Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pansy...and being seen

Creative Every Day/Flickr Project 365 photo for 5/25/2010:
 Depending on how I look at this flower, I can see a butterfly, an old man's face,
a fairy, and a tree frog.  If I look a certain way, I don't see any of them.

I awoke in the night thinking about the importance of being seen. 
Really.  Seen.
  I realized for me it is very important that I be seen and 
I'm thinking I'm not the only one.
I'm not referring to seeing the various roles, hats, masks, behaviors,
moods, tasks, and such.  
I'm talking about seeing {just me}.   

Sometimes I just want to be seen - 
actually, and, maybe more importantly, I want to know I'm being seen.  
I will act out in all sorts of ways just to be seen -getting more and more desperate if it doesn't seem to be working -- if I don't *know* I'm being seen.  
And, in a bizarre twist of the Universe, 
the more desperate I get, the harder it is to see me, I think.  
I get hidden by all that.
But, when someone sees through that, sees me and lets me know it, 
just like that...a calming takes place.   

I'm thinking of an infant gazing into it's parent's face and being gazed back at.
Recently I've had the privilege of spending time learning from Eileen O'Hare, medicine woman, healer, and Shamanic Practitioner, and Monica Dyer.  Twice now, Eileen has led the group I've been in through the process of "rattling in."  We sit in a circle, hands shaking the rattles we hold, we chant along with Eileen's beautiful beautiful voice, and we gaze...we just gaze...at each member of the circle.  
Looking into each others eyes and holding it long enough to let our own baggage melt away, long enough to see through to the person.
The first time we did it, I just wept.  
I gazed and wept.  
I was seen, not my faults, not my accomplishments, not my past behaviors, not my ideas, opinions, or talents.  Not the me others want me to be.
Just me.
I experienced how it felt to be seen and it was so powerful. 
I also saw, saw another person...just like me...no better, no worse, not the same, but not different...a person.
I spend a lot of time hiding, when all I want is to be seen {and loved for it}.

I'm working with a new-ish public school teacher as she hones her craft and names the magic she is creating in her classroom.  More than the interesting activities, lessons, projects, collaborations, books, assignments -- what makes her a powerful teacher is the connection she makes with the class and more importantly the connections she makes with the individual students.  She really sees them and they know it.  They know it because she uses what she sees to meet their needs.   She is able to look past the cool facades, the frightened faces, past mistakes, the ambivalent body language, she can look right to the heart of them.  And, it all melts away.  
Concurrently, she allows them to see her.




And, seeing is not a one time event.  
Life gets busy, we put on hats, tasks, roles, behaviors that obscure us.  
It is important to look through that every once in awhile and just gaze.

Take the time to see someone today and allow yourself to be seen -- 
it is a gift you can give with just a moment of your time and attention. 

(My inner perfectionist is now going into full-blown edit mode 
-- I'm publishing this before it takes over!)


  1. I'm so happy for you. It's amazing what really connecting with people can do. It's so scary, but really everything else is just window dressing. The only thing we really truly have is ourselves. Sharing that is so powerful!


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