Once I talked with a friend who is experiencing the first rush of love in a new relationship. The relationship is not defined at this moment. They are just enjoying getting to know each other. There is great promise or she would not have told me about him. She is not one to talk about every man she dates. We were talking on the phone, so I could not see her expression. The lilt in her voice was hopeful, vulnerable, and tender. She said he has kind eyes. She said he says things that she says without knowing she says them. She said she has already told him some of her fears. She described the way he is already able to really see her in a way few men have. I knew exactly what she meant.
I began to weep as she spoke. I wept out of joy for her. The idea that she is sharing her time with someone special in such a meaningful way makes me smile from the bottom of my soul. I wept because I know how scary it is to feel deeply and risk a broken heart. After many relationship false starts and failures, it can seem easier to quit and simply never reach out. She is courageously stepping into the space where pain and disappointment can live. I wept feeling grief over losses I have experienced. There is a sadness at what might have been.
To be held by someone who really sees you is perhaps life’s greatest gift.
What does it mean to be seen? That kind of connection is rare. That kind of connection is real. That kind of connection can not be faked. Does being seen endure day-to-day? Can it be lost when life gets in the way? I am not sure. There is safety in the arms of someone who sees you. That person seems to immediately know the good and bad, the sane and crazy, the public and private. They want to hold you anyway. They may even want to hold you because of the complexities and contradictions. Weakness becomes strength in their arms. What makes you difficult is easy for them. Seeing it all is the basis of the connection.
Being seen is mutual. They see you. You see them.