good one is to practice compassion instead of criticism. Think of how that person may suffer bad knees or hips or both as a result of their extra poundage, and feel sad instead of thinking ill of him or her. This may also help you look at yourself differently.


My whole experience has been a wonderful lesson in observation. Clarity of sight and clarity of perception have gone hand in hand to generate some important, helpful lessons. I am grateful. No matter how many years I accumulate, I am happy to continue to learn and grow. Furthermore, gaining wisdom is the best consolation for the decreases that can come with aging. I look forward now to having my second cataract operation, scheduled for the first part of next month. It will be wonderful to see clearly with both eyes. I have been developing the habit of putting in the eye drops quite nicely. This will come in handy when my second eye is renewed. I will also be happy to let go of that habit a month after the operation. Once a habit has lost its value, it's good to let it go.




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Practical mystic and poet Tasha Halpert writes a column called Heartwings Love Notes for a Joyous Life, as well as a monthly astrology column for the internet. She writes a weekly perspective column for the Grafton News called Good Earthkeeping.  Her poems and essays have appeared in Quest Magazine, For the Love of Life, Heart and Wings, The Unicorn, and other publications. She is staff poet and storyteller for the Unicorn, and a regular part of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast. Her book Heartwings: Love Notes for a Joyous Life is available; She has another in preparation: Up to my Neck in Lemons, as well as a poetry chapbook: Poems and Prayers. With her writings she hopes to be of help and comfort and perhaps even entertaining.  With her husband Stephen she lives in Grafton and is the mother of 5, grandmother of 7, and great grandmother of 2.  


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