Soul-Fed Mama: Make Eye Contact To Make Heart Contact
When I was first getting to know the man who is now my partner in life and parenting, one of the things that I found incredibly attractive about him was his habit of looking into my eyes when I was talking. Whatever we happened to be talking about, whether it was trivial or tender, I felt so deeply heard by him.It was so different from previous relationships where I often felt that we were speaking two different languages and never quite meeting in the middle. And it wasn’t a gimmick, as my jaded heart tried to convince me. He was really listening. He’d mention details of stories I’d told him weeks earlier or draw connections between things I’d shared at different times. He also quickly learned to identify my mood far more accurately than anyone else in my life.All because he looked me in the eye every time he talked to me. That seemingly little thing was the catalyst to such a deep connection between our hearts.It is no wonder that eye contact between men and woman is discouraged in cultures where modesty is the rule. It is intimate to look into someone’s eyes. In Asia, it is even considered rude to make eye contact with someone who is a superior - a teacher or a boss, or someone you don’t know well. Our brains read a lot of non-verbal emotional information through eye contact. A conversation with a lot of eye contact will feel much more intense and unguarded than one with very little. [Tweet "The path to the deepest recesses of the heart is through the eyes."]I read an article recently that said one of the best things we can do for our children is to make eye contact with them a lot. It creates intimacy and closeness, but it also makes them feel heard and respected. It is the simplest thing we can do to help build their self-esteem. Reading that made me think of all the hours I spent looking into my daughter’s eyes as she nursed at my breast. No wonder I felt as though I knew her so deeply, years before she learned to communicate with me verbally.My challenge to you today is to make an effort to make eye contact with someone. It might be your child, or your partner, or a parent or friend. For a bigger challenge, choose someone in your life you have recently be struggling with. Don’t multi-task, don’t let yourself be distracted by whatever is going on around you. If they are talking, listen. Listen with your eyes, your body, your whole self. See what kind of difference it makes in your interactions with that person.Do you have a memory or story about someone making true eye contact with you? How did it feel for you? Share it in the comments!