I have been challenging myself to begin to see the Me that others see. I realize that those were two different images when I noticed the way people respond to me. That is to say, it happened outside of myself first. I’ve been moving it inward and unpacking the muck that keeps me from seeing myself clearly. My former coworker, Angie, once told me, “the things that are second-nature to you are not everyones natural inclination. You must realize that.” What she was offering up was an opportunity to know myself more intimately, strengths and weaknesses.
This morning, J and I were talking about this thought I had. I posed the thought that some people ask permission to be seen and other people demand it. Which are you, she asked. I told her that I demand it. And not always intentionally or even to my delight. I sometimes (less often lately) want to just be an observer and be silent but…it never quite happens according to plan. I had a note from a friend fall out of a book I was reading that said “thanks for seeing in me what I cannot.” I added yet to her sentence, mentally, and wondered really, how many people see themselves and how many people are just waiting to be called on, waiting for someone to notice them. I’ve asked myself why I want to hide or not be seen. I’ve dug and dug at that because I have just been determined to love myself more…because it feels good, colors my life, and because I know the kind of love you get when you don’t love yourself. And I’m not interested in that.
I think there comes a point when you cannot ignore what your life is telling you. Your relationships crumble as if on cue, your career is unfulfilling or even worse draining, things just suck. I am going to make a bold leap here and say that in large part its due to a general belief that these things are acceptable. I can say its true for me. I believe I deserve a certain type of education, of treatment by my peers, of engagement with my students, I all but vehemently demand it. And I get it. Call it stubborn will. I want to do the same in all aspects of my life. Be stubborn about love. Be undeterred by that stupid pesky, needy ass ego.
It all gets a bit tricky though, with these such demands of others…of the universe. But intention may be the antidote for entitlement. From what seed did this desire grow? Was it rooted in love and the need to connect with others, or was it rooted in ego and the need to validate by any means necessary?
The work is constant. I swear. But life…life is a mirror and thank god for that. I can see my heart on the outside every single day. I can examine myself as seen in the light shining around me. I think Jung would be proud.