Sunday, November 27, 2011


It's a basic human need to be seen. Not glorified or placed on a pedestal (indeed, those are needs that some humans have, but they're not basic ones). Rather, it's an elemental and very real need for us to be looked at, listened to and accepted for who we really are. Not by everyone we come into contact with, but by a select and crucial few.

But of course, this doesn't always work out the way we hope. Sometimes the people we need to see us most simply cannot. Maybe their vision is clouded or they are distracted by other things. Or maybe they do see us but forget to let us know.

But since it is a basic need, we work tirelessly to get it met. We play up the way we think others want to see us. We allow ourselves to be compartmentalized if it means getting the attention and acknowledgement we crave. It may work for awhile, but eventually, we grow to resent others for loving the edited selves we presented to them...and ourselves for doing the editing in the first place.

My guess is that changing this pattern is two-fold. First, it seems like a good idea to look deeply at what and who we are and simply decide to accept it unconditionally. Next, we have to stop adjusting the brightness, volume and channel of what we present to the world. We can't make anyone see us, but if and when they choose to, we can do everything in our power to ensure that what they see is an accurate picture of what is really there.

And finally, we can work hard to really see others. Because it's the right thing to do, because it feels good and because being seen as fully as possible by us will help them to see us back.

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