Are you comfortable looking into your own eyes? What feelings are evoked when you try? How about looking into the eyes of others? Are you at ease when you do so? What about your father or mother? What about your children?
Don’t worry you’re not alone. For most of us it is difficult. Because when we face each other making eye to eye contact we are in effect inviting someone to peer into our soul and most of us have something to hide.
It all begins when we are young and innocent. Then one day we do something we know we shouldn’t. At first we feel guilty. Then we do it again. After which we feel less guilty. However when we face others we feel embarrassed.
At this point we begin to cover up our weaknesses from our friends and family. We move from the child’s natural state of transparency into the complex and distorted world of pretentiousness.
We try to fool the world by hiding our face. But the world is no fool. In reality we are only fooling ourselves.
It is this simple yet powerful metaphor that our mystics use to describe the dynamics of our relationship with G-d during the Days of Awe.
This is crystallized most beautifully by the first Lubavitcher Rebbe who explains that sometimes two people can be so close, yet so far. This occurs when we have our backs to each other. On the one hand we could not be any closer. Yet on the other hand we are each looking in totally opposite directions.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. But that step we take must be taken in the right direction. We think the focus of the journey of life is outward bound. Not so say the mystics. It is all inward bound.
It begins by turning around and facing yourself. Look into the eyes of the child within you. Concentrate, don’t look away. Try to recapture the innocence of those years by acknowledging the points at which you veered from its path. Resolve not to make those same mistakes again. Try to heal the pain of those you have hurt by asking them for forgiveness. And going forward use your childho
od innocence as a barometer for the way you behave as an adult.
As we journey down this path we will discover that the “face” of the child within us is a reflection of the “face” of G-d, is indeed smiling at us most radiantly. “As water reflects the face”