(This is part of an ongoing series of highlights from past Listen to Life newsletters. Many readers and subscribers were not following when this came out. Enjoy.)
This Wednesday we’ll have an opening reception at Good to Go Café for a small segment of my work titled “Show Me Who You See in Me.” I’m proud of the body of work, and moved by the meaning of the title. It is something we can all do.
Several years ago, I explained to a young woman the how and why of my photographic style in trying to reveal who I see in women from my side of the gender fence, and by listening attentively to the things she says and those she silences. She then said, “I would love for you to show me who you see in me.” It takes courage to ask, and trust to share. But we would all grow if we did both.
Obviously, this sort of exchange should be born in mutual respect. Do your friends know who and what you see in them? Do your parents? Your children? Do your kids know that you see in them the positive characteristics of family members they have never met, or looks of ancestors long gone? Do your parents know that you see in them the epitome of work, dedication and balance…and, perhaps, simple humanity? Does the stocker at the store know that you see in him the shining example of courtesy and service? Do your employees know that you see in them the talent and compassion that will take them far?
It is much easier to tell others who and what you see in them than it is to ask. But, it may be worth trying with a family member or friend. Simply ask, “Tell me who you see in me.” The results can be grounding, inspiring and affirming. Don’t expect only answers of perfection. One of the questions that I use in many of my self-discovery writing workshops is “the people who love you most genuinely would say you are what?” Answers ranging from beautiful to rugged, from patient to impatient, and from sublime to smart aleck are all observations of those who love you. They comprise who you are. Welcome to humanity; welcome to being loved as imperfect.