My Dear Ones,
As a very little girl I used to watch the TV show, Romper Room.
Maybe you remember it or perhaps it was before your time. At the very end of each episode Miss Carol would look in her magic mirror and see all the boys and girls who were watching and she would call them out one by one. She would say, “I see Bobby, I see Susie, I see Sarah, I see Donna, I see Christopher,” and on and on.
Each time I waited expectantly and would then feel the let down as she never once said “I see Joni.”
So many of us carry that deep desire to be seen. And yet, sometimes like love – we look for that recognition or reception in all the wrong places. We seek it from people who are unable to see, appreciate or receive us. We long to be discovered but over time the risk of criticism, rejection or injury make it safer to blend in or remain unnoticed.
So we learn to hide our essential self.
Recently, my family and I traveled through Southern Utah. Tired and road weary we stopped for dinner at a touristy “all you can eat buffet.” Our waitress, Laura in her white button-down and black trousers was of an age, size and style that she could easily blend in and go unnoticed. As she took our drink order she saw my husband’s Stevia, a natural sweetener he uses in his coffee. She offhandedly told us a few facts about nontraditional ways you can use Stevia.
As she was walking away my husband asked her, “Are you a shaman?” She turned around, her eyes lit up and she said, “Funny you should ask me that.”
For the remainder of our dinner she stopped by at every opportunity to both share her story as a sixth generation Cherokee herbal woman and offer us some health tips. I was so struck by the change in her presence and demeanor. Gone was the waitress with the long grey ponytail – before us stood the Cherokee medicine woman.
Her transformation was clearly the result of feeling seen, received and appreciated.
What a gift that feeling is. Something to be cherished. It is so critical to gather and hold close those who can see, receive and appreciate you. I truly hope you’re surrounded by a whole circle full!
If you’re not you can begin by:
1. Looking at yourself with loving and compassionate eyes.
2. Letting your wise heart guide you to other kindred spirits. The people who awaken something vibrant and alive in you.
3. Taking small risks to practice revealing who you really are. (And if they don’t get you or see you move on.)
There is healing and transformation in revealing who you are with those who can see, honor, and celebrate you. Especially if you’ve spent years hiding and trying to remain invisible even as you craved being seen.
It’s not too late to start!
You are a one-of-a-kind, amazing woman whose voice, gifts and Being are needed in this world. Stepping out to reveal your unique essence and gifts is the most worthwhile risk of your life. There is no other way to blossom and thrive in your life. So I urge you to take that risk today for your own well-being and the well-being of our world.
With Fierce Love,
Wonderful and powerful story, Joni. I could envision the waitress becoming the Cherokee medicine woman. Thank you.
Thank you Debra! So glad you enjoyed it.
It was a joy to witness and share her story. <3
This is a beautiful post that resonates with me. My website is dedicated to making people feel seen & appreciated through small acts of kindness. I believe it’s possible even if it’s a simple smile or making eye contact. And kindness begins with loving yourself & self-care. Thank you for sharing your story.
I remember Romper Room, Joni! I was so moved reading this. I appreciate the gentleness with which you hold open the door for moving out.
When I feel seen and heard, magic happens. It’s always a moment when I hit “publish” or get up to speak or share myself with another. It’s a dance of needing to express no matter how I am received and the flow that takes place when I am received.
What a coincidence. It can’t have been a week since my sister complained to me (via FB) about waiting and waiting for Miss Carol to call her name and feeling as you did. I waited, too, but for different reasons.
Although I LOVE giving workshops and connecting with readers in person, I’m extremely introverted and, even as a little kid, was horrified at the possibility that the TV was a two-way medium.
To be able to see people (beyond their obvious roles) is a gift. Thanks for sharing.
Funny Andrea, I too am very introverted but I still had a deep yearning to be seen. I never would’ve guessed you were an introvert.