A few weeks ago, I discovered a book entitled, “The Power Behind Your Eyes.” It talks of the need to rest our eyes, taking periodic time outs from the task of looking, so that we can see more fully those things we may be missing through the unconscious habit of hyper-vigilance.
The corrective suggestions run the gamut from diet changes, exercise, refraining from sugar, alcohol and overindulging to too long at the computer, too much reading, too much television and, at the other extreme, too little light and too little sleep.
I decided to take on one of the suggestions, the easiest and most appealing one, which is to put the palms of my hands over my eyes while visualizing in my mind’s eye something that is particularly beautiful and energy giving to imagine.
The result of doing this simple exercise has been rewarding. Valuable in that whenever I do it the predominant experience I have while stopping and resting from my extended interaction with the world around me is a certain warmth that centers around my eyes and then extends and deepens, then an increasing feeling of sadness that brings a few captured and hidden tears to the surface.
The moisture is warm and soft and little. It doesn’t morph into a downpour but just lets its presence be known as a little gift of unexpressed tenderness and acknowledgement that my eyes have been witness to the fleeting pain, disappointment, tragedy, confusion, frustration, anxiety, fear or exhaustion that is housed in many of the day to day experiences we consistently encounter.
The first time sadness visited, it came as a surprise. I didn’t know I was hosting unacknowledged and unexpressed sadness. The second time it surfaced again, bringing a visual remembrance of a father of one of the Sandy Hook children who was testifying on the gun control issue and the deep grief and endless sadness I saw in his eyes.
Time and time again sadness has come to visit. I am learning to look forward to the particular quiet and empty space that seems to be the welcoming mat for this sensation that I am naming sad. My mind tries to jump in with the too loud and boisterous “Why are you sad?” question that sends sad scurrying undercover, like a child in the presence of a thunder and lightning storm.
I take a few in and out breaths and disengage from the mental questioning in favor of letting myself sink into the quiet behind my eyes. Sure enough, as I do, I once again sense the slow, sensuous spreading of gentle warmth that begins to bring moisture and a lessening of pressure, a surrendering into nowhere and nothing, so that I can experience a decided softening into myself and a feeling of rightness and homecoming.
In case you might be thinking that this little flight of fancy might indicate that I have too much time on my hands, I suspect I am on the verge of a new personal discovery.
As I court the company of unexpressed tenderness, I feel a gentle but persistent shift happening in my awareness. I can feel a certain innocence returning to my ability to see. It is the sense of a returning sparkle of enthusiasm and faith in the beauty and magnificence of all aspects of life that constantly surrounds me.
It is a new awakening back into the simplicity of clear-sightedness that acknowledges the underpinnings of faith in the basic goodness of my life in all its twists, turns, ups and downs of energy drains and gains.
I feel a new opening to the door marked contentment and happiness of being that sits waiting for an opening to deliver its gifts of fullness and richness through the acceptance of the way things are, just as is.