As I munched my salad, the familiar shrinking feeling came over me. A knot in my belly. A small sad voice asking: ‘What about me?’ The pain of not feeling seen.
We were having lunch with friends. They knew my husband well and I was getting to know them too.
The last time we’d met I liked them, but came away feeling invisible. They were outgoing, talkative and didn’t seem that interested in me. Or so my stories told me.
I’m generally quiet, a good listener and ask questions so I can get to know people. Others often feel very seen in my company.
These are qualities shared by many of us with an ‘I’m invisible’ pattern.
But the habits of hiding sneak in. At times I avoid revealing myself. Wait to be invited to speak rather than come forward with my opinions or the things I’m excited about.
Since our last gathering, I’d done deep work on my invisibility patterns. Now I spotted it quickly.
Without leaving the table or breaking conversation, I turned towards the little one inside me that carried that contraction. I felt her, soothed her, told her ‘I see you, darling.’
In the warmth of my presence, she relaxed. I returned to the chat more deeply connected to myself and genuinely extended connection to the others.
Almost immediately, the discussion turned. ‘What about you, Rionach? Tell us what you’ve been up to.’
I felt their genuine interest open up space for me to share.
And because I was deeply connected to myself, I was able to share in a way that was real, relatable and engaging.
They loved what I was sharing. I could feel the connection between us shift to a new level.
They could feel me, because I was in touch with my own feelings.
They could see me, because I was seeing myself.
And they really valued what they saw, because I was allowing my true self to come forward. Not hiding away from fear of rejection.
I’ll never forget that moment.
Because it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. One that went on to impact all our lives in profound ways.
In time, my friends became collaborators. They support and sponsor my work in incredibly generous ways.
And I’ve ignited new ways of being, creating and working for them that they truly appreciate.
My heart overflows with gratitude for the gift of our connection.
Visibility blocks can be surprisingly hard to spot.
I hear this from my clients all the time. ‘I didn’t even know visibility was an issue for me, until I met you.’
If you feel like you need some help spotting yours, book a Visibility Clarity Session with me. I'd love to have a chat with you.
You deserve to be seen, known and valued.
(Artwork by Kristin Vestgard)