Monday, September 29, 2008

The Eyes Have It

"The eyes are the window to the soul"

I've been thinking a lot this morning about what we see reflected back to us, when we look into another person's eyes ...

An adoring new parent, gazing lovingly at their brand new baby. Two people newly in love ... trust, hope, fear, appreciation, adoration. Disappointment, hurt, disinterest, disillusionment, indifference ... as that love goes awry. Friends, as we get to know them better ... interest, encouragement, support and all that friendship will endure. We look into the eyes of our furry friends and the body language and all that is spoken in the eyes of our pets. To look into the eyes of a family member and see the reflection of a person you lost years ago ...

There is so much that is spoken and heard when you look into a person's eyes. When I think of the relationships in my life that have flourished ... and those that I lost ... when I think of the eye contact, I can feel the wordless communication that spoke louder than the loudest shouting match ... or the quietness of knowing that another person cared, without a word being spoken.

In almost every case (when it came to matters of the heart), I can recall that the eyes told the story before the words came.

When I was madly in love, that was (usually) reflected back to me. When I saw and appreciated the person for who they were (and not who they weren't), I saw that appreciation reflected back to me. When and how does the hurting begin? Was it the time that I misread his eyes? I thought I saw something that wasn't there? And then when he looked back into mine, did he see the hurt that was reflected back to him?

As with most anything, small things add up. When I saw disinterest reflected back in his eyes, was that simply the reflection of disinterest in mine and did that spur on the sequence of events that ended up with the pain that was eventually reflected back?

Lately, My Youngest has been wondering why animals can't speak to us. It made me reflect on the ease with which a person has, lavishing attention and love on our beloved pets when it is not in our nature to act so outwardly loving to our human companions. Our pets communicate pure and utter trust and love back towards us. The family pet that has been ignored, mistreated and unloved will still gaze up toward you and love you without reservations or conditions. They don't require that 'reflection' back to give their unwavering love. It is akin to the look of a young child, who will gaze into your eyes with that purely unconditional love. They love the world ... and in most cases, the world loves them back.

When I look back at the reflections that I have seen in the eyes of those who have touched my life, I know that when I see the best in a person that is what is usually reflected back to me. And when that same look is reflected back to me in another person's eyes, they usually see the best in me.

"When a person is talking to you, listen to what they are saying with their eyes."

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