“Can you see me? Can you hear me? Does anything I say mean anything to you?” ― Oprah Winfrey
I heard Oprah Winfrey say that in all her years of interviewing people that what everyone wants to know is: Do You See Me?
Being seen means so much more than in the literal sense of being seen.
Sure you see folks wear bright colors or a sexy outfit to be seen, but this is a different kind of seeing – a seeing that goes beyond the surface and the exterior. The question really is: Do you see me for who I really am – as a unique individual – ENOUGH - just as I am – imperfections and all?
As with everything in life, anytime you want to be authentically recognized, validated, heard and SEEN - you must give these things to yourself first.
This giving to yourself - giving attention to yourself - may feel very foreign to you. You may be much more comfortable giving to others first - and then quietly resent that you don't receive back.
People who are natural givers have a hard time with not only being seen, but with receiving. The two aspects go hand-in-hand. And of course, this is directly tied to self-worth – because to know you’re worthy is to be able to receive and to be recognized and appreciated for who you really are.
From childhood many of us were programmed that our value came from what we could not only give, but also what we didn’t allow ourselves to receive.
Kids are really smart and learn quickly that if an environment is under lots of stress – whether that’s emotional, financial, etc. – then you learn in order to get your basic needs met (food, shelter, and the basics), don’t ask for more – don’t you even dare ask for more. Take what you can get and be happy with it.
If you tend to be someone who feels much more comfortable with giving vs. receiving – and you feel uncomfortable (or just lackluster) with receiving attention and appreciation for what you give – consider that you may have learned that in order to feel safe in this world. You may hold a deep seated . belief that it’s better for you to be invisible and not seen – and only get your basic needs met and that’s it.
However, if you’re a creative self-seeker – someone who is always yearning to learn, grow and develop both personally and professionally – deep down you know that your greatest desire is to be more seen, contribute your greatest gifts, and fully creatively express.
And with this giving, you need to learn how to not only come out of your self-imposed, safety shell, but align with the natural laws of the Universe which are set-up to give you back ten times what you naturally love to give.
To learn how-to start the process of honoring yourself and switching on the light within your own creative soul first, check-out the contemplative questions/exercises below:
Pretending Not To Be Needy
In your life journey you've no doubt heard whether it was intention or not - that it's not good to be needy. Yet, this concept of not being needy is very off-balance. You have plenty of needs – and they go beyond just your basic Maslow’s needs for food, shelter, love and belonging. You have higher emotional needs that actually bring you up the pyramid to self expression and actualization.
So rather than pretend to NOT be needy, ask you what do I need right now in my life? What do I feel is missing? And what do I need to let go of in order to create more space in my life. Own the fact that you’re needy – very needy in fact – it’s a good and healthy thing!!
Know Where Your Needs Get Met
Being needy gets a bad rap because when you rely on the outer world to fulfill your needs, especially the emotional ones, it can be very unhealthy and draining on both parties. Therefore it’s so important to know where your needs get met – from you.
Now this doesn’t mean that you don’t need anything from anyone else, it simply means that once you know what your needs are and learn to get them met from within first, then the outer world matches you in fulfilling them and you begin to experience abundance all over the place! It’s so true that the outer world is a reflection of your inner world.
Taking A Front Seat In Your Life
If you tend to take the back seat in life and simply be the giver without ever receiving or doing things for you – it’s time to hop in that front seat and begin claiming what’s rightfully yours.
If you feel frustrated watching others get what they want and wonder why you aren’t, it’s time to put YOU at the top of that priority list and make sure that you begin to get your needs met – while still continuing to give to others – but not in an imbalanced way.
Being a giver is a beautiful thing – but you must learn that you can only give what you already have – so give to you first and the remainder of what spills over others can have. Deal?
Give thought to these areas and how you may have taught yourself to become invisible without having needs in order to feel safe and receive love and be liked – then commit to learning some new habits – the first being putting yourself at the top of that priority list. You deserve it!