Each set of eyes has an incredible story. Each story is a drink of water that nourishes your heart. ~Unknown
Her eyes dance as she weaves the tale of her life, a tale that spans generations, that have experienced life to it’s fullest. They sparkle with joy at the happy moments, grow moist with the sad times, appear focused on distant images when dredging up long lost memories. No matter the words used to paint the picture, the story of her life was continually revealed in the subtleties expressed in her eyes.
Have you ever noticed that some people’s eyes always seem to be full of life while other’s seam permanently tinged with weary? Some seem joyful and others always seem to harbor a hint of sadness? Have you ever wondered about the story behind those eyes? I find myself wondering if their smile hide sadness. Does the frown hide fear? Is that angry face masking masking insecurity? The more I interact with people the more I find the answer is always in the eyes.
The more we listen to people, the more their stories are revealed, the more color accents the life that, on the surface, may appear monochromatic to us. I am not talking about the surface listening we do with the voices of most people that sieve through us as fast as the words are poured out because we are to self obsessed to concentrate on another person. I am talking about a listening that delves deep, that transcends the day to day cacophony , that intentionally blocks out distractions allowing us to focus on the speaker, giving way for us to discover secrets of another’s heart.
I believe people NEED connection with other people. This is not a want. It’s a fundamental component of our DNA, of our humanness. People need connection to live, deep connection to thrive. Listening to their stories gives them voice to share their powerful history, engaging in their stories enables us to make connections at the heart level. Providing an ear is an act of love.
As I get older (and hopefully wiser), I find myself more and more fascinated with people and their stories, the life history that brought them from birth to the present day. I am particularly fascinated by those with vastly different backgrounds than my safe suburban upbringing. I find myself trying to understand their hearts, seeking common ground in the spaces where our souls overlap, for forge that connection unique to the humans.
I must admit that I am not very good at this type of listening. I am getting better but still struggle at creating the level of intimacy with another human that becomes connectedness. And the fact that my story is one in which I have not given much effort to cultivating this ability has, for the most part, rendered me isolated in this world.
I think something needs to change. I think it’s time for me to change.
What story lies hidden behind your eyes?