“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”
– Marcel Proust
We are so busy striving to attain happiness that we are blinded to see happiness is a gift that cannot be attained but can only be seen with ‘eyes of the heart’. We need new eyes to see what is waiting for us. Listen to the words written by the poet David Whyte.
“put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the conversation. The kettle is singing even as it pours you a drink. The cooking pots have left their arrogant aloofness and see the good in you at last. All the birds and creatures of the world are unutterably themselves. Everything is waiting for you.
Having new eyes allows us to see that ‘to be here is immense’, Rainer Maria Rilke reminds us. During these difficult times it is good to recall the words of John O’Donohue.
“Despite all the darkness, human hope is based on the instinct that at the deepest level of reality some intimate kindness holds sway. This is the heart of blessing. To believe in blessing is to believe that our being here, our very presence in the world, is itself the first gift, the primal blessing. As Rilke says: Hier zu sein ist so viel — to be here is immense. Nowhere does the silence of the infinite lean so intensely as around the form of a newly born infant. Once we arrive, we enter into the inheritance of everything that has preceded us; we become heirs to the world. To be born is to be chosen. To be created and come to birth is to be blessed. Some primal kindness chose us and brought us through the forest of dreaming until we could emerge into the clearance of individuality, with a path of life opening before us through the world”
If we cannot hear these words with the ears of our heart to be real, we will not have the eyes to see the beauty and goodness that is all around us. Because we will not see the beauty and goodness that lies within us. We are here because ‘some intimate kindness’ beholds us. Sees us. Loves us. We will not see that our only real response to the blessing of our very existence is love and gratitude for the life we share with the world.
Our heart knows where happiness is to be found and knows what to look for, but the heart must be open to wholeheartedly receive life as a gift. We only need to get out of our head and into our heart to truly see a flower. The painter Georgia O’Keefe wrote,
“nobody sees a flower, really it is so small. We haven’t the time and to see takes time- like to have a friend takes time.”
We can train ourselves to see the flower by taking the time to lovingly look on the flower. In doing so, “the world would rise up before us full of invitation, possibility and depth” writes John O’Donohue. This is what it means to see life with eyes of the heart; to see life ‘rightly’ and lovingly. Upon seeing, a loving response from the heart becomes a blessing for the world.
Our happiness is to be found in the present moments of our lives if we only pause to open the eyes of our heart and lovingly look at the blessings before us. Life before us may be filled with love or suffering, but to behold life with a loving gaze aligns our true Self with our heart. In aligning with our heart we come closer to finding where our happiness lies. To pause and lovingly gaze on life with new eyes allows us to see what is the real and the truth of things as they are and not as we want them to be. In this small act of love, beholding this present moment, dropping our egocentric thoughts, we allow our hearts to guide us towards the source of our longings and happiness. Then it becomes right to smile on life with love and gratefulness for ALL that is.