Sometimes I wish life had eyeglasses. Not the kind that correct what your retina’s doing. The kind that would let you see, in a more figurative sense, more clearly.

If life had eyeglasses, people would be able to see themselves for real. We’d be able to see our weaknesses and stop exaggerating our faults. Emotional hurt would be as visible as a scar – so maybe others would better understand what it is they’d done to us. Those layers of toughened skin that develop over the years of life’s chaffing would glow with a demand for respect instead of dulling beneath the mask of a stony demeanor that inspires nought but contempt.

We’d stop seeing ourselves as too fat or too thin, as composed of waistlines that are too big or cup sizes that are too small. We’d start seeing ourselves as the fearful symmetry of building up and breaking down, of push and pull, of muscles and ligaments and bones and vessels, all blossomed from a single cell into the capability of arms and the strength of legs.

We’d stop seeing life in black and white. We could no longer blind ourselves to others through a wall built of differences; the similarities between creatures with hearts than yearn and hearts that break would always be apparent in the enemy of war, the bum on the street corner, the jerk in the office. If life had eyeglasses, excuses of otherness would no longer prove a curtain that could be pulled around pain caused. The comprehension of a lab animal about to be injected again, the despondency of a pound animal watching another family walk away, the regret of a wild animal that knows its been seen through the eye of a barrel – hidden from our eyes no longer. Smog-choked trees, oil-stained oceans, sewage-poisoned water – we’d be forced to see the traces of conviction on our hands.

Narcissism, bullying, verbal abuse, codependency – they might just go away. When the lie about you and what a piece of shit you are is lain false right before your mind’s eye, when life’s eyeglasses keep the truth of your real value from being covered by the insecurity of “what if” and the darkness of your own self-criticism from obscuring what is true – maybe the wounds of words would no longer forever maim.

If life had eyeglasses, we would see how important our smile just was to that stranger. The fondness in a lover’s glance would never be lost on us again. The soul-shocking depth of a child’s trust might finally be seared into our memory.

Maybe, if life had eyeglasses, we’d finally be able to see ourselves.


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