Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, and no, I do not mean in a stupid insurance commercial, although I am sure you “saw” that image right away. What am pointing out, is you have no doubt seen and used the “I Heart U” phrase towards someone you care about. What started as simple homage to New York City or NYC, snowballed into a shorthand of linguistic expression for everyone and everything, from gerbils to tractors – yes we “Heart” everything. Question is how much of it do we really see?
Take a moment to really see the true hidden shorthand in those offbeat expressions. It isn’t the “heart” which is usually artistically drawn, large and red between the words, which makes the point – it is the simple “I”, the keeper of love, passion, devotion, delight and intensity for mankind. Biblically we are introduced it immediately, as the spiritual force of life when God says, “I am your God” and if you choose a less spiritual path, you can relate just as much to “Luke I am your father”, from another galaxy just not as far away. Either way you “see” it, those are not just words, but life itself, and the two “eyes” we were born with confirm it. We may view from a physical “eye” but we feel, become and experience with the being of ourselves which is through the “I” see you, “I” love you, “I” believe in you, and together they confirm to someone that yes, “I” am here.
Never has this become truer to me, than recently as I found myself thinking of a dear family member loosing his sight through macular degeneration. This man is the true embodiment of God’s intention for mankind. He has “seen” life as a son, brother, father, husband, teacher, mentor and friend through his eyes, his heart, his hands and his soul. To describe him to someone, they would just have to accept the smile on my face and the sparkle in my “eye”, because so much value is impossible to explain verbally. Yes, I heart this man, and yes, I see him in my heart and through the memories we have shared over the years.
The way we ignore something this obvious, is a one act comedy in itself, because First-person narratives are the way most of us live anymore. We do for ourselves, maintain our existence and interact with people via smart phones and laptop computers, emails featuring ourselves, or blogs of our personal adventures proclaiming “I” did this. Emotions such as “I” said “I” would do it! Or “I” will be there, are a mockery of why “I” was placed in this life in the first place, which was to experience and to see. How very sad we have evolved into the silent Soylent, Harrison Bergeron, Truman Show theaters of selfish minds. We have become our own blinders to the needs of others and how our physical and emotional involvement could make a difference anyone could see.
As we loose our sight in life, figuratively we no longer see what is important, and physically we find a darkness only our heart can see through. The silence both possibilities offer is sad, but only one is truly frightening. When we loose sight of the things important in our life, like the people and events which challenge and change us, what is the reason for living at all?
Some of my best ideas and moments come at night lying in bed with my eyes shut. In that silent clarity, I am able to see the day’s events, remember memories and combine them to generate a path for the day yet to dawn. When I am alone, I see clearly those in my heart who love me and those who shared and have passed on, and I hear laughter from the children in my life, who love and depend on me to help them see new and important moments. What I see from the windows of my heart and through the shades of my soul have made me who I am and gifted me with the journey of brilliance in this life. Indeed, to quote “Amazing Grace,” one of the most recognizable songs in the English-speaking world, “Was blind, but now I see” and oh what I have seen.
I do wish that visual blindness was something mankind did not face, wishing faces remained in view for those who love and cherish them. However, for those like the man in my family who will see an eventual darkness, I know the lights in their soul will never dim and neither will the light they provided to countless others, who had been unable to see the direction life intended for them to take. To know people like this is to understand the expression “I have been blessed.”
So the next time you “heart” someone, keep your “I” on the prize as they say, and know it is with your soul and very being you are offering that “I” to them. Visually hold the moment a second longer and insure it is stored in your soul, so when darkness comes you will find a sense of inspiration and peace as you truly “see” the light.