Alike or Different?

Alike or Different?

brown eyes of a woman

This morning, I watched Nick Askew’s video where he posed a great question:

“If the eyes are the window to your soul, might it be that we see ourselves in others?”

I loved that and yet it also frightened me. Let me explain.

When I look into my son’s eyes, I see the mother that took care of him, that kissed his booboos away. I see how proud he is of all his accomplishments and pride myself in thinking that maybe I had something to do with it. His eyes are deep brown, almost black, like my mom’s, while mine are lighter. His eyes speak volume. I know when he’s happy or sad, when he’s confused or worried. I feel connected in a very deep and meaningful way. I see so much of myself in my son’s eyes.

On the other hand, what frightens me is that when I look in my stepdaughters’ eyes, I can see much of the same thing. They have beautiful blue eyes that sparkle when they are happy, and dull down when they are troubled.

Their eyes show the world what talented and intelligent young women they are. But when I look into their eyes, I see that I’m not their mother for we don’t look alike. I see that another woman brought them to this world, bathed them, fed them and tucked them in at night. Is there a connection between us?

It took me years to figure out that although my DNA may not run in my stepdaughter’s veins, we are probably more alike than not. We are passionate about the same things, like making sure our family eats healthy, that we do what we say and make our home inviting to others. I see in all three of our kids, the values and principles we taught them, to care and respect one another and to stand up for what they believe in. Of course, this does challenge me when their ideologies are different from mine.

Yes, I can see myself even in children that I didn’t give birth to because I know that my presence and behavior influenced and impacted them, just like anyone else I get to meet in my life. I can see myself in so many others, even those that I may think are different from me, including the girls’ mom. Yep, even the ex-wife can have the same thoughts and ideas as I do. And that can be frightening, because if I hate what she does and says, does it mean I hate myself too?

Share your thoughts and comments on what you see in other people's eyes, especially your stepkids.

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About the Author

CLAUDETTE CHENEVERT, aka The Stepmom Coach, works with women as they struggle to create a cohesive family life. As a speaker, author and stepfamily professional, Claudette mentors and guides stepmothers through the process of establishing a harmonious and thriving home life for their families. Her newest title, “The Stepmom’s Book of Boundaries,” is now available on and elsewhere. Learn about her coaching practice and self-study program for stepmoms at

Claudette Chenevert

The original content you just enjoyed is copyright protected by The Stepmom Coach—aka Claudette Chenevert—who proudly offers information, tips, products and other resources for building better relationships “one STEP at a time” via 1:1 coaching, self-guided coursework and more. Suitability is to be determined by individual users based on their own concerns and circumstances, as The Stepmom Coach does not endorse and is not liable for opinions expressed by third parties (i.e., advertisers, affiliates, audience members, clients).

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