couple arguing over a flat tire in their campervan

The Importance of Seeing With an Open Heart

I always believed that the things we can’t see with our eyes are more important than the things we can see with them. It’s one thing to say it, but another to put it into practice. When we find ourselves arguing, or at odds with the other person we only see the conflict at hand. We have no idea what is going on with the other person. We have no idea if the other person is going through personal problems such as a death in the family, financial woes, or just plain having a bad day. It seems like we only care about how we feel during the hurt that’s being perceived.

We’re All Going Through Something

One truth about this life is that we are all facing some type of pain, even if we try to put on a mask. Even when we try to deny it, we are just children still trying to figure out what this life is about. Two see with your eyes is to typically see the negatives of a person. We see that a coworker’s tasks are slipping, our partner doesn’t talk to us as much as before, or our friends are not up to hanging out. We typically shame and guilt them into doing what we want. Typically not aware that we are loading shame onto what could already be suffering. They aren’t meeting our expectations and so we think they are a bad person for not fulfilling their responsibilities. We never ask why.

By looking through our eyes we give way to limited perception and thus judgment. The alternative is to look through the eyes of your heart with compassion. The things that we perceive negatively may not be because this person is “bad”, but it’s the only way they know how to cry for help. We don’t think a baby is bad when he cries. Why do we treat anyone differently? The child acting up in class may be hurting. The person who doesn’t talk as much as others may be hurting. The person who committed a crime may be hurting. Instead of helping them we see them as a character flaw and label them terrible people.

It’s Not You, It’s Them

What do we do when people are being hateful and mean? It may be safe to say that this lashing out has absolutely nothing to do with you. The lashing out is only a cry for help. With this perception, I hope that it’s easier to be compassionate to someone who hurts you. Remembering the moment of being hurt is pretty difficult, but I hope we can keep this truth close to our hearts. Even if you make a mistake, the perfect person will always forgive. If forgiveness is not a given, we have to ask why this person isn’t willing to forgive. What hurt was so strong that they weren’t willing to look past an accident?

The Eye Can Be Deceived

The things we see with our eyes are usually an illusion. Especially when it comes to people. We all play some type of role based on past experiences. None of it is true and we can never trust appearances. Looking with your heart is also about looking at the intentions of your actions and the actions of others. In most cases, the actions of. a person is meaningless, but the reason behind the action is what matters. When we receive a gift, the gift isn’t typically the thing that makes us feel love. It’s the thought the person had of us when purchasing the gift. A child acting out shouldn’t matter. The reason why that child is acting out is much more important. We have to get to the heart of the issue. When we see with our hearts, we try to gain insight into the hearts of others. The invisible things are probably more important than the things we can see. These are the only things that need to be seen. Anything else can lead to superficiality and manipulation based on a limited perception.