Some thoughts on what it means to be seen

Where are you hiding?

Something I’ve been sitting with a lot recently is my secret desire to be seen.

At some point when I was a child, I picked up the patterning that this desire was selfish. That was the last thing I wanted to be, so I grew to block myself from being seen in a big way.

Whenever I would start to succeed, old habits would come in to sabotage me, self-doubt would take over as I believed I wasn’t worthy of love, of support, of being seen. The things I had to say weren’t valuable, because I was too young.

Whenever someone would offer me a compliment, I would respond, “Really? You really think I’m good at this?” or I would find some way to deflect it.

Sometimes I think we run away from the things we’re good at because it makes us uncomfortable. We take for granted that which comes easily to us – it feels so natural, like breathing, so we decide therefore it must be less valuable. We were taught value only what comes through struggle and hard work, or we simply compare ourselves to other people, seeing them fill the spaces where we feel inadequate and longing to be as good as they are at what they do.

What is keeping you small?

The beliefs surrounding this patterning are vast and complex: maybe we fear being seen because it was dangerous when we were young; hiding became a defense mechanism to keep us safe in the midst of trauma. Maybe we learned that we were supposed to fit in because if we didn’t none of the other kids would like us – I know I lived that one. Maybe we were told we weren’t worthy of success because of circumstances outside of our control, or because the adults in our life were carrying so much of their own trauma, allowing us to show up in our brilliance would have been too painful to watch.

There are a million reasons that can keep us small, but the first thing to know is that awareness is the first step.

The world needs you to show up in your brilliance, as you are.

What would happen if you didn’t fail?
What would happen if you received everything you’ve always wanted?

Sometimes we fear our success even more than we fear our failure because success means change. Stepping into our light may put us in situations unfamiliar and unknown. But the opposite, to remain in our smallness, is an incredibly unsatisfying way to live.

When you show up in your light, you show others it’s possible to do the same.

What could you become if you allowed yourself to step into all you’re meant to be?
Get curious about your brilliant light + follow where it leads.

An exercise:

Write down 11 things you appreciate in others – these can be qualities, skills, accomplishments, etc. Now ask yourself (or someone you trust) which of these do you already embody? Often when we see things in others, it’s because they already exist within ourselves. see yourself as you are, truly.

This piece is an excerpt from my e-book, Just Breathe: Eleven Mantras + Tools for Heart Healing. You can find out more here.