When I lock Eyes with You
Have you noticed how babies stare up into their parent’s face for seeming hours? How in a healthy relationship, the caregiver responds to the baby with smiles, coos, warmth and affection? This exchange through eye contact is creating the attachment system of a human, teaching them safety and telling their brain to grow and develop on track! The eye contact with an attachment figure regulates the child’s nervous system, and actively soothes them in an experience of love, belonging and safety.
One of the most fascinating things science and attachment theory has uncovered is that our most innate sense of security is formed in this exchange as infants. Some of our earliest beliefs about safety and security are solidified when we are being held and looking into the eyes of our attachment figure (mom, dad, caregiver, whoever was there). This kind of gazing also increases our brain’s capacity for connection, receiving love, and experiencing joy! This is a need every single one of us has inherently.
We never outgrow our need for attachment, or our need for a figure of Perfect Love to help regulate us, but we do mature in how we get this need met. All of us on this earth have experienced imperfect parenting to a degree and are still in need of love, security, and belonging.
One day on my own journey of healing, it dawned on me that this is exactly why it is so important for us to spend time “seeking God’s face.” God’s eyes are here for us to healthily attach to and be re-parented by!
Psalm 27:8 8 When You said, “Seek My face,” my heart said to You, “I shall seek Your face, Lord.”
Jesus’s face and eyes are available to all of us. Ready to banish feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, worthlessness, shame, regret, loneliness and despair.
I used to have a really hard time picturing God’s face. It may have been because I associated Him with the men in my life as a child and struggled to feel safe. For years I asked to be able to see His face. I remember seeing a rare painting of Jesus, where he was depicted with an expression of such love and tenderness and a hint of playful mischief. Jesus’ eyes were what I had always imagined- so beautiful, alive, and full of kindness.
For a season, I would borrow that image and as I practiced meditating on that mental picture of His eyes, my capacity to attach to God grew and grew. I would hold that picture in my mind and feel a sense of His love and security wash over my entire body and nervous system.
Slowly, with practice, His face became clearer and more full when I would ask to see Him. I now can picture His face quickly (sometimes easily and sometimes not depending on how triggered I am!) but if I can just get back to His eyes- those eyes of love- my whole being comes into alignment with the truth.
I am loved. I belong. I am safe.
Psalms 34:5 NIV
“Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
We are all on a journey, needing love and safety in our innermost being. It is available to us at all times in Jesus’ face. I still need this reminder daily. Even in disconnection with family, spouses, children, in heartache and all the other ways we are thrown into dysregulation- His steady constant gaze is there for us.
I pray for you today, that in your ins and outs, your day to day stresses or pressures, your so-so, your insecurity flare ups, enormous heartbreaks, and just normal life stuff- that you would stop to see the beautiful eyes of Jesus looking back at you. That you would experience the overwhelming love and healing that comes from attaching to God as your source of love and security.
May you see His eyes of love, brimming with kindness for you today.
Thank you, Niesje! This is so helpful to me, and perfectly timed!