|Looking into my son's eyes for the first time.|
I am a woman of conviction. I am a woman of truth. And if there is one truth I have discovered, and strive to live by every day it is that everyone is worthy of love.
I had an experience that taught me this in a way so profound I know it will never leave me, and I know I have changed forever because of it. I was attending Land mark, a wonderful course designed to help people become the best version of themselves. In a particular exercise we were asked to do, we were given the instructions to look into a person's eyes for a certain amount of time. It began from a distance, first we stood in front of the group of 100 people or so, and had to find someone in the audience to lock our gaze with. This seems easy, but trust me, it takes a tremendous amount of faith. We all stand there, wondering, hoping, praying that someone will catch us as we throw our trust out into a sea of strangers. When that gaze is caught, you feel such a tremendous relief. I will never forget the man who "caught" me. He was an Indian man, and he never looked away. His eyes were so golden brown. He had a beautiful soul. When that exercise was over, he came up to me and said "Thank you for your eyes." I will never forget that.
After this exercise we were then lined up, face to face, just inches away from another person, a complete stranger and asked to look into their eyes. It's one thing to do this from 15 feet away, its another to look into a person's eyes for five minutes when they are no more than three inches from your face. It is terrifying. And I'll tell you why, because when we are asked to expose our soul like this, and that is truly what happens, we are scared to death that the person we are looking at will not see something worth looking back at, worth loving.
I was assigned to look into the eyes of an older woman, she was shorter than I am. She had blue grey eyes.
At first your mind races. "Do I have a zit?" 'What does she think of me?" You laugh and giggle a little to cover up the awkwardness. A minute passes which feels like a year. And then another minute. And another. Soon, your mind quiets and you start to look back. You look at the eyes, and stop thinking about yourself and how you are perceived by those other eyes. Once that gate is down, something magical happens. You forget all the stories you had about how you should look to others, and how they should look to you. You forget about race, age, color, gender, religion, lifestyle, wealth, poverty, education, and all the other little boxes you categorize people into and you see only eyes.
And your own eyes fill with tears, you can not explain. And your heart wakes up, when you didn't even realize it was asleep. You feel compelled to love. It is no longer a choice it is simply the way you live. It is like breathing, you simply love that person because you are alive and they are alive and there is nothing standing before you NOT to love.
We come into this world and the first thing we do is look for eyes. The eyes of a mother. Why? Because when we are seen, we feel loved. Children are not afraid to look into your eyes. They are not afraid to love you and they are not afraid to be loved. They know no other way yet. That is innocence. As we grow up, we are told not to look, we are trained into blindness. The truth of the soul, the truth of seeing, is forgotten.
But it is easy to remember once you look. Really, look. Every person you have ever hated, was once held in the arms of a mother who looked down into their newborn eyes and met them with absolute love and acceptance. I believe this is how God looks upon us, waiting for us to return His gaze. Imagine, looking into the eyes of God. He created your eyes, your eyes are His work, as are the eyes of all the people around you. Look into the eyes of another, and you will start to see God's eyes. And love will no longer be a struggle, it will simply be the way you exist.
That is the truth I strive to live by. The truth I see, is that we are all God's children, and we are all worthy of love.
-The Domestic Diva