Thursday, June 9, 2011

Journey Toward Healing Part V- The Eyes of Love

Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other's eyes for an instant?
Henry David Thoreau


No one can lie, no one can hide anything, when he looks directly into some one's eyes.
Paulo Coelho


Sometimes you can't see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.
Ellen DeGeneres


Matthew 18:3 (New World Translation)
 "Truly I say to you, Unless You turn around and become
 as young children, you will by no means
 enter into the kingdom of the heavens."

Though seemingly simple, the work that I found to be some of the most gut wrenching, during the weekend intensive, was to look into the eyes of my fellow classmates, for more than the usual millisecond. After making the typical introductions, we were asked to walk in a circle, some of us clock-wise, others counter clock-wise.  As we passed one another, we were to do so very slowly, stopping to look deep into the eyes of the person opposite of us, saying nothing.  I was surprised by how difficult this exercise became for me, how I almost immediately needed to look away, refusing to allow anyone to see what I, myself, disdain- wanting to retreat to the comfort of staring at the walls or the floor, instead. I found myself giggling at times or blinking a bit much.  I was always happy when it was over.  I was content with being unseen, though it wasn't really getting me anywhere in my life at home in Pittsburgh.

Adults in our Western culture don't spend much time making eye contact with strangers.  We pass one another on the sidewalks or the streets, at most saying "how are you doing", but generally, not even seeing the person whose lives, for a brief moment, are intersecting with ours.  For those of us who are survivors of trauma, who, as a result, also live lives ensconced by shame, eye contact can be very uncomfortable, if not unfathomable.  I believe that the eyes are pathways to the soul, where unconditional love travels deeply into our most hidden truths, envelopes them in a way that we can hardly comprehend.  To open ourselves to this love, we must trust that we are safe and that we are truly worthy of such a gift.  As children we take for granted this worthiness- we presume that we are lovely and deserving, then, somehow or another, it becomes foreign to us, and we shun such vulnerability.

I never conquered the unsettling feeling of this exercise while I was in Florida.  I believe that
My weary green eyes, ready for sleep
Saturday night, in my hotel room, about 11:45,
shortly after finishing the day's "work",

 after 13 hours of  wading through
a torrent of emotions, psychodramas, and, finally,
 some breathing.
much of what I took away with me were lessons that will take a tremendous amount of practice to integrate into my life.  I am making strides, everyday, to move forward and stare into all that is mighty and loving.  I am beginning to see a softer reflection looking back at me- one of a child who believes that she is as she was made to be- powerful and lovely beyond measure.

I challenge you, dear readers, to spend time in awareness of your eyes- what they admire and where they settle, if they settle.  How does it feel, to you, to behold another, in silence?

My comfort zone resides beneath the clutter of "white noise", where dialog or music or chatter detracts from what might exist, otherwise, if my eyes were allowed to quietly and intentionally, inhale, then exhale- acceptance.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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