I’ve heard Oprah Winfrey say the most important thing to a child is whether your eyes light up when he enters the room. Not what you say or what actions you take or what you give him but do your eyes light up when you see him.
It touched me deeply then and it is something I love by now. Oh how funny, I wanted to write ‘something I live by’ and I wrote ‘love by’. A typo worth keeping I’d say. Freud would approve.
So it really is something I live and love by. I am aware of it when I see my children (or any child actually) and I make sure that my eyes shine with delight at the glory of who they are. Sometimes I have to fake it a little but my intentions are honest and I figure a mild twinkle is better than none. I look at him or her and deliberately radiate my delight at their presence. (On the bad days I have to remind myself of the bigger picture and then it’s easier to connect with my delight at their presence in my life and shine it at them).
The response is good.
We forget these most important little things sometimes in the busy-ness of our lives. There’s so much to do all the time and such a battle to find time for it all – it’s hard to additionally keep in mind that others are people too. It’s so easy to express your annoyance at being interrupted (again) with rolled eyes and exasperated sigh. To glare the burden of the effort of all you do for her. To half close your eyes at the boredom of listening to what he has to say – or disbelief of his story.
The impact of that is deeper than we allow ourselves to realise. Think of how your parents looked at you at different times. Do you have any memories of being gazed at with wonder and love, or pride and approval, or distaste, or resentment… What did it do to you?
Chatting about this with someone today I realised, this gazing thing is also really important when it comes to one’s partner. I mean a big reason many of us feel unappreciated or sad in our relationships is because our partner’s eyes no longer always shine when they see us. Over time we forget to express our delight at each other through our eyes. We start to take each other for granted, there’s so much going on and all the logistics of working, running a home and kids and a self… who has time to twinkle at a partner? And yet… it’s what we all look for. Do your eyes light up when you see me?
It’s thought-provoking isn’t it? “And what”, I said to my conversation partner suddenly as I realised it myself, “would it be like if your eyes always light up when you look at yourSELF?!”
Imagine that. Try.
Look at yourself with delight and adoration.
How does it feel?
What sort of eyes do you look at yourself with usually? Do youRead More