As part of becoming a spiritual leader, we're looking at the idea that we must understand our own spirits as well as those of others around us. We must become keen observers of people so that we are able to take their physical cues and connect with them on a spiritual level. Spiritual matters are matters of the heart and matters of the heart are matters of emotions and feelings.
One of the easiest and most obvious places to look for how another person is feeling is their eyes. Certainly, there are common things that happen to people's eyes or that people consciously do with their eyes depending on their spiritual state. Even though this idea is obvious, I have in the past been either unaware or purposefully disregarded what I was seeing in other people's eyes. This left me spiritually clueless.
The most obvious clue that a person is feeling some emotion is when they are just about to cry. I've seen this so many times since I've become aware of it, but I know I've missed it thousands of times before I became aware. When people are about to cry, they blink (or squint). They may look down and to their left (your right). People look down and to their left when thinking about their feelings. They may also look up and to their right (your left). People look up and to the right when they are accessing visual memories. They also do this to try not to let the tears fall. Their eyes brim with tears and turn red. They may move their hand to their face to cover or rub their eyes. If tears flow, people will typically wipe them with their hands. In the US (and probably many other countries) it is socially acceptable for women to cry to express a variety of emotions, from happiness to anger, from disappointment to confusion to resignation. On the other hand, it is socially unacceptable in the US (and probably many other countries) for men to cry in most situations. This is in keeping with the stoicism that is associated with "being a man" in the US. So, it is especially significant when you see a man about to cry or actually crying.
As this blog is targeted at married men, it is especially important for us to be aware of what happens to our wives when they are about to cry. When I recognize it, if I'm unaware of why my wife might be about to cry, it's time to figure it out. Many times, it may only take a moment of thought to figure it out. No matter what emotion my wife is feeling that is causing her to cry, I've found that it is NOT time to physically move away from her, but time to move towards her. In the past, I HAVE sometimes been aware of when my wife was about to cry, but I might tend to ignore or dismiss it. When we ignore or dismiss what we observe in other's spirits it hampers our ability to spiritually lead. Good spiritual leaders do not ignore or dismiss their people's spirits, hearts or emotions. More to follow...