I am seen

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“E M E R G E”

I am in to process of uploading some of my last years writing. Here’s another one, though edited and added to. I suppose that makes it a new blog.

Sometimes as I paint I don’t always know what will emerge. Sometimes it is just about applying paint to a canvas, the brush strokes, the colour, and other times I have a vague idea of what subject matter I want to explore. Occasionally, I have a clear idea, but the execution is not as successful as I’d imagined. At the same time I grapple with thoughts of inadequacy, that it’s not good enough, I’m not good enough and maybe that’s why I have so many yet to be completed artworks. But the truth is I am blessed with this gift and at the same time I am attacked with thoughts of not being good enough, talented enough, bold enough and all coupled with not having the time to explore what I love doing. The unfinished work progresses slowly, sometimes, and the blank canvases recurrently remain untouched.

Emerge started out as a study in oil paint of an eye and what I could do with it. The idea of the eye being the window to the soul was the inspiration and that if you could truly see into someone’s soul, they’d be truly seen. I wonder a lot about what it means to be truly seen. To be transparent. To be vulnerable. To see myself how God sees me. Do I see myself as God sees me? Clearly the answer is no. But before you get out your torches let me explain. How can I truly see myself as God sees me when all I have to try and understand God with is a human sized brain? As much as I’d like to think I’m the centre of the known universe, I certainly did not make it or what lies beyond it. Something we all face front on at more than one time in our life; with some of us it’s more often.

We are not made to walk alone. I am so not talking about finding “the one” here. I’m not against it, but if I can’t walk alongside the people placed in my life to walk with now, then I will never be “the one” material. Those we walk beside are our coaches and our training team for all those we do life with and will do life with in the future, be it single or married. We are made to walk alongside the people God has placed on the path of our lives to glean wisdom, to be sharpened by, to learn how to adult with. Whether they are smack in the centre of our path and our connections are strong and seemingly lifelong, or they are on the edges, either way we will travel with them for various lengths of seasons. Some intense, wisdom and knowledge filled God breathed moments that bring times of healing that are unexpected, yet prayed for earnestly, and some that do the day-to-day nitty gritty everyday life stuff with us.

Ultimately we desire to be known, but we fear, all too often, that if we are really seen no one would ever want to be in the same room with us. And this is the coupling that we have to come to terms with because we are all fighting the inner voices that tell us we are not good enough; talented enough; smart enough and we are not worthy to be known or loved. If anyone really knew how or what I thought about they would turn and run full speed in the other direction. Yet our desire to be connected is a vital as air, in spite of the constant attack.

A friend of mine mentioned a greeting to me once that I had to go and look up. The African Zulu greeting “Sawubona” means “I see you.” It’s followed by “I am seen.” It isn’t a general “hello”, that if we are honest, often comes across with little intent or desire to know the person on a deeper level. But “I see you” is linked with an oral tradition that says, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity and respect.” It is used in African communities that know one another and see into an individual’s life, heart and soul. This greeting challenges me and I believe it’s the enemy’s attack that feeds my fears of being seen even though I know I am hardwired to be known and to know others. To be connected on deeper levels. To be seen and to see.

What does it mean to be truly seen? How much are we willing to let be seen? How much of ourselves are we yet to see or are willing to see? How do we look at ourselves in positive ways and not in the negative ways we often think others may see us in, whether real or perceived? I know it is not easy to let ourselves be seen. Our past hurts hinder this as well. I am fortunate to have strong Godly mentors that I can share my walk with, to gain advice from in this journey into seeing myself how God sees me. I am his daughter. I am enough. I am worthy of love and to love. I am grateful for the gifts I have been given and yet to know I have. I am free. I know that I need to see myself as God sees me and He sees all of me. This challenges me and encourages me in my connections with those on my path.