Do you ever have that feeling of being invisible?
Yesterday I watched my twin grandsons play in a Lacrosse game. They’re getting to be young men and I know they won’t be around and easily accessible to me in a short time, so I try to be at their games and events.
As always after a game, they can’t wait to get something to eat and will descend on the designated after-game place to wolf down in one sitting what would last me for a week. I usually go along to where they hang out after the game and enjoy the noise, enthusiasm and camaraderie they have with their team.
So why then do I attend their games when I can? The long and short of it is that they appreciate my being there. Sometimes they even thank me! The big benefit I receive is that even though I often feel invisible, I know that being invisible is perfectly OKAY. There are benefits to being invisible in certain circumstances. I get to observe their conversation, to enjoy their way of looking at the world and I get to create a memory for me and for them.
For example, during the energetic and LOUD talk about their games, I feel completely invisible. I can’t join in the conversation (I don’t understand the details of the game) and it would be easy to judge them as they brag about how many bruises they got in the game. Although the conversations with the young moms and dads are respectful, I know we don’t have much in common, so I mostly listen. Nevertheless, this time is precious and it will end too soon.
One thing I know for sure is that there are times when it’s good to be invisible and times when it’s not. In observing these young boys who are moving into manhood, I see them fighting for recognition or being visible. This will probably go on for a long, long time.
Perhaps we all fight for recognition. It’s part of being human and wanting to be acknowledged for who we are (or who we think we are). The need to be recognized no matter where we are, I believe, is what that’s what creates the feeling of being overlooked when we’re not noticed or acknowledged.
This may sound off the wall, but I’ve found that who we are most invisible to is ourselves. Being invisible to ourselves has its symptoms; for example:
- Failing to recognize our talents
- Forgetting what gifts we have to give to the world
- Letting fear run our lives because we might fail
- Not knowing who we really are at our soul level
- Playing small where we need to play a bigger game
One of my clients, a beautiful, brilliant, talented woman was so used to being in the spotlight that when circumstances caused the spotlight to shut down, she lost track of who she really is. After exploring who she really is, finding her core values and recognizing that where she is now is perfect for her, she is heading for a more rewarding phase of her life. Her need to be recognized because of her hard-won status has changed to fit another, more rewarding lifestyle.
The key here is that she first she had to become invisible in order to observe and nurture her true self. From that comes a quality visibility that serves her higher purpose.
I’ll have to admit that I’ve been guilty of creating my own invisible self. When I forget who I truly am, and it does come and go, I procrastinate, find many ways to distract myself from the task at hand and suffer from low self-esteem. The opposite is true.
Do you know who you truly are? How do you drop the cloak of invisibility, if you have one, and what do you do on the path to self-discovery?
I’d love to know.
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