I recently had an experience in a group where we had to partner up with a stranger and gaze into each other’s eyes for… I don’t know how long it was. It felt both short and forever. Maybe it was 10 minutes?
My partner had these beautiful, curious, accepting eyes and we almost immediately fell into an experience of Love. My heart willingly opened wide. It was deep and warm and open and so easy to just love and connect with him. Despite the hugeness of the experience, it was very simple and clear compared to the complexities of daily eye contact in our lives. Usually when we gaze into someone’s eyes with love it implies intentions of some kind. It exposes our desire, our softness, our vulnerability, our need to love and be loved… we get scared it’s showing too much about us or giving the other power over us…
Nothing simple about it.
But this experience felt so clean of all the worry. We were expected and allowed to do it. So we did. Gazed deep into each other’s eyes and let ourselves surrender to love and connectedness. What a joy.
The first thing I sensed when we began was pain about love and and connection. Maybe it was mine, maybe it was his, maybe it was the pain of the human condition. I can’t tell you which. It passed as I continued to open up and then it deepened into a connection with another soul. I felt things but couldn’t say if they were mine or his – and it didn’t matter. There was a oneness. Most important was that we were present in the moment, to ourselves and to each other.
After a while I became aware of how good it feels to sit and be looked at like that. I felt happy and loved. Another human was taking the time and care to sit and look deep into my eyes. Wow. Scary, but wow.
There is much I can say about it – as you can imagine it raised a lot of stuff – but I’m sharing this for a particular reason.
After the exercise people discussed their experiences. Men and women alike said they had never done this before – not just with a stranger, never. Fears, defences, discomforts were expressed. It was challenging to get that close, that open with someone.
People spoke about how fleetingly we hold eye contact in an average day and how complex it is, how it is sometimes misinterpreted. One man became sad he doesn’t do this with his partner. “I’m so busy moving onto the next thing I don’t take the time to sit and gaze into her eyes. It never occurred to me to do that.” Another laughed wryly, “I sit and gaze lovingly for long minutes into my cell phone or computer but not people’s eyes.”
It seems the only time we commonly gaze that way is during the brief periods of falling in love with someone – including with our baby. Remember the magic of sitting and gazing into your baby’s eyes?
It’s incredibly sad. In an existence where all any of us really cares about deep inside is feeling loved and connected, we don’t take the time to do it. And it can be so simple to do.
Have you gazed lovingly into your partner’s eyes lately? Or your child’s? Your parent’s?
I bet you do it more with your dog than with your humans. Right? Probably because it’s cleaner and simpler – with a dog you know you will find openness and love looking back at you.
Why should it be so different with humans?
People have spoken and written about love as a form of activism and now I get what they are saying. The effect of choosing to look at another with such open love was phenomenal. I was streaming love and total acceptance for another person in a way that went way beyond personality, beyond race, beyond gender. It was a soul thing, a humanity thing – and it felt so good. I got to feel loving and loved and connected – all with a total stranger!
I’m going to be a Love Activist from here on.
Come and join me. We can host a rebellion. Let’s go out and LOVE all of us whole again. Just imagine how much good you can do on an average day by gazing – even briefly – with open love at everyone you engage with; the cashier, the teacher, your child, your friends, yourself… ok some people might get edgy and call the police but still…
World peace is probably just a few loving gazes away.
Pass this on to friends. I dare you each to go gaze at someone lovingly today. Let me know how it goes 🙂