we like to be seen, but from a distance

see me
How many people do you know?

How many of those do you see, really see?
How many do you allow to really see you?

I’m not talking about visiting, or noticing your new top or knowing how you take your coffee, I’m referring to a deep empathy, a real connection, a knowing so profound it is almost as if they are you, or you are them.

I use the term ‘see’ as a collective here. For some, the term ‘see’ will work. Experiment with alternatives for yourself. How many people really hear you? How many utterly feel you? How many truly get you? How many wholly understand you? How many do all of those things?

It seems we have a deep desire to be seen, to be understood, to be heard. We need to be acknowledged in a human way. Yet to be acknowledged in that total way, can be so desperately intimate.

Intimacy of that sort scares us.

Sometimes the person who gets that close sees more of us than we can see for ourselves.

So we employ tactics to keep ourselves safe, sometimes conscious tactics, but much more often, we employ tactics out of our conscious awareness. Games if you like. Games with ourselves and with those around us. We tease. Here’s a little bit of me, come closer if you dare, come closer if you care. If they do, we often push them away again. That way, we can tell ourselves they don’t really care, or we can shield our vulnerability. If we are the one being being invited in, sometimes that intimacy is too scary too, so we deflect, we joke, we talk about us, we change the subject.

When the invitation is extended, often subtly, often in a fleeting moment, often out of conscious choice … all it takes is to be present. To stand in the moment. If they attempt a game-play or to move away, gently and respectfully, hold them in that moment. Witness their truth. Rather than turn away in a kind of counter game-play, say “I see you (and you’re OK)”, not aloud, but through your presence, your very being. Hold them, carefully, whilst they witness their own truth.

That’s acknowledgement.
That’s seeing them.
That’s deeply human.

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