What does it mean for you to be truly seen as yourself.
Your true, whole, complete self?
We all yearn for it on a deep soul level, and yet we spend a considerable amount of energy avoiding being fully seen. We carry an incredible amount of fear of being seen. “What if someone realizes that I am less than perfect and therefore deems me unworthy of love?” And yet, isn’t that what love is? To know the whole of another, the light and the shadow, and to accept the perfect imperfection of their humanity? We do so much harm to ourselves when we deem ourselves unworthy and hide the light of who we are.
Over the past few months, the phrase ‘I try to see the best in everyone’ has come into a variety of discussions with people. This phrase has always been challenging to me on a number of levels. From a very practical standpoint, if we ‘only see the good’ in another, then where is the safety in the relationship? How can I discern boundaries and establish trust if I refuse to be aware of the aspects of you that are not safe? We all have our limitations, challenges, and ‘unpleasant’ tendencies. We are all very human, and very fallible. For example, if I am talking with someone who loves to gossip, while they may have many other wonderful characteristics, is it safe or wise for me to share something with them that I want to be held in confidence? If I ignore my own awareness of their tendencies, whose fault is it if they then break the confidence? While the other person has a responsibility for their own actions, so do I. Ignoring what is in front of me for the sake of ‘seeing the best’ in them is my fault. If we want to create healthy relationships in our lives, we must learn to use discernment. Recognizing another’s darkness is part of that. This is not judgment and making another wrong, however. This is clear seeing and awareness. See the person in front of you for the whole of who they are, acknowledge all of them, and make decisions on your interactions with them based on that awareness. Using the above example, my friend who loves to gossip may not be the best person to share secrets with, but she may be a wonderfully fun person to spend a Friday evening blowing off steam with. I can still love all of her and also be clear on the limitations within the relationship.
On another level, consider what it feels like to not be fully seen. Have you ever had an experience where someone only saw one little part of who you are and acted as if that was the whole of you? Good or bad? Whether the judgment is ‘positive’ or ‘negative’, it is still judgment. Have you ever been judged as perfect? Had someone fit you into a neat little package that you couldn’t stray from?
I have been in relationships on many occasions where the other person put me on a sort of pedestal, having this unreal image of me from the beginning which I could never fully live up to, no matter how hard I tried. It was exhausting, but more than that, it was very self-negating as I would try to hide myself to fit their image. When I was being anything other than the image they held of me, they either could not see me, or would judge me so harshly for not living up to their expectations.
Have you been there?
Have you put someone else there?
How can there ever be truth in a relationship if we do not see each other fully or allow ourselves to be seen fully? And oh what fear then grows as we try harder and harder to hide our shadows and wear our masks. The reverse is oen even more painful – having no one able to see your light because all that they can see are your mistakes and your faults. We do a great deal of harm to one another when we refuse to see their wholeness.
Which brings up another piece of this – what do you see in you? And what do you allow others to see? What role do you play in the charade of expectations and judgment? Are you able to look at yourself, the whole of yourself and embrace all of you with love and compassion? Most of us cannot, however this is perhaps one of the most powerful tools for personal healing and transformation – learning to accept and embrace your own wholeness, the full glory of the beautiful being that you are, light and shadow, and to be able to live in that place of wholeness and love all of you.
Imagine how amazing it is to be fully seen and loved for exactly who you are.
I see you.
Much love and many blessings,