If you have tinnitus (ringing ears), like I do, my experience tells me that you likely have a great deal of difficulty with relationships. Why? Because not only does the tinnitus drive you crazy, it can also make you feel very much alone. You feel isolated because it often feels like no one can understand your suffering.
The doctors don’t really seem to understand. Your friends and co-workers don’t understand. And, most importantly it seems like your family doesn’t understand. You feel like no one can possibly understand and therefore you tend to lash out at the people closest to you.
You need to be aware that the ones you love are equally suffering right along side of you. You need to know that they feel just as helpless as you do because they know there is nothing they can do. They want to save you from your private torture chamber, but they can’t. All they can really do is hold the space while you try and figure out your next course of action.
And so, you are faced with a choice. You can continue on your present course and hope for a different result. That’s what many people do. The do the same things day after day and always get the same result. Or, you can actually begin to learn what works in reducing your tinnitus volume. In order for me to share what I have learned after 7 years with tinnitus, I need to tell you a little bit about my story.
I had been happily married for 8 years before I got tinnitus. When I did get the Tinnitus it almost drove my wife and I to divorce. My marriage was not simply strong enough to withstand that kind of pressure. The reason for this was that our marriage, at that time, was based mostly around romantic love. This kind of love cannot withstand serious challenges because romantic love is like a drug. Your body produces chemicals that make you to feel euphoric, energetic and great. It’s the equivalent to experiencing a natural high. But, when that drug wears off; everything bad that you felt before you took the drug returns.
So, along with my tinnitus came an opportunity to learn what real love is. And, as I gained more knowledge, our love grew into something much deeper than romantic love. It grew into a spiritual partnership. Gary Zukav (author of Seat of the Soul) defines Spiritual Partnership as “a partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth”.
Unfortunately many people are addicted to romantic love. They continue to seek it with no understanding that they are addicted to an illusion. When you fall out of romantic love you think love is gone, but it’s really only the illusion that is gone. In order for any relationship to evolve beyond romantic love, both partners must evolve as human beings.
For my wife Nancy and I, Tinnitus was a beacon in our life experience to help us work towards that evolution. As we evolved as human beings, we evolved in our partnership. And, as I learned more about spiritual partnerships, the more I was able to heal the emotional, spiritual, mental parts of myself. Then my physical world, including the world of tinnitus, began to change. It was an awakening of sorts. You can learn to do this by becoming aware of your thought processes, your internal dialogue, your physical habits and your emotions. Awareness is the key.
As our marriage got stronger, my tinnitus diminished. We discovered a deeper sense of identity, a greater feeling of spiritual connectedness and purpose and a renewed commitment to both our personal growth and to service. With that said, in order for your relationship to evolve, both partners must be willing partners and commit to their own personal evolution for the partnership to grow. Remember, it takes equal partners.
You can actually choose to allow tinnitus to remind you that you need to get beyond where you are at now and align yourself with a higher purpose. You are now being compelled, by force, to find your greater self and to heal yourself. And once you do, you will notice a greater quality of life all around you. Your relationships will change, your marriage will get stronger, your kids will be drawn closer to you, and everything and everyone around you will change for the better. It all starts with the realization that tinnitus is here as a beacon in your life for you to learn to be a happier person, a better spouse and a true friend to all those you encounter.