What do you see when you look in the mirror? Baby Boomers like myself struggle to recognize themselves. The hair is thin. Dark circles, like cheap mascara, cling under the eyes. And where did all those wrinkles come from?
But it isn’t the physical characteristics staring back which are the most troubling. It’s the haunting look in the eyes themselves. The eyes are troubled because they see someone in the mirror who:
- is worn out.
- is ready to give up.
- is tired of being disappointed by people.
- hasn’t lived up to their own youthful expectations.
- has been stabbed in the back by friends and relatives.
But, in a past Star Wars movie, Obi Wan Kenobi reminds us “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”
Look again in the mirror. Don’t trust your eyes; trust your heart. Look with your heart. What do you observe? Look close and you will see:
- someone who has decades of experiences which can be used to live a fulfilled life.
- someone who possesses skills acquired over half a century of living.
- someone who has learned from past mistakes.
- someone who wants to find meaning in life.
Here’s what I’m finding as I journey into the third act of life: excelling is a matter of perspective. Whether or not this stage of life is a thrill or a spill depends on how you look at it. Take serious the advice of Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them.”
One of the greatest benefits of getting older is the perspective available to us if we look at life with our heart instead of eyes.
During this time of year many will watch the classic movie The Christmas Carol. Early in the story Ebenezer Scrooge sees with his eyes. He focuses on his money and the disappointments from the past. But the bitter old miser is transformed into a kindler and gentler person after facing the ghosts which haunt him. He has an “aha” moment where he gains a new perspective. On Christmas morning he awakens and sees with his heart. Suddenly life is filled with joy and hope. He no longer trusts what he sees with his eyes.
What helped him turn from seeing with eyes to heart? In his last ghostly vision the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes him to a grave and reveals a marker with his name on it. Ebenezer pleads for another chance. BAM! He awakens in his own bed and realizes his life is not over. His perspective shifts and he begins to see with his heart.
This is where you too can begin to see with heart instead of eyes. Wake up! Your life is not yet over. The rest of life can be the best of life.
Here’s hoping you begin to see with your heart instead of your eyes.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?