You Are Seen
The other day I was feeling a bit like all my efforts to write, create and then send that work out into the universe had become nothing more than an exercise in whistling in the dark.
I wasn't feeling sorry enough for myself to actually believe that there weren't people who were resonating with what I'd shared... but I wondered if it was really making any difference at all.
Then I had this conversation with God, first in my head and then out loud...
Me: "So what's the point to all of this? Nothing I do really matters anyway."
Still Me: "There is no point, right? It's all absurd. I feel like I'm wasting my time."
Also Me: "I'm tired. I'm tired of trying to explain away all of this struggle. I'm tired because I don't know what to say half of the time, and when I do I don't even know if I can believe what I'm saying."
Me (Again): "So... am I making any difference at all? Is there a point?"
If you are noticing that this seemed to be a one-sided conversation, you'd be right. There wasn't a response---only silence. Honestly, I've learned to accept the silence, even though it's sometimes maddening.
But then this happened...
Moments later, I got an email where someone shared something with me--a thing that was kind and generous and affirming. It was a gift to me in ways the sender would never truly understand.
Because when I read it, I felt known.
It was like they overheard that one-sided conversation and knew what to say in response to all of my painful questions.
I am not embarrassed to admit that I broke down and kind of ugly cried for a bit. And I found myself hoarsely whispering the words "Thank you," over and over again.
You could chalk that whole story up to coincidence, I suppose. God knows, the thought entered my mind. But it would be a pretty tall order to get the details right, and timed so perfectly. Not to mention how it all felt so specific and personal.
Each of us bears a longing to be known within us---the manifestation of what is perhaps the most fundamental need that we have as human beings. We want to know that we are not alone, that we are truly seen by someone... or some One.
Author Rob Bell recently wrote:
At some subterranean level of the heart, what we all want is for another human being to say, I see you. This is one of the greatest gifts we give each other. We notice. We acknowledge. We see.
Whether the sender of that email knew it or not, they were not only giving me the gift of "notice," they became the very voice of Spirit to me in the giving of it. I read their words as the very words of God.
And in that moment I didn't see myself as separate from them or from God. I was suddenly aware of the Divine Presence that was all around me, in me and through me. I lost myself and gained so much more.
Afterward, I recalled a line from the poem "A Double Rapture" by poet Anna Swir: