“Beam a Gleam!”
A “gleam” or “Gleaming” is the word that describes the special look we send when we greet someone special to us! Imagine showing up at a friend’s house unexpectedly and they open the door and immediately show an authentic delight to see you there. That is a “Gleam Beam”! See the effect it can have by sending a “Gleam Beam” to your partner or child, or even your pet, across a crowed room – at a party or schoolyard or anywhere! It is free and very effective to keep your innate secure attachment bond growing and strong!
Attachment Gaze is a critical way we feed and enhance our bond with those close to us. When you catch a beam Gleam from someone you love that tells you that you are special to them and that that special look is just for you it opens out heart and gives us gourmet contact nutrition. Simply put, we feel loved and deeply connected. This happens in an ideal world. For some of us – we looked out into the world as babies into the eyes of parents or caregivers that appeared lifeless, empty without presence – or even worse, hostile. This can shift our natural capacity and desire for eye contact away from others and we may grow up not even being aware that we avoid “I” (eye) contact because our original attempts were not met and became repeatedly painful. We learn to know ourselves in the reflection and eye contact of those closest to us. Without it we often disconnect and feel unknown to ourselves and with others, which can be very isolating.
The Kind Eyes exercise I am suggesting here will be enjoyable for those of us that originally had the good fortune to look into kind loving eyes of our caregivers as children. If the contact was painful it may be quite difficult, and the memory is stored in a “known but not remembered” implicit form of memory that we need to access and then help heal through integration in the explicit memory. With this Kind Eyes exercise we are attempting to bring up the original situation and dose it toward the ideal scenario. The wound may emerge – which is needed – as well as the possibility of healing, as we allow ourselves to receive the kindness that does exist in many people’s compassionate eyes, that often actually exists in our broader world now. We can even collect kind eye experiences to enhance the healing by exercises such as this one.
From Allan Schore: “The gleam in the mother’s eye … during interactive gaze is frequently exaggerated. The maternal gleam, a manifestation of the mother’s attention-focusing behavior reflecting heightened interest in her infant, may literally be a sparkle, that is, a flash of light processed by and reflected off of the mother’s hyper-exposed foveal area of the retina and on to the infant’s fovea. Mahler et al. (1975) propose that the mother serves as a “beacon of orientation.”
He further describes it as a “spotlight” or “internal attentional searchlight”… i.e., hence, Diane’s new toy = the Star Wars laser beamer!!
(from Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self)
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