Posted in after the diagnosis, authenticity, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, Integrity, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Who Really Sees You?

We’re in one of the greatest spiritual and social struggles of history.  We’re fighting the fight between putting on a persona in order to live life the way society thinks we should live it and the desire to live life authentically.  It’s a continuous duel that plays havoc on your soul because every day requires taking on new challenges and the need to develop strategies for living authentically.  What do you have to abandon socially, politically or economically to live more authentically?  How will you know when others see you for who you really are?

It’s easy to live the life of multiple personas especially when confronted with a chronic or life-threatening illness.  There is a tug-o-war between wanting to be strong and heroic and cry like a baby while being vulnerable.  In many cases neither of these personas is seen by the world.  What is seen is a reasonable facsimile of your true self.  If you live with too much bravado you may keep others at bay because they are thinking you don’t need their support or help.  Living from the place of ultimate vulnerability may frighten people because this fragile persona may need too much and they may not be prepared for the journey.

The truth is you own both of these extremes on the continuum.  So who really sees you?  Who is the person(s) in your life who can see through the false persona and see all aspects of the real you?  How did this person develop that skill?  Many rely on long-term relationships as the foundation for being seen.  Having history with someone gives you lots of data allowing you to sift through the act and cut to what’s truly real. 

The struggle emerges because we all want to be seen.  There isn’t a living creature on this earth who doesn’t want to be seen for their own magnificence.  The best way to allow others to see you is for you to take a good look at yourself.  Get to know who you are with all the positives and negatives you can conjure up.  It’s our complexity that gets in the way.  When you live a simpler life, not referring to things, but a simpler inner life you’re easier to understand.  When you aren’t covered up by layers of falsehoods or shoulds you’re more accessible. 

Being seen allows you to take a deep breath and then exhale deeply.  As you exhale sink into your authentic being.  Release the pretense of the life you’re living and give up the duel.  There are no winners in a duel so fighting to the death isn’t a win.  On this journey to wellness having the mindfulness to release the false persona releases you into the wild of what’s possible.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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