21 years ago today, my eyes closed to this world for 1 hour and 25 minutes. When they opened, I had a new way of seeing.

Our eyes are a window to our souls, revealing what is happening on the inside. When you start paying attention, you can see the heart of everyone you encounter. 

I was laying in the ICU bed when a physical therapist, Jes, entered my room. Her job was to teach me how to walk again. In my mind, I thought “What the actual hell? I was running 8 minute miles just a week ago!”  And my body screamed “Molly, accept the damn help!” So I did. While she was watching me walk, I would catch her eyes from time to time. They were revealing a look I had gotten used to. A mixture of shock, awe, fear, and empathy. 

From the moment my eyes reopened, each individual that walked into my room showed that exact same look in their eyes.

Shock. Awe. Fear. Empathy.

While I was learning to recombobulate myself, I was able to see the hearts of others when our eyes briefly met. 

The night before I was released to a regular hospital floor, newly free of most tubes and wires, I slowly shuffled into the bathroom. As I turned the corner, I caught my reflection in the mirror. It was the first time I had seen myself in two weeks. I didn’t recognize the face before me – I was lost in a sea of bruises, swelling, and scars. My gaze landed upon my eyes. “Oh, there you are,” I said out loud.

Life was hard in those moments, and it was going to get harder. I decided to rely on what my eyes were telling me – my tired heart, would continue to beat in a steady rhythm of quiet strength.

I make sure to look people in the eye. Always. It is in the moment our eyes meet, I can read what they are carrying in their hearts. This simple gesture creates a connection between human beings.

All with the intentional glance of the eyes.

No one can lie, no one can hide anything, when he looks directly into someone’s eyes.

Paulo Coelho

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