Eye Contact: Seeing from the Heart

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Originally appeared in
Earth Star Magazine April/May 2008
By Rosemary Gaddum Gordon, D.B.O., M.A.

We are told that the eyes are the windows to the soul and certainly, when we look into some eyes it feels like we are experiencing infinity. Our eyes not only see, they also receive and express emotions. When this emotional conduit becomes blocked, our vision often suffers and conversely, when we don’t see well, the emotional connection can be diminished.

One of the ways we block the emotional flow is by staring. If you and a partner stare right eye to right eye or left eye to left eye, you will notice the image of your partner’s face distorting and morphing into something else. For vision to be clear the eyes need to be moving.

If you look at your right eye in a mirror, you don’t see your left eye as clearly as you see the right, and visa versa. This means that to “look someone in the eye”, you must look from one eye to the other. Many people don’t do this, they try to see both eyes equally and end up focused between the eyes. They are not quite making contact. Perhaps you’ve had the uncomfortable experience of being with someone who appears to be looking at you, but it feels like they’re looking through you? This is often how it feels when the other person is focused between the brows.

We may develop the habit of focusing between the brows as a defense against the emotions coming at us. For instance, an adult may insist a child “Look at me when I’m speaking to you”. But the child feels overwhelmed or ashamed, so they deflect some of the feelings coming at them. Besides looking slightly away from the frightening eyes, we may blur them to make them less threatening or block our emotional connection to our own eyes and diminish the vibes coming into us. These defensive strategies are good unless they become unconscious habits.

It is also true that we cannot really make contact with another unless we are in contact with ourselves. This means our heart and our eyes must be connected. If you’re not sure how to do this, there is a simple technique you can try. First, sense in to your heart and how you are feeling emotionally. Then imagine two little tubes coming up from the feeling and going to the pupil of each eye. These tubes allow your emotional quality to come out and be expressed, or they can receive the feelings of someone else, letting that feeling come in and touch your heart. It’s often good to experiment with this first by using a mirror and giving and receiving your own feelings with yourself. You may be surprised at how beautiful your eyes look when they are connected to your heart. I remember one time I was very angry and had been hitting my bed, expressing my fury. I then happened to look in the mirror expecting to see something ugly, but in fact my eyes looked surprisingly beautiful.

True eye contact is a wonderful form of non-verbal communication; a way to connect heart to heart, soul to soul. May we be as open to it as we can in each moment and when we can’t, remember to be tender with ourselves and with those around us.

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