In my travels through the world of psychotherapy, I once tried Gestalt Therapy. The one thing that has stayed with me from that experience is how often the facilitator would stop my current rant and story-telling and say to me, “Connect with the other," the other being him. With that, I would look into his eyes, breathe and become present again. And suddenly, what I was ranting about seemed of little consequence, or at least could be breathed with. There was something so very poignant about those brief moments of eye contact, and something as equally poignant about how much I would try to avoid them.
I reflect on what connection means, what love means, what relationship means, what it really means to be intimate with another human being. And that is it. It’s seeing the other. To see another, to truly connect with another is so very rare. We can make all sorts of eye contact, but do we really see the other person? Can we see them through the window of our heart, without the story going on in our minds about who this person is or who we think we are?
You know that man I’ve been blogging about—the one I claim to love? It hit me the other day that I am not even consciously aware of what color his eyes are. I’ve had numerous face-to-face conversations with this man and yet can’t even recall ever noticing the color of his eyes. Where have I been? (Edited to add: They're blue. A deep sea blue. I'm going to blame their vast beauty for my lack of awareness in their presence...I know, I know...gag you with a spoon.)
I’ve heard people express that they wake up after twenty years of marriage to a person in their bed they don’t even recognize. And I wonder if they ever saw their mate at all? Do we really see each other? Do we ever truly “connect with the other?”