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Your Eyes are the Window to Your Soul
Advice from a Grandmother Who Sees beyond Your Mask
William Shakespeare famously said that ‘the eyes are the windows to the soul’. Over the past year, this quote has taken on deeper meaning as half the world has covered their mouths and noses in the face of the pandemic. With only the eyes visible, we’re forced to look into each other’s eyes to discern social cues.
For years I’ve said that I want to look into my children’s eyes when I talk to them. I’m reminded of the importance of looking into their eyes instead of gazing at the top of their heads. There’s so much to be seen in those eyes when we both sit down to talk face-to-face.
Seeing More by Looking at Less
Circumstances are forcing us to learn how to speak to each other by looking directly into the eyes of someone. When we have a conversation with someone at the store or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, we’re forced to look into their eyes to speak with them to connect with them.
With nothing else to focus on, we’re forced to truly look into these windows to the soul. In a person’s eyes you may see emotions and feelings of varying degrees, and you also see the smile of someone who is trying to convey kindness, love, and comfort.
Although no one likes wearing masks, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to focus on beautiful eyes this year. These eyes speak about love and laughter and sadness and fear. Blue eyes, green eyes, black eyes, brown eyes all look back at you. They either twinkle or don’t, giving deeper insight into the life behind the eyes. Every emotion possible is now revealed in the eyes.
Things I’ve Seen in a Child’s Eyes
When I gaze into a little child’s eyes, I see laughter and love and light. Pure joy dances across their faces from the twinkle in their eyes. I’m often amazed at how they’ve embraced their new normal. Even with new rules and often uncomfortable masks, their eyes boast such confidence and joy. Even in a pandemic, children are still children.
No matter what’s going on in the world around us, I’m constantly amazed by what I see in the eyes of children. I see love for others and a zest for life. I see glimpses of beautiful souls peeking out from their colorful masks. The world changes, but children carry with them a timeless love and purity.
Speaking with My Eyes
Over the past year, I’ve often found myself looking into a stranger’s eyes on the street as I go for my daily walks. I feel my eyes smiling at them and willing them to feel the love and kindness my heart feels toward them. In some cases, I say “hello,” but in others I will smile with my eyes to convey kindness in every passing glance. My smile silently tells them, “Hello, I see you, I connect with you in this moment in time, I honor you, you are beautiful and you are seen.”
I’m struck by how much sadness there is around me. I can sense the tension, fear, and stress that permeate off the people I pass. As I feel their intense emotions, I smile with my eyes to remind them that it’s going to be okay and this too shall pass.
Sometimes there is no need for words, as a person’s eyes tell all. The deepest parts of a person’s soul is communicated through their eyes. Those of us willing to navigate these depths see glimpses of another life, even though our eyes only meet in passing.
I’ve seen the stunning twinkle in the eyes of an old soul, where mystery and wisdom lay in those vibrant blue eyes. I’ve witnessed piercing black eyes and sensed them peering into the depths of my own soul. I’ve seen the watchful eyes of a wise person as they look into my soul, not letting their gaze leave my own. And I’ve witnessed the brilliance of a star when gazing into the bright green eyes of a little boy. His happiness and love for life radiate from his soul and pour out from his eyes.
As a grandmother, my greatest joy is looking into the eyes of my grandchildren behind the mask when they greet me – their eyes are like diamonds glittering, unadulterated love emanates from their eyes right into the very essence of my being – there is no words for me to describe these moments – grandchildren are God’s gift to us.
Choosing to See Past a Passing Glance
As a grandmother, I’ve spent decades peering into the eyes of those I meet. Although this pandemic has magnified the need for eye contact, I speak from a lifetime of experience looking into the eyes of those I meet. You are seen and you are loved. Instead of noticing what I cannot see behind the mask, I choose to dive deeper into the depths of what is still seen – your eyes.
Your eyes tell the world how you feel. When you’re at your worst and when you’re bursting with joy, your eyes proclaim that message to the world.
I challenge you to master the art of eye contact. Some people are uncomfortable with eye contact. But when you learn how to use it to communicate, you’ll enter a ballroom of life where the whole world is dancing with their eyes.
Proverbs 20:12 reminds us, “The hearing eye and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both.” We’re comfortable with hearing what others say with their voices. Yet God has also gifted us eyes to see what’s there beyond spoken words and masked faces.
I don’t always speak aloud when I see someone, but I use my eyes to communicate quick bursts of encouragement: “You can do this!” and “You are loved!” Let’s not forget that our eyes can speak. You can use them to communicate encouragement and hope to a world that desperately needs it.