I am not going to lie. For the last four out of five days I have been in a total state of fear and anxiety. I made a mistake on Wednesday afternoon that could potentially affect my hearing for the rest of my life.
Have you ever heard of tinnitus? It is an intermittent or constant ringing, buzzing or hissing in the ears. A good friend of mine whom I met in Korea suffers from this daily and I never understood how difficult it is for her until now. It can be temporary, which is what many of us have experienced after spending a few hours at a loud concert, or permanent, like in the case of my friend. It is often linked to some degree of permanent hearing loss through too much exposure to loud noise, but can also be brought on by sinus congestion, excessive ear wax or an infection.
So back to the story. On Wednesday I was listening to my ipod for about 50 min total – 30 min on the way to work and 20 minutes later on at the gym. No biggie, except that my headphones were busted up and I had to turn the volume up louder than normal in order to hear the music over the static sound, especially at the gym when I was trying to cover up the pop tunes blasting from the speakers. It didn’t seem too loud to me at the time, but later that night I started noticing this deep static buzzing noise in my left ear. It was like my brain was repeating the sound trauma I had unknowingly caused earlier that day. It seemed to come whenever I moved my head or any new noise was introduced into the environment. It was very annoying to say the least, but I wasn’t too concerned until I woke up the next morning and it was still there and actually seemed to be a bit louder and more frequent.
Against my better judgement, I went online and googled the crap out of tinnitus, which is what I assumed was going on. Five hours later, and hundreds of horror stories of people going to one loud concert and having ringing in their ears ever since, I was scared shitless. I collapsed on the floor in a fit of tears – a pure emotional catastrophe. I spent the next three days constantly monitoring the noise in my ear and trying to decide whether or not it was getting better. I was driving myself insane worrying about the potential that I might have to deal with this noise forever.
Today is the sixth day of this ordeal and my ears are still buzzing on and off. Sometimes I think it has lessened, but I am taking a homeopathic and herbal remedy for it so who knows if it is masking the noise or the tinnitus is starting to resolve (temporary tinnitus can stay for up to six months). I starting to have faith that it will resolve, but maybe not as quickly as I want it to. Only time will tell. I will go an ENT specialist this week or next to have my hearing assessed and see how those tiny, sensitive hairs in my inner ear canal are holding up.
What’s different about today is that my attitude towards my ear buzzing is beginning to shift because I am beginning to accept that this happened for a greater reason. There is a lesson to be learned in every situation, especially the ones that challenge us. Throughout these past few days, I still practiced meditation daily and was able to quiet my mind (and the buzzing) enough to sit with the emotions and fears I was facing. I also asked my higher self what lesson I need to learn from this experience? How did I get here? What can I do differently so a similar experience is not repeated?
Louise Hay connects tinnitus with refusal to listen, not hearing your inner voice and stubbornness. This really resonated with me and I explored where I was not listening to my inner voice in my life , how it makes me feel to not listen and the consequences of ignoring my inner wisdom. I think that if you are not on the right path and keep ignoring your higher self, the universe responds to this by creating situations that allow you to learn the lesson and make a change. The longer you ignore these signs and oppourtunities, the more intense the challenges presented become and the more likely you are to suffer consequences.
During meditation you can sit and be honest with yourself. Maybe there is a past emotion or hurt you need to let go of to move on, or a lesson that has appeared again so you have another chance at evolving from it. Ask your higher self or God or the universe, or whatever works for you, for guidance and then let the answer come to you. If you seem to be faced with a seemingly never-ending set of obstacles and “bad luck”, it might be time to really dig deep, get honest with yourself and figure out what lesson needs to be learned so you can break free from a particular pattern and attract experiences that are more positive. Try to be gentle with yourself in this process. Change is hard and forgiving yourself for something and moving on can be even harder. I have been beating myself up about my mistake of listening to the music too loud; but it doesn’t change anything, it only makes me feel worse.
I can also tell you, that no matter what the outcome of this buzzing in my ears, I have learned an important lesson about listening to my inner voice, trusting the wisdom and acting accordingly. It is not easy to always follow your intuition and I am sure I will slip up again, I am only human. However, I am promising myself that I will work on having the courage to listen to my inner voice and act in my best interest from now on. Hopefully this process will become easier and I will make the inner shift necessary to avoid facing an even harder lesson in the future.
There are some changes in my life that I will have to begin to make. I also have a new understanding and appreciation for my ability to hear and for the full use of all of my senses. How many times have you come out of a concert with your ears buzzing, needing to use hand motions to communicate because you can’t hear what your friend next to you is saying? I’ve done it multiple times. We take for granted that the near deafness and ringing will go away in a few hours and do it again the following weekend. Next time, consider wearing ear plugs; trust me, it’s just not worth taking the chance.
This post turned out longer than expected, but I think it’s an important story to share. If you are comfortable, feel free to share some lessons you have had to learn the hard way and how you made a change for the better as a result.
Much love and gratitude to you all,