The gift of being seen

February 23, 2022

See me…feel me…touch me…heal me….
Listening to you, I get the music
From you, I get opinions
From you, I get the story. 
~The Who

Oh, the gift of being seen. Do most people really see you? Really get you?

Most of us think we’re pretty easy to understand, but are we really?

Or do we think we are because we hold our own key?

We know our motivations, our thoughts and our history, and that does give us a leg up as far as understanding goes. And I’ve been very guilty of thinking others should “get” me. After all, I’m a ‘what you see is what you get” girl who is simple to understand, right?

Well, not so fast.

People come at any interaction with their own history, biases and beliefs. Yes, even beliefs about us and how we are. No matter if they match up to how we really are.  That’s why being seen for who we are is such a big gift.

When my husband re-engaged with me decades after our divorce, I protested, “But we haven’t even seen each other in 26 years!”  His response was simple:  “Do you think I don’t know who you are?”

That response was a gift.

Because, yes, he knew me–the good, the bad and even the ugly.

Really taking someone in? Seeing them? The biggest gift anyone could give.

I remember the day a very good friend saw me. Maybe REALLY saw me, for the first time, although our friendship was decades long. I remember it clearly.  She was battling a big health issue and was not feeling well at all. I was heading to the east coast for an important event.

“Do you have to go?” she asked.

Without hesitation, I replied, “No. I don’t. I’ll stay.”

I cancelled my trip.

The look on her face was something I’ll never forget: It was a combination of surprise (maybe even shock) and wonder. It was a moment in which I could tell she really saw who I am. And even after so many years, it surprised her. Maybe she was even wondering if she would do the same thing for me. Or for anyone.

Doesn’t matter. My own priorities were clear and what anyone else would do was irrelevant.

Who takes the time to really take you in?

Those are important people, for sure.

Your thoughts?

Oh, and that friend? She inspired all of these.


12 comments on “The gift of being seen
  1. I think part of seeing who people really are requires asking sometimes difficult questions. Understanding the thought behind an action rather than making assumptions about it can make a big difference.

  2. You had me at the glimpse of the rose…so many metaphors to be drawn from that…but more importantly, your words. That gift of truly seeing, being seen, I’m guessing is what we seek, even more than love. And the thing that causes pain: being seen incorrectly, misunderstood. No, you are not a “what you see is what you get” girl. You are deeper and hidden like the center of the rose ? I’m sorry for your friend’s passing, glad for the love you shared.

  3. Diane says:

    I remember a man who had been a close friend for over a decade asking my husby what I was like at home. Husby was surprised. He looked at him, then looked at me. “Exactly what you see here,” he said. He gets me. Really gets me. And I am SO grateful!

  4. I don’t think there is anyone that really gets me anymore. Certainly no-one who understands the personal development I’m trying to do. And that is sad.

  5. Laurie Stone says:

    You’ve written beautifully about your friend who passed. Maybe people in that state see more clearly than the rest of us.

  6. I don’t think anyone really gets me. My dog did, though.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "The gift of being seen"
  1. […] There’s nothing better than when a friend really “gets” us, right? This week on Carol Cassara’s blog, she talks about just that in her post, “The Gift of Being Seen.” […]

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