As you know, we live in a world where technology has taken over pretty much the entire atmosphere of the Earth. It’s everywhere. We all have it, most of us do it, and we’ve come to rely on it to get through our day. Because of this, we have been indirectly learning that instant gratification is something that we are getting because we don’t have to work so hard at communicating with other humans directly anymore. It’s just easier to be seen these days because of the media technology. Don’t worry, I won’t get on my soapbox about Facebook or anything like that. I am going to just jump in and talk about why being “seen” seems to be so important to us. And WHY we keep craving it all the time. Technology is just one of the reasons in my opinion.
I have spent days, weeks, months, and YEARS trying to be seen and recognized by other people in my life. My family, my friends, my co-workers, Loved ones, the list goes on. I would spend hours in complete heartache because someone ignored me for something great that I did for them. A friend would come into my life, and I would build them up over and over and over again. Just for us to have a “fall out,” and I would be devastated. I would pine away wondering what the hell went wrong, and why I was “wronged” by them. I would sit and question for hours why they treated me so poorly. I played the victim and carried the cross up the hill as if to get some award for it. The same with my family. I have been desperate for so many years for them to “see” me, participate in the events and activities and ventures that I embark on, like taking the dive into personal growth and mentoring. I love them so much, and all I wanted to do was share with them what I was going through. I would spend countless days doing what I could to show them that I was there for them and that I wanted to spend quality time with them– all with the hopes that one day, my actions would be rewarded in kind. Like I would get down on myself and later see that I did more than anyone I had Love for in my circle. That I went out of my way more than they did.
Although I know, deep down, these are all false facts. My loved ones love me! But I later realized that what I was doing was not coming from a FULL place of true service and reciprocated Love… not all the time. I have SO MANY wonderful people in my life that ALWAYS give to me as much as I give them! That much I am aware of – and I celebrate them all the time, which is why they are still in my life. But this nagging feeling of the people that don’t give what they do, made me question why I felt so empty when they didn’t reciprocate like the rest. It’s almost like I was looking for my connection with people in my life to be 100% perfect. AND that’s the cause of it all. There ISN’T. Who was I to think that everyone on the planet would act like I do and give what I do!? I loathe narcissism, but yet here I was, doing pretty much the same thing, but on an emotional and victimized level. AH-HA! It was like being hit with a safe or something! That I wasn’t seeing myself enough or valuing myself enough to be JUST FINE without being recognized by others. Not just close friends and family, but the world on the outside of me. I never really took the time to see and recognize in MYSELF what I embodied, what talents I had, what gifts I had to offer, what wisdom’s I had to teach, what energy shined through to help others to be the light for them. People tell me this ALL THE TIME. But I never listened. I never wanted to because I didn’t recognize myself enough. I relied too much on other people’s permission to give me that platform instead of stepping on to it myself. I realized there is no empowerment when you wait for others to give you recognition that you so easily yet lovingly give to yourself. That was an attitude-changing moment…
I began to start accepting the gifts that I had, and I started doing the work for myself that I craved that others would give me. I learned new modalities and got involved with activities that fulfill me when accomplished. Sometimes all it takes is a simple smile in the mirror, an internal celebration that causes chain reactions of my vibration out to the world. Once I did, there was a certain kind of credit that I get to take for myself: a better level of Self-Love that I have for myself and the need to “seen” by others gracefully starts to fall away since now I’m learning to “see” myself a little more each day. In turn, the world has bestowed more positive feedback and recognition that I could have ever dreamed of – from the stories I write, to the blogs I post, to the students I teach, to the clients I mentor, to the gifts I share. It’s more than I could dream of. And I don’t ask for or desperately seek it anymore. It is gracefully given, and I fully accept.
So you see, no matter what it is that we are trying to be seen or recognized for, if we all just gave ourselves the same amount of love, attention and recognition to ourselves, I believe we wouldn’t be searching for it SO much in others, our work, our government, the world. Learning to be more accepting of YOURSELF, you– the talented, valuable person that you are now– will become everything that you do and will do. You will give yourself the fulfillment and freedom to know that YOU are just amazing! Once you do, it will erase the need to always be seen by others. Because you’ll finally be “seeing” yourself and celebrating all that you are and have in each moment for long, even permanent amounts of time. And once you do, others will, too. And that’s a beautiful thing! Something the instant gratification of technology could never give you.
Where in your life do you seek recognition from others? How can you make the shift to see yourself before needing to be seen by others? What talents do you possess that you can find value in and embody so that you can accept the whole of you? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear from the TDL Community!
All My Love,
Andrew “Drew” Parales is a Vocational Rehab Educator for students with disabilities in transition & employment, a school site program & events coordinator/trainer. Connect with Drew at: