Do you see me? Do you like what you see?
Someone told me today that those are two questions we keep asking people throughout our lives. I definitely agree. From the kid who constantly yells, "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" to the teenager trying on outfits who asks, "How do I look?" to the employee who works really hard on a presentation that the boss will see.
We want to matter. We want people to like us, to treat us as if we have worth. We want people to appreciate who we are.
Feeling invisible is a pretty awful thing. Just as awful is having people notice you, but only because they have negative things to say about you. That's why the silent treatment and getting bullied feel awful. It's terrible to not have people care how you're feeling. "How's it going?" has become just another way to say "Hello." That really bothers me. So much so that I make a concentrated effort not to use that phrase unless I want a real answer and am prepared to really listen. There have been numerous times in my life when I was feeling horrible inside, and as people passed me by, my answer was always, "I'm fine" because I knew they didn't want a real answer.
Let's try to pay some attention to the people around us. Practice your listening skills. Or maybe it's your turn to be heard. Open up to someone you trust about how you're really doing. Find someone who sees you, who appreciates who you are and loves you for it. I read today that we don't love people for how we feel about them; we love them for how they make us feel about ourselves. I love to be around people who tell me I'm worth something, who show it by their actions. I think if we all tried to be more aware of the people around us and how they're feeling, there would be fewer people hurting in our homes, in the church, in our schools, in the world.