I See You
(For those following from last post, Reflections from the Karen Maezen Miller talk will still appear here one day soon. The words are still finding me.)
A couple of days ago, my daughter and son bonked head-to-tooth while bouncing around. A little bit of blood and hurt feelings were all that remained after a couple of minutes.
My daughter, however, continued to keep tears in her eyes and the washcloth against her mouth. Even though she intermittently removed it to share a joke or fling it around as she ran after her brother, inevitably the tears would return and the mouth re-covered.
I asked her a few times if she was ok. The answer was always a down-turned mouth, dropped chin, and sad eyes staring up at me, followed by a shake of the head and a quiet "no".
In truth, her lip had probably stopped hurting. The feelings bruised by the bonk were probably long healed and forgotten.
What she probably wanted is what we all want: To be Seen.
She wanted it known that she had been hurt.
She wanted it known that she might still hurt...and could get hurt again.
She wanted my attention and love and acknowledgement.
We don't all have a washcloth to hold over our lips or our broken hearts. But we've all been hurt - and will be hurt again. We might still be hurting.
We all just want to be seen.
Remember this the next time you brush shoulders with someone on the street, exchange glances with someone in another car, share words with someone providing you a service, ... and the next time you look in the mirror.
We all want to be seen, acknowledged, accepted for who we are, and loved.
Why not offer a knowing smile to the next one you see (even or especially if that is yourself)? Let that smile soothe what words cannot heal: the illusion of separation.
Put down your washcloth.
In this spirit,....I see you. NAMASTE.