Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: June 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Being Seen

For as long as I can remember, my definition of love has been "to be seen." Maybe because I never felt truly seen by my mother or father. Maybe because I practiced being invisible for so long. Maybe I simply longed to belong, to be recognized.  Maybe I'll never know the origins of this definition; but it has been the unattainable wish of the heart for a very long time.

I'm now in relationship to someone who sees me. And it's terrifying. Wanting to be seen and being seen are two very different things.

To long to be seen, exposed, vulnerable and the actual experience of being seen, exposed and vulnerable, well, let's just say I want to cover up. Because if he really sees me (as he does), how can he love me? I know myself; everything he sees in me (and is brave enough to tell me), I've seen in myself--years ago. So it's not that what he reveals is shocking to me; it's that my response is to hide. Hide in food; hide in TV; hide anywhere.

Shame. It's origins come from the word "to cover." The old fig leaf is still here, still haunting us. Even in the depths of an intimacy that I never imagined possible for me, it's there. Undermining me, us. Perhaps that's why I process my feelings here, in public, because it's my way of no longer being able to hide. And yet, the reality is that feeling these feelings versus "knowing" them, "processing" them, are very different things as well. As different as longing to be seen and actually being seen.

Today I am uncomfortable in my own skin. I am vulnerable. I am lost. But I trust I will be found, because I have a lover, partner, husband and friend who will not only look for me, but when he finds me, he will see me--and I'll do my best to just keep breathing.

May we open our hearts.
May we be willing to see and be seen.
And may we know that love is in being seen--and in seeing--just keep breathing.