To Love Me is to See Me

Mar 05, 2024

To Know Me is to Love Me. To Know Me is to See Me.

Brenè Brown emphasizes three things people need to feel loved. People want connection, which comes from being seen, heard, and valued.

Many languages and cultures around the world express love with a similar poetic phrase --  "The Apple of My Eye." What appears to be a simple phrase encapsulates a profound truth about the nature of love: to love someone is to see them, to hold them as the focal point of one's affection.

This phrase seems to transcend borders and tongues. Across various languages and cultures, we find similar colloquial sentiments that underscore the intimate connection between love and seeing someone. 

In Persian, the phrase "بذر از چشم من" (The seed of my eye) poetically suggests that the cherished individual is like the seed from which vision sprouts, emphasizing their centrality in the observer's gaze. Similarly, in Croatian, "očna jabučica" means "Little eye apple," portraying the loved one as a precious fruit nestled within the eye, vital for sight and perception.

Apple of My Eye
In French the expression "Pomme de mon œil" directly translates to "Apple of my eye," Similarly, in Arabic, "تفاحة عيني" (Tuffahat 'ayni), directly translating to "Apple of my eye," reinforces the idea of the loved one as the core of one's vision and perception.

Pupil of my eye
Several countries use the term, “The pupil of my eye” such as the German "Der Augapfel," Italian, "La pupilla", Russian "Зеница ока" (Zenitsa oka)", Turkish "Göz bebeğim," and in Finnish they say "Silmäterä,"  to illustrate how the loved one's significance is as the focal point of attention and affection., equating the loved one with the pupil, symbolizes their irreplaceable role in shaping the observer's perspective and highlighting the loved one's central presence in the observer's vision.

Sayings that convey a similar feeling in the Spanish phrase "La niña de mis ojos" and Portuguese "A menina dos meus olhos" both mean "The girl of my eyes."

 In Korean "눈 밖의 알" (Nun bak-ui al), translates to "the egg outside the eye. This one makes me smile.

Japanese offers one of my favorite versions with the poetic phrase "目の中の玉" (Me no naka no tama), which translates to "the jewel in the eye." This metaphorical wording speaks to the cherished individual's invaluable nature, likening them to a precious gem so brilliant the person can not take their eyes off of them. Swedish offers a similar expression "Ögonsten," meaning "eye stone," which conveys the loved one's significance as a precious and treasured object within the observer's gaze.

These similar expressions to "Apple of my eye" across diverse languages and cultures shows the the universal truth that to love someone is to see them. These poetic phrases reflect the intimate connection between love and sight, portraying the cherished individual as the visual center point and focus of affection. Across continents and languages, the sentiment remains the same: to love me is to see me.

So how do we best “see” someone?

We can see someone with our eyes, but more importantly, we need to see their hearts with our hearts. Returning to Brene Brown’s tenets of connection, people feel loved, respected, and valued when seen and understood. One of the best ways to see someone is to get curious about who they are. 

Curiosity is one of my favorite elements of love. Curiosity is seeking in sincerity to know someone. Curiosity seeks to find the soul of another in a way that embodies compassion and understanding of the other person's divinity. To put someone as the apple of your eye, you need to get curious and explore all of the history, feelings, experiences, hopes, fears, and desires of another…without judgment. It is an unadulterated view of another without pretense, judgment, or filters. It is seeing that person's soul. When we truly see another's soul, we see beauty. When we see another person's divinity, we see Godliness. 

Whether it is the apple, pupil, jewel, egg, girl, or stone of someone’s eye, these phrases all mean the same thing, “I see you.” You are the central point in my vision. One of the most loving things we can do and say is, “I see you.”

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