Home > advice -- not that you asked, following your heart could possibly lead off a cliff > seeing and being seen: that moment is a spark

seeing and being seen: that moment is a spark

You know what matters? Seeing and being seen. I’ve talked about that before, I know. But sometimes, life catches me off guard and reminds me of this in a good way. Most people only deal with the surface of things: the smile, the laugh, the presentation. Those things are facets of who we are, but they are all also camouflage.

The people who see us for who we are, flaws and all? They’re paying attention. They care. They notice. And there’s something pretty amazing about that. I think that often times we get used to people not really seeing us. A lot of life is silence and defenses, closed doors and tight lips. So when someone does show us that they get who we are, it’s an ah-ha moment. A pleasant surprise. That moment is a spark.

You know, it goes both ways. In relationships, there are different kinds of intimacy. Physical intimacy is great. (Not just sex and kissing. This depends on the nature of the relationship, but physical intimacy is important always. Fist bumps. Shoulder nudges. Handing holding. Whatever. CONTACT.) For that, there is no substitute. Emotional intimacy is essential, too. Because without honesty, without talking, without vulnerability – what is there? Two people in a shared space, existing without living. It’s the living that’s important.

So often, we get so caught up in life that we forget to live. We punch the clock. Go to the gym. Clean. Grocery shop. And we get lost in that rut of the daily grind. We smile less. We wall ourselves up more. We get lost in our own heads. We stop being the best version of ourselves. We start looking at life like it’s a math equation. We talk in terms of the things we have to do, instead of those we want to do. Dreams get lost that way. It’s all too easy to let happen. But one of the most important things I ever learned was to be in the moment. Close your eyes. Forget everything else. And it will change your life. Put the phone down. Turn off the television.

See. And be seen.

“That’s why I love you and yet not why.
There are so many reasons, and yet so few,
for love has to be so,
involving and general,
particular and terrifying,
joyful and grieving,
flowering like the stars,
and measureless as a kiss.” Pablo Neruda

“She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood.

She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.” Neil Gaiman, Fragile Things

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