In an honesty exercise this week, a number of my friends anonymously (or so they thought) told me that they like my eyes. After the initial shock of being totally freaked out about people staring at my eyes, I began to understand myself a bit better, and saw that actually, it made real sense.
It all comes down to my insecurities. The ones that mean that I will hide my true emotions or feelings most of the time behind my mask, in whatever form it takes. But no matter what my mouth or the rest of my facial expressions are saying, my eyes give me away. (And I'm not just talking about when they throw out tears...) If you asked me a genuine question, and managed to hold my gaze long enough to look deep within my eyes, there, you would see everything. And so when in a situation when having to share any kind of feeling or emotion, I will be unable to look you in the eyes. I will avert my gaze to anything, only briefly flickering to see your facial expression. Because it terrifies me.
To think that people could see straight through my protective casing and just delve right into the heart of what I am thinking and feeling. To think, that everything I have built around myself in order to protect the hurts and the worries, might count for nothing, if only someone were to look into my eyes, and see there, years of not believing I was good enough, years of thinking that everything was my fault, years of feeling unloved. To see all those things through my eyes would be haunting. And yet still, it excites me further.
For also, in my eyes, you could see the acceptance I feel from Jesus, the love I share that I have received, the thankfulness of knowing that God has forgiven me. And although the years of hurt and pain have not disappeared, and on a bad day, you could still catch a glimmer of their existence in my mind, they do not rule me anymore. I am accepted, cherished, and loved. And the sparkle or twinkle in my eyes when I laugh and smile will reflect that. My eyes have been changed because my life has been changed.
And maybe, I can change someone elses life. The thing I am most looking forward to about the Philippines is not the opportunity to travel across the world, or to see the marvellous landscapes and horizons that dwell there. But it is the chance to change the haunting look of desperation and hurt in a child's life into a smile that makes their eyes sparkle like stars. To see their faces glow when they realise that we care about them, and we love them, and we are there, just for them. Sharing our stories, and listening to them share theirs. Sharing the love that we have, and allowing them to love. Sharing memories, together, our eyes glistening with tears, or sparkling with a smile.