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Soft eyes

The ‘eyes have it!’ A play on words I know – “the ayes have it!” All of my life I have been fascinated by eyes and what their sparkle or sadness, joy or coldness say.

Soft eyes are beautiful things. Soft eyes whisper ‘welcome’ – reassure acceptance and invite you in to hearth and kin. Soft eyes wonder – soft eyes are full of adventure and are at home on the dusty or muddy roads of life. Soft eyes are gentle and they look out at the stranger, the ‘enemy’, the ‘other’ or the foe and invite friendship, dialogue and togetherness. Soft eyes feel with, seek to walk beside and embrace. Soft eyes are expressed in wrap around arms, hugs that heal and a full silence that comforts.

Soft eyes have a mischievous sparkle about them. They love play -and they love playfulness.

Soft eyes are compassionate. They feel with, they honour the pain of life and they heal as they comfort, console and commiserate. Soft eyes call you home to yourself and to love. Soft eyes forgive and reconcile. Soft eyes ‘know’ and do not need words.

But only a fool thinks ‘soft eyes’ are weak. They have a strength far greater than all the armies of the world and endure long after Kingdoms have fallen and the powerful of power over are but a distant memory.

There is nothing weak in forgiveness, in compassion, in profound brotherhood and sisterhood. There is nothing weak in being vulnerable, in laying bare and in allowing the other just to ‘be’.

I am convinced that we all make some basic, fundamental life choices – to build or break down, to grow or destroy, to celebrate or compare, to forgive or clench fists, to hug and hold or push away, to build bridges not walls and to choose love, always love, ahead of hatred and greed.

The clenched fist, the hardened heart, the anger and hurt held on to, the vengeance sought and the enemies real or imagined created daily and battles with them continually engaged – only lead to hard eyes. The eyes – which reflect our hearts – are not the work of some miracle worker. You do not simply once off and forever choose love or hate. The eyes, soft or hard, are the results of the hundreds of thousands of simple moments that make up your life and mine. The beautiful thing though is that soft eyes sneak up on you: your continual small choices to forgive and celebrate, reach out and give, hold lightly and let go of anger, vengeance or hurt all lead to the soft eye sparkle, soft eye welcome, soft eye oneness that embraces and heals.

In the midst of the battle or adventure, pilgrimage or journey – the soft eyes are the belief that keeps you going, that gets you out of bed, that urges you to put one foot in front of another. But all the while they are growing, softening, nurturing and dancing with your heart and its profound spirit. Then one day, almost a surprise, you find yourself looking with gentleness, looking with life and love, looking with compassion, looking and seeing ‘brother’ and ‘sister’ and not foe, enemy or competitor. Your soft eyes surprise you. In so many ways your soft eyes will save you.

Sadly so many grow old with cold eyes or hard eyes – the result of a life time of fear, distrust, competition and greed. Cold and hard eyes are lonely. Oh so much energy goes into building those walls higher and higher, fighting foe after foe and building those money vaults ever bigger only to have them robbed from right under your nose when the messenger of death comes knocking. As eyes grow colder and harder their very choices make hearing the whisper of the soft voice ever harder. The always present ‘hope’ is fragile and its efforts to hug you into fullness of life, beyond power and greed, violence and superficiality, is thwarted by the ever present din of emptiness.

This weekend – tomorrow – look closely and deeply into the eyes of a child, of an elderly relative, of friend or foe and as you do so allow those eyes to become a mirror reflecting the innate dignity and beauty of the other and of yourself. As you look, deliberately silence the hard voice of ego, let the whisper of comparison or vengeance or competition pass by and enjoy that moment of connection – simply for what it is – two souls dancing on life’s stage!

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