Several years ago I was privileged to be at a special event for women. One of the exercises we took part in was a simple, but very powerful one that left a great impression on me. We all lined up in 2 circles, an inner one and an outer one. Those in the outer one faced those in the inner one and we spent one minute looking into the eyes of each person, one by one, no speaking allowed. These were people I hadn’t met before, for the most part, and at first it was very uncomfortable to stare so intently and to allow someone to look at me so deeply without looking away. But after the initial squirming wore off, I found myself touched by what I saw there. Each set of eyes was different, but each was beautiful and seemed to communicate something amazing. Words like Compassion, Strength, Discernment, Hope, and other things came into my mind to describe what I saw. Some of them actually seemed to radiate messages and energy toward me and I felt blessed by my minute with them. I wondered what I was radiating to others with my eyes. I began to focus on radiating love for whatever I found in them, and acceptance. It was an amazing experience.
I thought, if I could have such love for strangers and really see them by just looking in to their eyes, what could it do if I were to look into the eyes of my family – really look? What if I were to look not just to probe but to communicate love and to find their true beauty? And what if I could do that even when, or maybe especially when I am finding it hard to see the goodness there? I have not done this as much as I ought, but when I do remember to look in their eyes, what I find there compels me to act in love and to respond in healthy, nurturing ways, and it often leaves me awestruck at the brilliance of the souls who call me Mother.
At the close of my experience at the event, we were able to share with each other some of the things we had seen in each other’s eyes. Some of the feedback was surprising, and all of it was beautiful and positive. I wondered if I could ever look into my own eyes deeply, if I could see my soul clearly and find what others saw there. It seems an even bigger challenge to truly see ourselves clearly – we have so many beliefs built up over a lifetime about who we are and who we aren’t. While the feedback I got from others at that time was valuable, I have found that the only true way to SEE myself clearly is to ask God to show me who I am. It is a process of letting him uncover and peel back the layers, and gathered whisperings to my heart about who I am underneath it all. Every so often, I get a glimpse of brilliance and glory that amazes me, and it gives me hope to become all that is within me to be. My everyday self and my doings are certainly not all brilliance and light, and if the dust of my everyday humanness is all I am looking at I can feel pretty low. But as I spend time asking God to help me see as he sees, both for myself and others, I can see that light and beauty shining through and in that light, I can see the Source of light and beauty a little more clearly as well.