Every five or six years, the wax builds up in my ears to the extent that I have to go in and have a doctor remove it. It’s just the way it is. The wax doesn’t drain out of my ears naturally, unless I remember to add drops of olive oil or mineral oil on a weekly basis. After a period of time, I forget to do that. I also forget that wax is accumulating, ever so slowly, to the point of blocking the path to my eardrums.
About ten days ago, I was sitting at home, sniffling with concern about a head cold, and suddenly, I couldn’t hear. I looked at my wife who was mouthing silent words to me. I glanced at the television and saw a talking head mouthing silent words to me. I quickly headed to the bathroom, turned the knob, went in and shut the door, but did not hear a sound.
I massaged my ears and dug into them with my fingers, meanwhile trying to comprehend what was happening. I’ve lost my hearing. What? Who loses their hearing suddenly, just sitting and watching television? It must be a sinus infection causing severe damage. What is going on? My heart was racing, trying to keep up with the rapid-fire thoughts flooding my mind. In the mirror, I looked into my own eyes with disbelief.
It was an evening full of anxiety and fear. I sat and finished watching a video, but the sound had to be cranked way up. Our dog, sitting on my wife’s lap, flattened his ears against his head. The cats scurried to the bedroom on the other side of the house. And I kept rubbing my ears, trying to find a way to make everything go back to normal.
I slept in fits and starts, lying in complete silence in the dark, trying to forget that something was wrong. I took a homeopathic remedy, chamomilla, to relieve tension and sleeplessness. One of our cats, Cleo, had perched upon my side as I tried to get to sleep. I could feel her purrs trying to relax and comfort me. Fortunately, I managed to get about five hours of sleep in total before I woke in the morning. I quickly called an area ear, nose and throat clinic and managed to squeeze into an appointment before noon. The doctor, who informed me that I had last been in to have my ears cleaned in 2001, pulled out an inch or more of wax out of both ears – and then I could hear again.
Or could I?
Those of us who have no hearing problems at all sometimes do not hear what is being said. We hear what we want to hear and dismiss the rest, as if it never existed. We hear based on what we think is being said, based upon how our personal, environmental, religious or prejudicial filters interpret what is being said. How much of what goes on between us escapes to the ethers, never to be truly heard by human ears?
I wondered if my experience was a message that related not to how well I could hear, but how well I was listening – not necessarily outwardly, but to the inner realms.
I am convinced that each one of us is much more than an intelligently designed collection of flesh and bones and internal organs. Someone can dig around in my body, and yours, for months and never find the essential me, the essential you. I believe that part of who we are…our true self…our soul… is in touch with, and in tune with, multiple dimensions that exist in this experience we call life. I believe that essential part of us is still connected to the place we came here from, the afterlife, the life between lives, and those who inhabit those planes of existence.
And, I believe that essential part of us creates and informs our experiences in this three-dimensional world – if our ego is not running roughshod over it all. Further, I believe we can gain incredible wisdom by listening to that inner voice. But it takes intention to do so.
It’s not easy for everyone to listen inwardly. It takes some practice. And it takes a willingness to accept that inwardly there is a witness to our experience – and that this witness has something worthwhile to tell us.
That’s where faith comes in. That’s when we begin walking the walk. Listen and learn. And pay attention to where fear is leading you.