Day 232 - Seeing Essence.
Recently, I have been seeing people. Not in the way you think. I have been given this gift of stepping back from myself and what I am observing is you. Not the you, you want me to see, but your essence. Your inner you that you hide and often pretend doesn’t exist.
I am trying to figure out when it started. And in truth, I guess it is something that I have been doing all my life. I have had moments with people where they revealed themselves to me and I saw them. However, being one who could not handle any type of intimacy, I often turned and ran. I would see you, then leave. It wasn’t personal, it was my own discomfort that caused me to run, only occasionally was it you or what you revealed.
But yesterday I had this day where I felt like I floated above. I was lifted out of me and my normal responses. I was removed from myself and what I got when that happened was to see you. I am embarrassed to say that you often look like an extension of me. You being important to me in what you mean or could mean to me. Often times, people have been a beginning or an end for me. My whole exchange with you is about what I will receive from you in the end. I know you feel it sometimes, those who know me. I can often see it register on your face.
But yesterday I saw people. I felt them. I looked beyond the display and fancy presentation and I had the courage to see. And that courage allowed me to hold you there, suspended in time and just look at who you are.
I think you felt it. My holding you there. I think you felt the love and concern and fellowship. I think you could see and feel the warmness I felt for you. I think I communicated that I saw beyond your words and presentment. I felt like I touched your essence. I felt like I was there, viewing you.
It is an amazing gift to behold someone’s essence. It is likewise amazing to be seen. To really be seen. To have someone look past all your decorations, and bolstering and really see who you are...at your core.
My experiences yesterday made me wonder why we don’t do this more often, attempt to really see each other. To unmoor ourselves from our habit and response and reaction and just allow the other person to appear in front of us as they are, with nothing added from us. No projections of expectations. No demands that you be anything other than you. What if we looked and saw and allowed and loved you anyway, in spite of all you lacked in our not so humble opinion.
What if that is what life is trying to teach us? What if that is why we live so long? Does it really take us 90 or 100 years to see another, which would include ourselves? Apparently the answer to that question is yes.
I believe there are a few people who see me: my mom, my daughter, my son on occasion, my therapist, Lane, my friend Randy, The Tribe and a few close friends. These are people that I feel make the effort to look past all my pomp and circumstance and try to see me and love me as I am. They certainly have expectations of me, but somehow they are able to keep them at bay and allow me to exist in spite of them.
This experience of being seen and seeing is life altering. Giving me final permission to just be who I am regardless of whether you will like me, love me or even care. I no longer feel that I am an extension of your approval or acceptance. I can just leave it there. Right there. Where you end and I begin. And I can love you anyway...just as I am learning to love myself.
Heartbreak is the detachment of love from its object. For me, I needed this one devastating detachment to be able to really begin to love me and in turn you. I was forever busy trying to manipulate you or change you or make you more to my liking. Losing him made me have to turn inward because that was where the pain was. That was where it hurt so badly. Inside myself I found brokenness, insecurity, pain, fear, lack of worth, pettiness, jealousy and greed. They were all there all the time, I just had developed such good covers for them over the years. When my heart was broken open, they all escaped like a riotous prison break. It has taken me a few years to round up all the escaped convict emotions and get them back into the big house. But what I found in my time with them, was that they didn’t look at all like I thought. They were not the hardened delinquents that I imagined. They were broken, lost souls who zigged when they should have zagged. They were misguided, under and over developed at the same time. They were itinerant and hard to love but love was what they needed most. Inside me, I found you. Totally unclear how you got there but found that it was not really in my power or control to banish you without also banishing me.
So outlawed emotions were brought back in and given a new sentence and trial. I found that when I looked at their actions, actions were all I could see. But if I were really brave, I could see the essence and in seeing essence, I saw purpose and truth. We are not all we project. I am not all I project. I am vulnerable. I am weak. I am afraid. But so are you. All of you. And that is the essence of us all. We all run around protecting this most soft and vulnerable place. But it is this most scared place that is what must be shared for love to be set free. To swing wide the gates from lockdown and throw away the key - to just make a commitment to remain open to whatever walks in. To allow it to all just come and go and stay or leave. Our only real job to see what is really there, when it is there. Ridiculously simple. Very hard to do.
Somedays the doors of my encampment remain wide open, other days there exists only a sliver of light in the crack. However, open is the permanent state. Freed from the slamming action of my past and youth. I have found the courage to leave them open to whomever walks in. To be curious about this being that walks into my life and to hold the goal to love them regardless of whether they look the way I want, act the way I think they should or behave in a manner that I believe is worthy. That is the thing about essence...it is not changeable by me, or you or anyone. It is what we are born with and we take with us all of our days. It is what people remember about us after we are gone. Sometimes it is confused and sometimes it is not seen because we are so afraid that what we bring to this life is lacking and insufficient. But, no, it isn’t. Not for any one of us. Our only purpose on this life’s journey is to see the essence everywhere and love it home.