"The eyes are the window to your soul" is a quote from Shakespeare that lingered in my life. I suppose I was attracted to the truthfulness of these words rather than the cliche of the quote.
When I was nine years old, a tall and pale elderly woman with ice blue eyes approached my mother and I in the grocery store. Without acknowledging my mom, the woman stared into my eyes, smiled, and said "You can tell a lot about someone when you look into their eyes." I responded with a shy smile and then we parted ways. Of course at the time I had no clue what the lady meant. My nine year old brain wondered why this stranger spoke those words to me.
After that day I was aware of the lingering quote in my life. At first, I was only impressed with the flow. I hadn't yet connected it with the stranger in the grocery store encounter. As the quote constantly reappeared throughout the years, I realized that it wasn't a coincidence. I actually took time to understand the words as I matured. Ironically, I attended a theater camp called 'The Shakespeare Academy.' In the camp we did a lot of exercises and games that required focus. In order to obtain this focus, we had to make eye contact. As teens, we laughed at the idea. Eye contact was meant for close friends, lovers, and family members; not strangers. The thought of being "lost" in someone's eyes was just eerie! Especially considering that we had only formed opinions based on outward appearances.
Our instructor told us to get into pairs. We were to stay silent for five minutes. We could only stare into each other's eyes. Of course it was awkward at first. We concealed our tension with laugher. We looked at each other's eyes simply observing the color. Once the laughing stopped, our five minutes began. Looking at my partner's eyes, I thought about how uneasy it was and I wondered why time was being held hostage. After a minute I began to focus and really look into my partner's eyes. I met someone new. I met someone who looked shy on the outside, but my partner's eyes introduced me to someone comical and nice. When we made eye contact we became vulnerable. The silence wasn't full of tension and we didn't laugh because of awkwardness. In the beginning we were defending ourselves. We were afraid to be raw. My eyes introduced me to someone new.
People are often times afraid to make eye contact because they do not want to be vulnerable. They distract their human interactions with cell phones, tv's, and small talk. Being vulnerable to another person doesn't always mean that we're in danger. You're only in danger if someone's intentions are to hurt you. Don't allow other people's opinions to bother you. LOVE YOURSELF!!! Stay positive and be kind! We are human. We are not perfect and we shouldn't have to refine ourselves for someone else's approval. Open your eyes and free your soul.
Sending out positive vibes, I challenge you to look into someone's eyes and be vulnerable. Allow someone to be free with them as well. Don't talk; simply listen with your eyes. If you see that someone is HURTING; ENCOURAGE THEM. If you see ANGER; LOVE THEM. If you see HAPPINESS; BE HAPPY TOO! Free your soul! Have a great week!
By Kaci Hollingsworth