I introduced you to Gail Van Kleeck some time ago, sharing one of her stories in the article, Expectations, Inspiration and Understanding. Gail offers an enriched perspective on life and truly has a unique way of speaking to my soul. I hope you agree and seek out some of her “simple wisdom” or her latest book, The Magical Interior Design Guide. For more about Gail’s experiences and viewpoint, please see this biographical article about Gail in Life as a Creative: Simple Wisdom.
Recently, Gail gifted me with a collection of stories and what an amazing treasure they have become in my life!
As September 11 approaches, I felt compelled to share one of Gail’s stories with you.
What We Focus on is Truly What We See, by Gail Van Kleeck*
I should have known my mother would be upset, the day I took her spare glass eye to school for show and tell. When she was about seven, she had walked too close to her dart-playing brother. After that, she had had very little sight in one of her eyes.
Years later, that eye became infected and needed to be removed.
I remember the aching sound of her crying in the night. I remember my father tenderly applying warm compresses to soothe the hollow place where her eye had once been. I remember the bandage she wore until she had healed enough to wear the new eye that had been painted on glass to match the one through which she saw.
She had shown me its mate. She kept it in the small, padded box in the medicine cabinet. She showed me the way the back was shaped so it could move along with her good eye. She wanted me to know how miraculous it was. She didn’t need two eyes it seemed, to see the miracles in life.
The mother of my childhood used her one good eye to look for our strengths so she could encourage us to use them. She used it to see beauty and courage and honor and compassion.
She used it to see the many ways she could make a difference in her world. She also used it to find the things we seemed unable to find for ourselves.
“Me and my one little eye,” she’d say, holding out the shoe or sweater for which we had been looking, “Me and my one little eye.”
After the terrible tragedy of September 11th, most of us saw through the same wounded eyes. We saw honor and courage and strength and love rise up from the burning ashes of that day.
We saw ourselves as kindred spirits. We saw our own grief and disbelief and humanity reflected in the lives and faces of strangers. The more we looked for those human connections, the more of them we saw.
Sadly, now we often see our need for self-protection. We see ourselves as vulnerable, powerless and separate in a world that seems increasingly confused and angry and fearful. Yet, we can enrich and expand the quality of our lives simply by changing what we choose to see.
If my mother could see the goodness in life through her “one little eye” imagine what might happen if we used both of our eyes to see our blessings. Imagine how we might be changed if we looked for the courage and hopefulness and compassion that continues to exist in our world, even in the midst of these troubled times.
Imagine the powerful and healing difference that kind of seeing might make…both in our own lives and in the lives of those around us – eyes to see our blessings.
Imagine how we might be changed if we looked for the courage and hopefulness and compassion that continues to exist, even in the midst of these troubled times.
What we focus on, is truly what we see.
*Published with permission from Gail Van Kleeck. For more information about Gail’s vision and her latest book, click here. You can read her blog, download free resources, or order her book about her unique perspective on interior design and how your home makes you feel, entitled, The Magical Interior Design Guide.