Just a Thought: Spending Some Time Lookin’ Eye to Eye


There I was, just sitting there looking at myself in the mirror. It seemed like forever as the minutes clicked off. I am not used to looking in a mirror for much longer than a quick glance just to check out my hair after it has been dried and combed in the morning.

I was the first appointment on a Saturday morning when the lady cutting my hair had to stop her efforts to answer the phone. She politely said “excuse me” and she walked away to help the caller leaving me just sitting there.

There I was, sitting in the stylist’s chair looking straight forward with a wall of mirror in front of me just looking at myself. It caused me to stop my world and to look real closely eye to eye at the man in the mirror.

Despite having lost over 80 pounds several years back, I noticed that my face was still round. My skin looked smooth and I didn’t see any aging wrinkles although I am sure they are on the way (as a side note, my wife pointed out later I didn’t have my glasses on so what I saw wasn’t quite reality!).

I noticed that my once dark hair has turned gray. I have also noticed that every time I get my hair cut, there is more gray in my hair. Maybe I should stop getting my hair cut? Regardless, the way I see it I earned every one of “them grays.” The years have been good to me.

The most important thing I noticed in the mirror was the way my eyes looked. Looking into your own eyes for a period of time causes one to be self reflective, myself included. At 64 years old, my eyes have seen a lot. And the body behind them has been through a lot. Life has also been good to me. I have been blessed beyond my wildest expectations. I don’t have to look far to have an attitude of gratitude...even when I am looking in a mirror.

Eyes are a key means of communication. The most effective form of communication with another is eye to eye. It has been said that the eyes are the window to the soul. If you want to connect to a person, look at their eyes and close out the rest of the world swirling around you. Try it sometime.

I saw a program on television on road rage. One of the recommendations from the program was that you should not look at the eyes of a stranger who is angry at you. In other words, if a person is angry at you, honking their car horn at you, or is standing outside your window, don’t look them in the eye. This will just escalate the conflict.

If you can catch someone’s eyes, you can get their attention. When disciplining a child, a parent is likely to say “look at me when I talk to you.” The parent is trying to make sure his or her communication is clear with the child. Where our eyes go, so goes our focus.

If you are standing and talking to a person face to face and he or she continuously looks away each time there is movement behind or next to you, the person you are talking to is probably not very focused on your conversation.

How many weddings have you seen where the couple doesn’t look eye to eye as part of the ceremony? If one person is going to make a lifetime promise to another, it had better be while looking him or her in the eye. Why do people close their eyes when they pray? It is to focus on the prayer and to avoid be distracted by anything else.

The eyes control a majority of what enters a person’s head. The ears participate also, but the events that most impact the direction of our lives involve emotions being triggered through our eyes. It could be a good book, a powerful movie, or a family crisis or celebration, but the eyes are the “port of entry.”

The eyes are very important.

What do you see when you take a few minutes out of your busy day just to look into your own eyes?

My challenge today is for you to go and spend a little time looking in the mirror. First, begin with a grateful heart for life itself and that you are alive today, still breathing, and able to make a difference. Second, while looking at yourself, what do you see in your face? Is it aging well? Have you earned the face you have?

Finally, while looking into your own eyes, have a deep conversation with yourself. What journey have your eyes been on? Whatever your eyes opened up to when you got up this morning, that is where you are. Accept this.

Maybe you have lived a very tough life. Maybe you feel abundantly blessed. Maybe you need to let go of something or somethings that have happened in the past. What is most important as you look into your own eyes is not the journey they have traveled, but what is the plan for the future.

When I look into my eyes, I see a bright future ahead! I believe the best is yet to come!

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.orgmailto:thekraftlawfirm@aol.com or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.