Open Eyes

Open Eyes
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From the youngest of ages, we are told to cover our eyes to shield ourselves from moments that we should not see. We seem to think if it is not visible to us, it did not happen or that we cannot be hurt by what our eyes did not catch. The reaction of shielding ourselves becomes second nature starting in childhood because there is just so much that pierces the heart and rocks the soul. Our hands, over time, then become permanently fixed over eyes to protect us from everything in sight.

I am going to ask you to trust me for a second. As scary and foolish as it may sound, join me in living the rest of your life with your eyes uncovered.

As much as we safeguard ourselves by blocking out the hurt and evil, we are equally blocking out the exquisite, the inspiring, and the wondrous. As much as we want to protect ourselves from the bad, we spend our lives missing out on the good. How many sunsets and starry nights have we missed? How many people have we not truly seen? How many moments for connection have been looked over? These beautiful pieces of life have the ability to overpower and soothe the ugly and outrageous of the world.

We have completely forgotten the power of seeing something for the first time or letting ourselves be overcome by joy and wonder. Letting our guard down seems dangerous or naive, like we have opened ourselves up for a chance to be blindsided, but it is truly the only thing that can stir our heart back to life. Let yourself be overtaken by the love you feel for the people in your life. Let yourself breathe in the fresh air and look around at how beautiful the world is. Let yourself be excited about moments--big and small. With your hands removed from your eyes, all these treasures can be magnified by hugs, claps, or moments once again feeling the power of your own heartbeat.

While we’re discussing this, may I say that just because we turn away from what we do not want to see, it does not mean that it did not happen or that we will not be affected by it. I am of the opinion that we need to be affected by it. We need to feel, to care, to empathize. Looking away from the pain of others tells them we do not care enough to see what they are going through. Holding our gaze tells them they are not alone, no matter how hard their situation is. Looking away from evil tells the world that we have lost faith in the power of people, letting the dark win. Holding our gaze tells the world that we believe that love will always be louder, and we refuse to stop trying to heal the pain. Keeping our eyes open when tragedy strikes allows us to see the grace of humanity and the way heartbreak diminishes superficial differences and pushes us towards connection.

Trust me. Remove your hands from your eyes. You will hurt; I can promise you that. You, however, will also feel again. You will open up to wonder and joy and give yourself a chance to live once more. See the world from all angles, not just from what is shaded under your palms. There is more love, light, beauty, and awe to be seen than we realize. There are moments just waiting to take your breath away. There are people begging for you to see them. There are places that want to be fully explored. There are hard times waiting for your extended hand.

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