Remember that gorgeous song from the ‘80s with Whitney Houston and Jermaine Jackson? It starts out “If you say my eyes are beautiful – it’s because I’m looking at you”
One of my favorite duets from that time! And back in that long ago decade it meant something entirely different to me than when I hear it now.
I heard it then as “my eyes are beautiful because they are looking at you, and you are beautiful”. Such a nice sentiment and perhaps the way the song was indeed written.
But today it means so much more to me. I wanted to share my interpretation in case it resonates with you. And if it does, I will provide a few things you can add into your daily life to make this more meaningful and healing.
This can also be understood as a NAMASTE – a Hindu gesture meaning “I bow to the divine in you” or “the divine in me recognizes the divine in you” or “the soul in me recognizes the soul in you” or another way of saying that we are all connected as one. I love this gesture because when you put your hands in gassho (prayer) position over your heart and bow your head to someone you can really feel the connection between your hearts. Try it, you will see what I mean!
AND – there is another way to look at this, a way I use with my coaching clients as we uncover their uniqueness and brilliance so they can begin to live their magnificence on the planet. And that is that our eyes are mirrors. Beautiful, healing mirrors.
When we look in the eyes of another we tend to judge. We can go to the “what’s wrong with this person” quickly instead of the “what’s right”. And that is because they are mirrors, or reflections, of ourselves. Yes, your mother was right when she told you that what you don’t like in someone else is what you don’t like in yourself. But it goes beyond that.
This information is important and even vital in our growth as a human being. Our own self-healing begins with this one step – looking at what we don’t particularly care for in someone else. And as we work through it we eventually expand our hearts with more empathy and compassion, and that is a beautiful thing!
Here is an example: You are driving down the road and you see an extremely heavy person with ear buds in doing a power walk, all sweaty and gut hanging out. Do you immediately think “wow, good for you! You are an inspiration and tomorrow I will take time out of my day to take a walk as well”. Or do you think “damn! S/he is so fat; I can’t believe they are out here not caring what they look like. That’s just gross”?
If it was the first response, good for you! You are doing your work! However, if you are honest here and your response would be more along the lines of the second reaction that is great too because you are able to use this as an opportunity to heal a part of you that needs healing.
How do you do that?
Ask yourself why you think you responded that way in regards to how you feel about yourself. Are you overweight and ashamed? Do you have an eating disorder or excessive exercise program that you use to keep yourself rail thin? Do you have self-esteem issues? Are you envious because you say you will exercise but instead sit on Facebook and can’t find the time? Or do you feel like fat people have no control and perhaps you are over controlling in your own life? There are a lot of different scenarios, but when you go through them and one strikes a chord you know it’s yours.
Because it is always yours (ours) and never theirs. They are just fine. Why should anyone care what we think? It isn’t our life, it’s theirs. Just like our life and all of its decisions belong to us. We should never base our life, our way of living, on what someone else thinks. Easier said than done, I know! But really, if you can say with conviction “what other people think of me is none of my business” life gets so much easier!
Here is another example: Your parent/partner/friend/co-worker is an alcoholic. You can hardly stand to be around them when they are drinking because they act so different. Slurring their words, repeating themselves over and over, acting stupid. Ugh! How is this a mirror or reflection of/for you?
Well perhaps you are an alcoholic too. Or perhaps you aren’t but you CAN identify with a characteristic or trait that they possess. So you begin by narrowing it down again. Ask yourself “am I an alcoholic?” If you answered NO then ask yourself “what kind of person is an alcoholic?” Make yourself a nice little list. Perhaps an alcoholic to you is someone with low self-esteem, numbing out pain, insecure, not trustworthy, has no control, etc. Good, now change the question and ask yourself “how am I THAT?” Such as “how am I insecure” or “how am I numbing out pain”. You will know what the reflection represents to you when you say it out loud – you will feel like a little punch in your gut.
So then go from there, right? Work on that for YOU! Don’t worry about your alcoholic parent/partner/friend/co-worker because it isn’t about them. It never was, it was always about you. It has been since they day when you were probably still in diapers and discovered that you were separate from the rest of the people on this planet. And your job, or challenge really, has been to remember that in truth we are all connected. We are all one. What I do affects you and what you do affects me. What one does as a separate being affects the whole of the planet.
So NAMASTE – I SEE you and as YOU see you I wish you healing and peace.
3 Ways to Use Your Eyes
- When talking to someone, whether it be your child or the grocery store checker, take a slow breath and really look into their eyes. Look at them when you are speaking and also when they are speaking. As you do so, feel love flowing up from your heart and out your eyes directing it towards them. Notice how you feel when the conversation ends. Also notice if they seem different as well.
- When you notice yourself judging another person take a long look at them as you ask yourself “how am I THAT (fill in THAT with the judgment)?” Keep asking until you feel that gut punch. You will then know what you can begin healing within yourself to become a better human being and motivate you towards your magnificence!
- Do mirror work. After a shower or bath look in the mirror and look deep into your own eyes. Tell yourself things like “I love you”, “you are beautiful”, “you are a great mother/father/partner”, “you deserve everything you desire”, “you are enough”. This can be challenging at first but keep at it. If you find yourself looking away, keep trying until you can connect. What you think about you is crucial to living a meaningful life.
- Ok, I know I said 3 ways but this one is fun too – light some candles, put on some soft music, pour some wine or tea and sit with your significant other. Set a timer if you like and look into each other’s eyes for at least 10 minutes. No talking (or giggling, although that may take a few tries!) See what happens…
I would love to hear how any of the above exercises worked for you if you tried them. Especially 1-3. Number 4 will probably be best left between you and your partner! So please share your thoughts below in the comments if you received any inspiration from this post.