Feeling Seen, Loved, and Not Ashy
Learning how to see yourself so that you can see others is valuable.
There's something about community that really lights me up. I absolutely need and cherish community care. Acts of kindness make me want to cry. Shared laughter fills my soul. Loving other people reminds me to be grateful for our shared humanity. The older I get, the more I see, value, and appreciate other people and their stories. There is something extremely beautiful when we take the time to actually see a person. Like—truly bear witness to them without judgment, but grace.
On my path to being able to see the world, I had to start by seeing myself. Every year, I find new ways to open my eyes to what's around me, my truth, purpose, and life, even more than before. Not hiding from yourself can be a challenge when you spend years doing the opposite. Before diving deep into my healing journey, I felt like I had to hide and shrink in order to be seen. Playing it small got me nowhere, and I was unequipped to see others for their true selves because I didn't have the tools.
Something I continue to be grateful for is opening my eyes and heart to other people's pain, joy, grief, and yearning to belong. I've been thinking a lot about what it means to feel, see, and hear love. "I love you," for me, almost always shows up and is felt the deepest through action. The micro-gestures of love often feel the most impactful. Recently, my husband and I were traveling, and we met this man who was having trouble checking into his flight. We were having the same issue with our boarding passes. It was hectic, and we were all a bit flustered. The man asked us for help, and Ryan started helping him. The three of us eventually worked it out and went our separate ways. He was grateful for Ryan's effort to help and gave us a big smile and thank you as he walked off.
We saw the man again after making it through TSA. Each of us was relieved that we made it to where we had to be to catch our flights on time. Making eye contact, he said to us, thank y'all so much! We made it, but they took my lotion, man…
I replied: Was it too big?!
Him: Yup! Dang.
Me: *pulls out my travel sizes lotion and hands it to him.* You can have mine.
Him: Oh my goodness! Thank you. I can't be out here ashy.
All of us burst into laughter.
That was a moment of love. That was a moment of being seen and held. The entire exchange warmed our hearts, and by the smile of our fellow traveler, he felt the same. We did not know one another at all—but we took the time to love, see, and support each other. Giving him my lotion was a love offering. His acceptance of it was so comforting. The gratitude we all shared at that moment was major in the smallest way.
You never know who you will meet in this life. Learning how to see yourself so that you can see others is valuable. This life moves so fast, and we often miss what's right in front of us. As we move through the world, heal, and grow, my hope is that we get to experience the sweetness of being and feeling seen, safe, and supported.
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