You are Seen
Learning how to see the world is a precious experience indeed. To be able to pick out the plants by name, to notice the dandelions and the chickweed, to delight in the specific history of things. For so long in the western world our human narrative has been distanced from that of the landscape’s. Like a play with an elaborate backdrop, everything beyond our own storylines was just background. Healing this blind spot has been a vital correction— one that is helping us to regain the kind of “second sight” that only comes when we can recognize the aliveness of the earth.
But sometimes we spend so much time trying to see clearly again that we forget the most basic and unbelievably heartwarming truth of all— that we are also being seen
For as much of a revelation as it is for us to take off the blindfold and once again recognize the natural world as our kin, the living denizens of the earth never stopped seeing us as part of everything.
In their eyes, we have always been a character in the wider narrative arc of things.
A few mornings ago, this all came knocking at my window.
I had just woken up and was taking my sweet time, like a cat savoring the milklight of morning. In no hurry to get up, I was ruminating about what I wanted to write for this post (yes, I spend long mornings thinking about these missives! Writing them is a true joy in my life). Sometimes the muse stacks up and there is a veritable catalogue of things I’m feeling drawn to talk about. This particular morning however, I couldn’t get over this one thought—what would be different if we all walked about the world knowing that we were truly seen?
I was turning over the wonder of this idea when I heard a tap at the window. I ignored it as a play from the wind, until I heard the tap again. I sat up in bed. There, perched on the window sill and peering directly in at me was a saffron-colored Goldfinch. Warm as copper in the morning light, she looked at me, directly into me, and then tapped the glass one more. Softly, like a fingertip knocking on the door of a loved one who is expecting you. I gazed right back and said with wide eyes “Thank you.” And then she turned and flew off.
The need to be seen isn’t an act of ego or self-centered solipsism, it’s a natural part of becoming in this world. Without being seen, how will the flower attract the bee? Without being recognized by those that surround you, how can you give your gifts to the wider community?
To be seen means to belong once more to everything.
I remember the first birding class I ever took. The instructors told us that one of the most common misconceptions of the beginning birder is to assume that the forests are always alive with loud calls, when what they are actually hearing is the birds passing on the message that there is a human in the midst. Those same calls are then picked up and spread from one end of the forest to another, traveling from bird to fox to deer.
So often we go about the world thinking that we are invisible, irredeemable or simply alone— meanwhile the whole forest is responding to us being there. We assume that what we are hearing is the ongoing hub of a world that doesn’t see us, meanwhile, what we are tuning into is the world continually responding to our presence.
It’s a hard thing, a vulnerable thing to let yourself be really seen. To realize that you are an intricate part of things. To peel back our layers of professionalism or status and just be as we are— a human being, goofy, loving, learning, fallible. But this is also where all true connection and healing begins.
At some point in time I started moving past the sometimes manic need to see (name, categorize, ID), and just let myself be seen— in all my tender foibles and my earnestness. And when I did my whole understanding, of myself and the earth, got so much richer.
What would happen if you walked through the world and could know that you were being seen by the trees, the creeks, the hawk high up and circling in the sky? That you are not alone? That the part of you that aches to rejoin the wider ecology of the world is being recognized as the unique and important being that you are?
When we are seen, everything changes.
We become free to truly just be ourselves, in their entirety.
There is, right now, a whole community in the green and growing world that is not only ready to see you, but to show yourself to you again.
Are you ready to meet them?
Then, come join me for Intuitive Plant Medicine, an eight-week online program that will guide you in developing deep relationships with the natural world. Registration closes April 28th and won’t open again until next year.
Come, learn, join us and welcome in the magic that is waiting to embrace you again. I would love to see you there.