Somewhere along the way, I learned that being selfless was the noblest posture to hold. As a wife, a daughter, and a friend. I was groomed to believe that considering the needs of others was the way to find my own true peace. I’ve lived my entire life that way. To put me second, to edit myself, to be small, to stand on the outside of the circle, to read the room - anticipate and adapt. I can’t be sure anymore if I learned this or if it was how I was wired. Depending on who you ask and how this recollection shadows their own story...the answer varies.
Don’t get me wrong. Holding the needs of others, collecting their stories, and keeping them is a privilege. It is woven in my fabric. I enjoy the gift of a story. I want to see other humans unfiltered, and also I want to see how they are presented.
Both views are accurate.
Stories provide nuance and life to the faces in our lives. Stories are layers and laugh lines and lipstick colors and glasses and scars and freckles. Stories embody the shine and the scuff marks. Story adds to humanity, does not erase it.
I want to hold the essence of humans without filters. But it’s harder for me to care for myself with the same regard. Truly, how can I see others in their most perfect form if I am not willing to see my whole self?
I learned this summer that I do not know how to enjoy seeing myself through my own eyes or the eyes of another.
It's difficult for me to withstand what I observe. I’m not sure what was behind the eye roll or the look of disgust or the loving gaze or the clench of the jaw.
I do not understand the rules of love or any others for that matter. Maybe that’s a sign of growth, to know that. It is vulnerable to be seen fully and not be able to look away, not be able to control the perception, not be able to hide behind a filter in real life.
And that someone would hold me with that grace, that I would hold myself, is an aspiration.
I let myself be seen fully as I see myself. And surprisingly my people-pleasing ways did not work. I felt ugly. I think I was seen that way, too. I can’t be sure. It might just be the story I’m telling to make myself small. It’s fascinating to me. The ways the universe, the Divine, my spirit fam, prevented me from connecting on that level with another human. As if to say, ENOUGH. You are better than this show you are putting on, even if you can’t see it now.
I was made for so much more than I’ve allowed. I am greater and more beautiful than I have ever been able to imagine or picture. I have not yet stepped into my greatness, because I have never been the center of my own story. I have existed outside myself. Until now. I know I am rooted in the power of Creation’s most perfect image.
I have not looked at myself from the lens of wholeness, before. But I cannot look away now. I am love embodied. And I am ready to love other humans from that place. What a different outlook. It is like seeing the world as it is - with acceptance for reality - and also the most perfectly filtered beauty