No, thank you. I prefer not to be seen when I am challenged by life. I prefer to withdraw or stay home and for sure not answer my phone. However, what I prefer and what brings out the best in me….what brings support….what brings love and connection are often complete opposites.
In 2014, I tried the “withdrawal” method. I suddenly had crippled legs; like a jenga tower before it collapses. I had been a marathon runner, an athlete, always fit. Not anymore. I could barely walk to the bathroom and was not equipped emotionally to move through it with grace and love and wanting to connect. I withdrew from everyone including my husband and my dearest friends. It took me almost 14 months to shift that momentum; the greatest contribution to that shift was my “I See You” person.
We all have one…….that person that you suddenly become your true self, your smiling, open I’m loved just the way I am person. That person for me was my 17-year old son. What a gift. He never saw his mom as weak, as crippled, as sad or as failing at life. He saw my beautiful heart, my funky sense of humor, he saw the mom he loves and we laughed and had fun like I wasn’t challenged at all. That thread, that golden thread to my heart was like my life-preserver and I grabbed it and found a way to swim to shore.
I defied all odds from all doctors…."you will never walk again especially now that you are using a walker." "You will never walk without orthotics or braces." "This is as good as it gets." In 2016 I was free of any walker and of any orthotics or braces. In fact, I was walking barefoot all the time.
I have often told my son he was the reason I found that strength I didn’t know I had…….he saw ME. He was and is my "I See You" person. What I didn’t know, is that I had LOTS of those in my life.
In May 2021, my sweet legs entered another ”Jenga tower“ phase and once again I am learning to walk; defying all odds. But this time is different, I am NOT withdrawing....in fact I am connecting, being open, being vulnerable and yet allowing my “I See YOU” friends and loved ones to laugh with me, connect with me, send me funny jokes and love me exactly as I am. This is a big lesson and oh so valuable.
I share this with you, especially for those of you who may be withdrawing right now. Who may feel like you have failed, you are stuck, you just aren’t where you are supposed to be in life or that others just don’t understand what you are dealing with.
You have at least one “I See You” person in your life……could be a grandparent, a teacher, a good friend, a sibling, a spouse….that person that doesn‘t even see your crippled legs, your debt, your weight, your failures, your heartbreak…….they see YOU!! The true YOU….the soul of YOU….the heart of YOU….the YOU that is and always has been YOU.
Allow ONE of them in….text them, call them, go to lunch with them….and then set aside lamenting and explaining your circumstances and open up to laughter, to love, to that expression of you that might only be a trickle but is the true YOU….allow the love of this person to bring out the goodness in you and be your golden thread, your life preserver to defying all odds and discover that inner strength and inner goodness you didn’t even know was in you!
I See YOU!!!