"The heart of vision is shaped by the state of the soul"- John O'Donohue
What do you see each day when you wake? When you go about the business of your day - a normal, fast-forward, pre-planned day where there is nothing for you to think about except how busy you are and how quickly you check off the day's obligations, what do you see? Rushing to work with leftover salads, paying bills, schlepping kids to practice, making dinner, and looking after everyone. We may even be so good at this circus to squeeze in time for ourselves, meditating and yoga and all the self-care. We know the right things to say, the image to put out, the correct parenting techniques. We are doing this right! We are "balanced"! We scream as we begin another harried day with our friend the anti-depressant.
But what are we seeing- or rather, what are we missing- as we go about the busy and stressed lives we are addicted to?
Do we examine our life closely- the one speeding by, and the beautiful world it's happening in? Or are we mindlessly observing, as some preoccupied passenger staring out of a window on a train? Noting colors, vague shapes, and blurred outlines, but seeing nothing clearly as we travel along in some alternate realm of busied hypnosis.
As we record our pretty meals, our trips, new toys, and date nights on our phones we show the world that we are active and blessed and living abundantly! The child winning the award, the glass of wine with a sunset. Look at all we do and all that we have- Aren't these things validation enough of our sighted eyes!
What if what we see is truly predicated on how we see? What if we have forgotten how to see the world going by because we have become so entranced by the motion of the train?
Days pile up, and the sun doesn't halt it's course to wait for us. Our 21st century eyes are fixed and focused on screens, and whatever is loudest, biggest, best. Not the subtleties, not the quiet beauty that reveals itself only through deliberate, childlike eyes. Not the patterns of clouds and light that are gifted to us each day, not the sadness in our neighbor's eye or our own child's need for a break from their frantically scheduled childhood.
After all, who has time to slow down this train and look intimately at what is being revealed right before our eyes?
Look closely to see the beauty meant for your life each day.
Maybe we will decide that it is essential to adjust the lens through which we see our one life. Each of us is an artist. The mediums are the difference. Maybe your art is helping people, creative financing, business, teaching, motherhood. It doesn't matter, it all requires the ability to pay close attention and look intimately and creatively at our world and it's inhabitants. Can we re-learn how to open our eyes and see beauty and meaning in everything and everyone around us? Do we have the insight to acknowledge that what we are bypassing is God's presence in our lives by being too busy to recognize it? Because then, and only then, will we see the beauty meant for our journey revealed in all it's wonder.