Why Did You Lose the Light in Your Eyes?

Exploring the gap between childhood and adulthood

Rabih
Know Thyself, Heal Thyself
5 min readDec 5, 2023

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Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Why is it that, overtime, most of us lose the light in our eyes?

When we’re younger, life is so full of promises and options. The sky’s the limit. We don’t worry about tomorrow. We play for hours, and laugh our hearts out. As we grow up however, this same life seems to shrink, and to become narrower. We don’t feel like we have as many options as we once did. Our actions feel limited. But the most interesting part is this: We don’t seem to notice how such a perception affects us as a person.

We’re not as happy. We feel like we’re always going through the motions. We do things we dislike. We look forward to the weekend, or the end of the year for a break. Everything we seem to chase, in the hope that it will bring meaning to our existence, turns out to be another disaster we have to add to our pile of failures.

What is it that happens between our earlier years of hope and excitement, versus our adult lives, filled with burdens and this silent frustration?

If you were to ask around, most people would say that this is life, it’s the way things are, there’s not much we can do about it. All that’s left is for us to follow the pack, and be grateful for the good times along the way.

It’s true that life follows a certain trajectory. Kids turn into adults. Adults take care of their kids, fulfill their duties, and on and on, the cycle repeats itself. The world has evolved by following these different cycles that make life as we know possible. It’s also reasonable to say that we can’t be kids forever. We can’t play house forever, or smile our way throughout our lives regardless of what happens; this behavior seems closer to insanity than reason. We are in contact with other human beings, we learn patterns, and adjust. We have to.

Recently, I met with a friend from childhood. We used to sit together at school, always, and for years. I was very happy to meet with him after so many years, and what I enjoyed the most about seeing him is the fact that he remained as he was: Fun, playful, a nerd, and kind-hearted. After spending some hours with him however, I started asking myself some questions that made me feel a little bit guilty. Okay, thank God you’re as amazing as you used to be, but, what happened to you? Where’s the light in your eyes?

You know how it goes. As you spend time with people, questions arise. What have you been up to? What do you do now? How are your parents doing? Oh, your mom wants you to get married? Do you have someone in mind? Ah, I’m sorry to hear this. You closed your heart, and gave up on love? What happened? Too many problems in your relationships? I feel that. And on and on.

Another close friend was sitting by, and out of the blue, he became silent. Yo, what’s up? What are you thinking about all of the sudden, Mr. Philosopher? Ah, nothing. I’m just feeling sad. Why? Your ex? Yes.

You know, I’ve learned from my own personal experiences that, unless the pain becomes unbearable, we don’t budge. We don’t do much. We hope things change. We’re excited to change them for the first day or two. But then life goes on with its occupations. And we never really give ourselves the time to fully process our experiences, and learn from them.

I’m sure you know some people who suffer for different reasons. But they never seem to decide for themselves what to do about it. It’s always push and pull. And this dynamic only makes the troublesome situation last longer.

At some point, you have to decide for yourself because truly, no one else can. If you wait for your ex to decide for the both of you about your “relationship,” then don’t be surprised that you can’t move on. What do you want for yourself? If you want it this bad, then be clear about it. If all you’ve known from this relationship is suffering, then cut it out and make it clear too.

Coming back to the gap between our childhood and adulthood; as different events seem to happen during our existence — most of us come to believe that we’re powerless pawns in this gigantic, and dreadful world.

In most cases, it’s normal that we feel this way since we were always in a bubble, at home, watching cartoons and having our cereals right into our hands whenever we were hungry. Most parents and caretakers feel biologically compelled to protect and nurture their descendants. It’s absolutely normal. A big part of raising children is also to prepare them for the challenges that await them. Again, life has its occupations, and we have to take care of our bills and keep food on the table. How much time do we have left for us to study, and find the right approach to raise our kids after hours trying as hard as we can to survive in the world?

From our teen years, we’re driven biologically to reproduce even if we barely have a clue about how the world works. Our bodies don’t care about how smart we are, they are programmed for different purposes, at different times. It’s normal therefore that most parents are clueless about raising kids because those parents themselves are figuring things out along the way. At some level, those parents we expect to have all the answers to life’s puzzling nature, and to give us everything we need, are as confused and as much in need of love and guidance as we are.

In every difficulty lies an opportunity for us to awaken. Life doesn’t happen to us. We may not be able to control the events, and how life turns out to be for us overtime. But this is not a reason for us to let those events turn off our flame.

If we allow the pain we experience to control us, we become confused, and form a narrow perspective about life itself. We look pale. We rely on weed, drugs and alcohol to relieve our anxiety. It may not look like it, but a lot of the people around us are suffering for one reason or another. We’re no one to judge. All we can do to help is to lend a loving ear, and if we have the wisdom, to share it without expectations.

Never underestimate what you could do. Sometimes, all you need to do is to give your perspective of the situation, and just like a flash of light, it breaks through the fog of confusion your peers may be experiencing.

I just wanted to share this with you today. I hope it helped in some way.

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Best.

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