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The Greatest Gift - To see and be seen

Updated: Nov 4, 2022

With the holiday season upon us, I wanted to share what I believe to be the greatest gift we can give each other during the holidays. I believe that essentially, every one of us desires to be seen and loved for who we truly are. One of the best gifts we can give ourselves and those we love is to see, appreciate and love others for who they truly are.

Has there ever been a time when someone has really seen you for who you are? Can you remember how that felt? How amazing it felt? What greater gift to give to those you love…?

Now, on the other side of “seeing people” for who they truly are is the gift of “being seen” for who we truly are. Some of us have a less than easy time with being truly seen: we don’t know how, or have forgotten how, to let into our hearts others’ appreciation and love of who we are. We not only deny ourselves this precious gift, we unconsciously reject the gift we are being given. So this week, when someone is seeing you and appreciating you for who you truly are, receive their gift with open arms and allow that gift to come into your heart.

I invite you, this Holiday Season, to give the greatest gift you can show your love with: the gift of seeing those around you for who they truly are – incredible, magnificent people trying their best in everything they do. I promise you’ll receive the gift of self love, peace and joy in return.

“Truly loving another means letting go of all expectations. It means full acceptance, even celebration of another’s personhood.” ~ Karen Casey

How I Apply This in My Own Life:

In my thirties, when someone would acknowledge me for who I am, and truly see me, I would hear it but I wouldn’t let it in. I wouldn’t let the words of what they were saying to me into my heart. I’d block it – somehow deflect it. I thought on some level that I would become some kind of egomaniac, that the praise would go to my head and I’d become some horrible person. Of course, I would say, “Thank you,” but I just wouldn’t give myself permission to take it in.

A dear friend came to me one day and asked me why, when she acknowledged me for something, I would just brush it off. She helped me see what I was missing by doing this. Now, when I feel someone is seeing me and acknowledging me for who I truly am, I stop, take a breath, breathe in what they are saying, and allow that gift to sink down into my heart and as if I am being surrounded by a warm bath. I become still and breathe in being seen.

At first, I must be honest, it was a little uncomfortable. I felt awkward, and then vulnerable: kind of like the way I felt on the first day of high school. I wasn’t used to seeing myself as wonderful, let alone having someone else see me that way. Over time, with patience and practice, it got easier and easier. I can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my life. Somehow, through letting in being seen for who I truly am, I now love myself more, and my relationships with friends and family are more loving. Because of this, I show up being my authentic self more and somehow this gives others permission to do the same.

How can you apply this to your life?

  1. As you spend time with friends, co-workers and family this coming holiday season, set the intention for you to show up and to see through the eyes of pure love, curiosity, wonder and joy the person you are with. Notice, as you see that person in all their magnificence, how you feel. Choose to see only the greatness in that person. Choose to set aside your judgments, assumptions, the endless “to-do’s” in your head, and be present to the person you are with. What greater gift can you give then the present of your self?

  2. If you are being seen and acknowledged for who you truly are, give yourself permission to let it in, receive that gift with love and gratitude. Breathe it in and accept it fully.

Wishing you and those you love the brightest, warmest, loving, laughter filled holiday seasons!

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