The eyes are the window to the soul.
This is the kind of thing my Dad would say to me when I was growing up. On some level, I understood what he meant but for the most part, my eyes would glaze over. The annoying thing about our parents is their wisdom often stays with us and worse, we start to use it on our own kids. In this case, I’m glad. This really is a beautiful truth and one I fear has been forgotten by our culture. Yes, my kid’s eyes glaze over too.
If our eyes really do show what’s actually going on inside of us, is it any wonder so many of us look away? If we don’t like what we see in ourselves, it’s unlikely we’ll allow anyone else to take a look. Which is why we look down. Draw the shades. Close ourselves off. Thank god we have a phone or we’d look anti-social. Cough.
The great irony with all this is when we look down at our phones, we break the very connection we actually need. Feeling this disconnection, we scroll desperately on social media looking to re-connect. The problem is everyone else is scrolling disconnected too, making any real connection impossible. Besides, there will never be enough likes to fix a broken connection.
If we hope to connect with others, we must start by reconnecting with ourselves. When you look in the mirror, what do you see? What would it take for you to not look away? We’re in desperate need of some prolonged eye contact. Not necessarily in the Bo Burnham sense but as a habit of looking deep within and truly connecting with what’s going inside. Once we make peace with our imperfections we can look up and truly connect with another human being.
One of the many things I love about being a Podcaster is I can’t look away. For 2 hrs every week I lock eyes with our guest and my podcast partner and we truly connect. No phones. No distractions. No drawing down the shades. We share who we are. Warts and all. And we don’t look away.