Seen was my word of the year for 2018. It was not my most fun word ever and has brought up all the emotions of not being Seen that I have.
Hiding and being unseen was where it was safe. If I made my energy so small no one will feel me, know I am there. That’s what I did for ages. Made myself small. There were reasons for this, that stem from the move to Salt Lake City, Utah and no one speaking to me for a year. I wasn’t in hiding yet but it was a hard year. I was used to moving making friends and life continues. That did not happen I was not Mormon.
The high school I went to for a year and term was crap. They had only been open a handful of years and were already over crowded with an admin who did not give a shit and a student body who had no respect for them. Be normal was what they told myself and my friends and the other students will stop harming and harassing you.
It was safer not to be seen so you wouldn’t get slammed into a wall, a full coke can hurled at you, it hit my friend in the cheek, eggs thrown,and verbal assaults. It was bad. I learned not to be seen. I learned to hide and be small.
So this year I wanted to be SEEN! Be big and bold and feel huge. To learn that lesson. Well, I did not get what I wanted. I wanted to feel this to the max. Instead I learned a different lesson.
The lesson I learned was about hearing, seeing, and witnessing for others. To find the validation for them and support them. Not what I had planned on but it is an important reminder and it has taken me a year of this showing up for me to realize what Seen was really about.
It isn’t about me having what I thought I needed to be to the max. Because truth is I’ve already become that. I am big and bold in my energy already. That I am seen. I am heard. I am witnessed by others.
The deeper lesson for me was to remember that it is not always advice that is needed. But an ear willing to hear someone speak. To see what they go through. To validate and witness it.
All of use need to practice this more in our lives and bring in less advice and often times invalidation of experience. You don’t get to tell me that my experience of Utah is wrong. You don’t get to tell a person of color that racism doesn’t exist. You do not get to tell women that they are full citizens. You don’t get to tell a rape victim their behavior was wrong.
You do not get to decide this, they do. It is important to do hear, see, validate the experience of others. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable but that is yours to own and not to dump on someone who needs you to hear, see, and witness them.
Don’t turn it back to you when the experience of being a witness for others shows up. Keep it about them. Bring it back to the issue the person needs you do know. Be okay with feeling uncomfortable rape, sexism, racism, and their ilk should make you uncomfortable if not outright pissed off. Use those emotions to help other feel validate, seen, and heard.
It important to do this to be a witnes