Every human being has a need to be truly seen. Seen for who they are. Known at the core of their feelings. Why is it that so often I feel unseen then?
I have often felt invisible in my life. An accessory. A facilitator. An entertainer. An afterthought. Have you felt that way? Feeling like a kid who is trying their best to color in the lines and write out their cursive with precision, hoping to catch the eye of the teacher. Striving to win the acceptance of others and feeling badly when my efforts weren’t enough to cause a head to turn or a word of acknowledgment to be uttered.
It’s easy to get disoriented in the canyon of people pleasing. Every time you set aside your feelings and defer to others, your compass gives you a misreading and you head further off course. Over time you find you have no personal identity and you’re totally lost.
I remember years ago being asked, “Where do you want to go to dinner,” and my response, “Where do you want to go?”. Laughable now. Then, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I was just trying to be accommodating.
If you never share your feelings or hide behind the wall of deferring you’ll never feel seen. Maybe you’ll feel safe. But not seen.
That mode of living landed me in therapy almost ten years ago and I learned a good deal about how to focus more on me and a little less on others which birthed this home-study course in 2012.
Here we are six years later, almost two years sober, and I am doing quite well. I am not plagued with feelings of guilt anymore and I feel confident that as long as I am being reasonable I don’t need anyone else’s approval to take action on an idea or pursue a new project. I have navigated my way out of that canyon….
AND yet the piece I am finally seeing as missing in this whole thing is I have been focusing on myself too much and too little on God. I have been striving and pushing and networking and doing ON MY OWN. I haven’t considered asking for help from God or truly considering that He SEES me.
I have gone after recognition from people. Trying to earn their approval (again) and missed the reality that God SEES me and LOVES me. That I am not trying to EARN His Love or Approval or Acceptance. I already have it. And from that core belief all other actions are more powerful and effective.
People are fallible. People are consumed with their own lives and their own thoughts and their own worries. Putting a burden on them to pat my back and feeling disappointed when they don’t is a losing battle for both parties.
Let me instead place my need to be seen into the hands of God. Let me, today, work and live from a place of feeling loved. Let me, today, open my heart to God and share the truth of what’s inside (which to me seems scary…admitting my truth….). He knows my thoughts already. Why do I try to sugar-coat them in prayer?
Day 2 Lenten Love Prayer:
For today, God, give me the courage to face life with complete self-honesty. Knowing that You see me and You understand. Keep me in the palm of Your hand. Let me remember that Your love and acceptance is ever-present. Speak through me and let me see the wonder and beauty You see in me. May I remember at every moment of self-doubt that You are there and I am not alone. Thank you for your patience as I continue to grow.
Day 2 Lenten Love Scripture:
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up, you are still with me!
Psalm 139: 1-18