I know I’m not alone. No one desires to be labeled, judged, or put in a box. All of us want to be seen, loved, and accepted for who we are. It hurts to be unfairly labeled. It hurts even more when those close to you don’t see you, love you and embrace you for who you are. I wrote my blog last week on this topic, but I didn’t publish it. I just couldn’t find the words to convey what I hoped to convey to you. And then I came across this video. Funny how things work that way, you find yourself stuck, and something presents itself to move you forward.
It can be frightening for some to find “the courage to be seen.” One experience of feeling truly seen was from my mentor. He expressed what he saw in me, and I cried. I cried with relief to finally feel what is was like to be seen in this way because it is important to me. I cried with gratitude as well.
What was it that he saw in me?
All of my life I seek to understand others, even those who have loved me and hurt me. I read books, I’ve gone to school, I talk with people and learn from their stories. I seek to learn, understand, and grow. I feel like I need to say here; it isn’t that I am without fault, believe me. I have many, many imperfections. However, I take responsibility for my imperfections. All of the many of them! J
I wear my heart on my sleeve, as they say, and it is not hard for me to show myself to you.
I do however, want to understand how my imperfections impact others, hurt others. My mentor said to me “I have never met anyone who sought so hard to understand me when I am upset with them”. That was the statement that made me cry. He had been upset with me, and I wanted to understand. He made that statement and I felt seen. He saw how hard I try to understand. That does not mean that I have to agree, it simply means that I want to understand, own my part and clarify any misunderstandings. Not everyone sees this in me.
Recently I wrote a blog about feeling like a terrible person. I realized that when I feel like a terrible person, it is because I have accepted what others have imposed on me, and about me. I forget for a moment who I am and instead believe how others have labeled me.
All of us want to be seen (and loved) for who we are, including our imperfections
I hear people make comments such as:
“If you knew me you would not like me”
“I’m afraid to let you see the real me”
“If you only knew what was inside of me”
“I worry about what people will think of me.”
All of these statements mean only one thing.
If I show myself, will you see me, accept me and love me for me?
We might be fearful to show our authentic self, but we are even more fearful of showing our authentic self and then being rejected instead of loved and accepted.
Let me say this, all of us are guilty of not seeing another person.
We make assumptions about a person for many reasons, based on their political party, religion, race, education, weight, wealth (or lack of), ethnicity, occupation, appearance and so on.
All too often we put people in a box and, sometimes, we keep them there. People make assumptions about who we are, conclusions are then quickly drawn based on those assumptions.
Someone shared with me once “when people meet me; immediately they conclude that I am a skinny bitch who thinks I am better than others”. This is not remotely who this person is, and yet others draw these conclusions, and it hurts her. The truth is that she is health conscious, not skinny conscious and she is kind, caring, loving, and competent, and has integrity in her work. And she loves to learn and would never put herself above another person.
It is my wish for everyone that all of us have “the courage to be seen.”
This does not mean that everyone will see you, and this does not mean that everyone will love and accept what they see. However, the best we can do in life is “be who we are, own it and have the courage to been seen”. It is painful when people don’t see you, but when someone does not see you and love you when you show yourself, they are the ones who are stuck, not you.
Remember that, they are stuck, not you!
I remember hearing that if you heard a person’s story, you would love them. This is why I love my work, people tell me their stories, and I do love them.
My message to you is to find the courage to be seen, and surround yourself with those who see you, love you and accept all of you, with all your wonderful, human, imperfections.
One more thing…..I really would love for you to share your thoughts with me. I know it is not easy to do! Believe me, I know, it took me a very long time to work up the courage to begin blogging! But I want to get to know you! When you feel ready, please feel free to share your thoughts with me in the comment section. Thanks for reading!
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Details of the any stories told in my any of my blogs have been changed to protect the identity of people that I work with in therapy.
Photo Credit PetrasGagilas@flickr.comShare