Steve Goldberg experiences a surreal “wake up” call that has a profound impact on his life.
I recently had a profound experience. I woke up alone in the middle of the night, looked at the clock and noticed it was 3am. Then I turned my head away from the clock and saw flashes of sparkling light in front of me.
I have a skylight in my bedroom and my first thought in my half-awake stupor was that I was seeing the reflection of meteor showers through the glass. Then realized this was November and not August when the showers are visible here in Canada. I must be having a mystical experience, I thought… Perhaps … Maybe I’m dreaming.
I finally convinced myself that I was awake…then it hit me…
I remembered both my mom and grandmother speaking about seeing sparkling lights. For my grandmother, it had occurred just before she lost the sight in her right eye. For my mom, it was years later, when I was holding her hand in preparation for an operation to get her retina reattached.
Now I was having the same symptoms that my mom and grandmother had experienced and I needed to be seen by a specialist, pronto! The only issue with pronto was that I was sitting on a small island and wasn’t going to be able to get off it for several hours.
It quickly struck me that getting upset, worried or stressed was not going to help. Surprisingly, things slowed down very quickly and I actually experienced a warm and peaceful calm washing over me.
It wasn’t long after that when I realized the date — November 2nd, the day of my grandmother’s birth. She lived just a month shy of her 100th birthday and was one of the people to whom I was closest to in my life. I’ve felt her presence many times since her passing and I especially felt it now.
Her “message” to me was this is something you need to look after, but you’ll be ok. Whatever free-floating anxiety that was left in my system disappeared.
I managed to get off the island on a 6am ferry and was at an ophthalmologist specialist by 9am. I then got shuttled off to a retinal specialist.
The good news was that we caught my problem before it became more critical. The specialist told me that my retina was weak and vulnerable — but not torn or detached. The other good news is that technology has advanced to the point whereby with a simple operation, I will soon have super-reinforced retinas that will have significantly less than normal risk of eventually detaching.
As I went back home a few days later, I was struck by what an amazing “Upside” experience this had been — I had “connected” with my grandmother, received incredible professional treatment, and I felt awash in gratitude and appreciation for the great life I have.
What are examples of times in your life when you had a “wake-up” call that shifted your outlook, perspective or behavior?
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