How to overcome the pain of not being seen
As her words sunk in, I felt tears prick my eyes. I just wanted to disappear.
I felt hurt, angry and confused. What had I done to provoke such sharpness?
I got away quickly. Weeping quietly in my bedroom, I held my tender heart as I pondered our encounter.
She was a friend and precious to me.
And I was really upset by how she’d spoken to me.
I knew we’d get through it. But first I needed to start with myself. Do the deep work.
First things first. I released her energy. Her anger, her reaction, her projections. I cleared my energy from her. My expectations, control, neediness.
Yes. That felt lighter.
But I sensed there was more.
Why had this happened? What was it showing me? How was it serving me?
Often insights come easily. Other times I have to dig deeper.
I turned towards my tender self. This was a familiar pain.
I remembered harsh words exchanged at the dinner table, my 4 year-old face crumpling, too soft for my siblings’ verbal swordplay. ‘Cry baby.’
I remembered the pain of not being seen. Of wanting to disappear.
I remembered learning to hide. To protect my gentle sensitivity.
Only now I’m able to peel back those layers, piece by piece, rather than be trapped in them.
Now I’ve learned how to hold the hand of my younger self and help her to unfreeze.
As I touched the centre of this sorrow, it began to melt. Insights flooded in.
And I was able to own my part in this recent drama.
I saw how my comments, that had triggered my friend’s reaction, had been tinged with fear and subtle control.
I sensed that it hadn’t really been the best time to raise my concerns. Part of me knew better.
I saw how my pattern of intervening and ‘sharing my wisdom’ with others at times when they weren’t ready to hear it …
... simply reinforced my old story of not being seen.
(What I’ve discovered is that when we’re inside an old story, such as ‘I’m invisible’, we tend to show up in ways that preserve that belief. I see this in myself, my friends, my clients. All. The. Time.)
With my new insight my energy lifted. Phew! Clarity. Relief. Gratitude.
Meantime my friend had been in touch. She knew something was off.
We had an honest, heart-felt, courageous and vulnerable conversation to clear things up. Owning our imperfections and growing edges without blame or shame.
It brought us closer and built so much trust.
I’m blessed to have such friends.
And I know this process works even with those who have less self-awareness.
I remember introducing this self-empowered way of relating between the women on my Embody Your Feminine Superpowers retreat.
They were so grateful for permission to let go of competing, jealousy, comparisons, rescuing. Permission to be tender and honest, self-responsible and generous.
By the end of the week, they experienced new depths of self-connection and soul sisterhood.
I’m so thankful to have learned these deep skills, these new ways of relating to myself and others that have opened up so many blessings in my life.
And I’m committed to passing them on. Let’s heal our visibility wounds and create real connection. Starting with ourselves!