Updated: Aug 12, 2021
Whether it is by government regulation or personal choice for safety, almost everyone in public today is wearing a mask.
Because of that, our ability to communicate our thoughts, feelings, and emotions through facial expressions has become somewhat harder.
We took the smile for granted - it's ability to speak a thousand words
Eyes are a little thing.
We never think of eyes as much more than something we boast about with our eye color (epitomized by the group of kinda creepy photos above of my sister's, dad's, mum's and my eyes from one evening on vacation comparing eye color). We use our eyes and lashes to enhance our aesthetic apperance. And most obviously, eyes give us sight ).
If eyes weren't a conversation before the pandemic - they now are. In this time they have been framed beyond these surface uses - they have been framed by the masks we are wearing. All focus is on the eyes.
I didn't love this idea to start with. To explain, allow me to share an insight.
Hear me out.
For some reason, I struggle to look into a person's eyes for a long period of time (except for my family, boyfriend, and close friends'). It's weird. I get uncomfortable. I have to take breaks away from being fixed on someone's else's eyes.
Is this just me?
Well, during this pandemic as you can imagine I have been forced to look into people's eyes, (because I don't have anywhere else to look, besides your flowery mask that makes me feel dizzy).
So I decided - since I will have to do it a lot more in the future - I needed to solve this mysterious issue now. I wasn't sure how I would do this, until the other day...
I was in the midst of another uncomfortable masked conversation with someone when I thought of a metaphor I had recently read in one of my books.
William Shakespeare wrote, "Eyes are the windows to our soul"
Eyes are the windows to our soul... eyes are the windows to our...
I realized that this was why I felt uncomfortable. I was seeing more than I was expecting to see.
Eyes may be little...
Looking into someone's eyes gives you an insight into so much more.
Most people - when they enter into a light conversation - aren't ready for this. We say hey, how are you? take care, goodbye and that is all - we get on with our separate lives.
This is a downfall I am only now realizing.
When you look into someone's eyes you get an idea of who they are. Eyes provide an insight into the individuals' inner world - their thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Before, an individual's facial/mouth's expression would tell the story, now all we have is the eyes. But this is a good thing - I need not feel uncomfortable about it.
We can now see who the person truly is - through the windows of their soul.
When we truly know someone, we have the chance to offer support, give energy to, or congratulate them, etc.
Even though we can't read it from their mouths, we won't allow the pandemic to rob us of an opportunity to be there for others.
Since reflecting on my discomfort, I have replaced it with a curiosity to learn more from my conversations with others by looking into their eyes and using that to interact on a more meaningful level. It might sound creepy, but I promise I am subtle about it.
This has uncovered appreciation, and control in the way I communicate. I no longer feel uncomfortable and I appreciate others for opening their window to me.
The next time you are in a masked conversation with someone, think of that phrase like I did.
See their eyes for the not so little impact they can have. How can you be there for others?
Eyes are a not so little thing.