We all know the emptiness that comes with not being seen. Some of us are incapable of truly seeing people, while others are naturally gifted. Is there someone who really sees you? A friend that totally gets you? When you're with them, they see beyond externalities and go straight to who you are. Everyone else evaporates. You feel like the only other human being on earth. Their interest so genuine, it's foreign. You know you're understood though, and it's wonderful.
If someone's in pain, marginalized, or suffering in other ways, these individuals slip past disability, weakness or pain, and see people first. They touch the human essence somehow, and experience people whole - as if imperfection is invisible.
Being seen could be the most powerful and generous gift we can receive. Or give. Ever.
For most of us, it's far too easy to mentally drift when someone's talking, or be distracted in general. If we're honest, this can often be self-serving too - we're thinking of our needs and not staying in the moment. At other times, we spontaneously respond to someone's external wounds - unconsciously. Instead of making their heart the first stop, we noticed their marginalized aspects, addressing it instead of their true nature. We miss our chance to go for their wholeness first. They probably sense it too. Then we may awkwardly overcompensate - and in one unconscious split second, we sabotage our sincere desire to meet them whole.
We both lose. Being human is hard.
The ability to really see someone is actually easy. It's the practice that's hard. Getting it right takes conscious discipline at the start because we're reconditioning our heart and mind.
It's like inverted meditation in action. Yeah, I know...no clue what that means either, but it's imagery that comes to mind. Although we're not sitting still with hands open, we are, essentially, stilling and conditioning our mind and heart to empty, to make room only for the other person. This requires clearing tapes cluttering the mind waves. Being present means stepping out of everything else and into the person we're about to meet.
Real listening and sidestepping the ego's traps to distract us occur from a non-dualistic state of mind. A dose of empathy helps too. It's nature assists us in being fully present. Deep listening with our whole being - body, mind, and spirit simultaneously will take us there if we let it. It calls us to release the judgement that sneaks in and second guesses, telling us we're doing it wrong, or blocks us from being vulnerable. Vulnerability is a severe threat to the ego because it hates real. The ego loses its reason to be alive when we're connected and operating from our authentic self. Without its role to play, it risks dissolving into the ether - and hangs on for dear life - grasping tighter and tighter, the closer you get to being fully present and real.
Vulnerability, transparency, and empathy are key. The ego will pull out all the stops to slow you down. It will probably show up as fear. Just put your shoulder down and go in.
Empathy is at the heart of this sight. Empathy is rooted in the Greek, but the word is from the German, meaning literally, "feeling in." Empathy understands and identifies with another's reality. I think the experience of empathy between human beings may hold answers to some things we don't yet understand - such as healing. Time will tell I suppose.
Feeling pity, or minimizing someone's situation, dismissing their feelings, or suggesting they 'shouldn't' feel this way - is not helpful. This negates them and instantaneously can shut someone down. When someone shuts down emotionally, their soul is announcing it's no longer safe. They sense they're not experienced for who they really are. Really being operative here.
Seeing past the suffering gives others freedom. It's different than ignoring it. Ignoring does not ignite openness and trust - because it pushes it away and hides it. It's equivalent to not seeing. Looking beyond it says you're with them; you are holding their suffering with them - but their essence is what you see. On your way in to meet someone, you know it's there but it doesn't draw you to it first. Their essence carries the power, not their suffering. You're holding it together, however.
Jesus often showed us how its done. When healing people, he saw them first - not the suffering. Then he asked what ailed them. Their suffering wasn't the focus. Seeing them was.
Think about the woman who touched his robe in the crowd. She touched him hoping he could heal her, but when she did, he felt the energy drain from his body. He asked who touched him. She spoke up and told him why. It wasn't until she said what she needed/wanted that Jesus said 'Go in peace. Your faith has healed you." This is the only time it says energy drained from his body that I know of.
This makes me wonder.
First, if he says her faith healed her, she had faith she would be healed. When she touched his robe, did she draw his anointing power to her...did her faith do that? We know it happened because he felt drained before he knew who was there.
Second, did healing require their energy to interact? In a reciprocal flow perhaps? Isn't this similar to how the Trinity operates? Was it important to maintain an even flow of this power, for spiritual balance? And, ultimately, is this true for us too? As we release energy, are we replenished by a flow coming from others? Like a waterwheel or fountain, perhaps? Even if it's weaker than ours, a flow will help keep something cycling.
Third, did they enter into an agreement without words? When she said what she needed/believed and he acknowledged her suffering and faith, she was seen. When the verbal exchange took place, it seems Jesus regained balance too. But I don't know about that. It still hints to me that...
Relationships are fundamental to everything. Even the Creation story tells us that. Adam was not whole without companionship either. Scientists acknowledge synergy in dynamic relationship isn't created by the two participants, but by what happens in the space between them. It's here transformation happens. This is true in almost every aspect of biological life. From light, particles, and waves; to the universe, sun and moon. To Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
It resonates in my experiences too. We're easily drained when caught off guard or not well grounded - or said differently - when we're centered in our relationship to the Divine as the ground of our being.
This is standing in the center of ourselves. It's the anchor that connects us to all that is. That's some powerful grounding. I imagine it like snaps. The kind on a cowboy shirt from the 70's. Remember how hard they can be to snap into place if you didn't have them lined up just right?
But when you did, snap!
If not, you fiddled til you got it. You gave it your full attention, even if for only a second. That's all it needed. It wasn't the amount of time, it was the quality of your presence.
Another way to imagine being disconnected is to think of a time a derogatory comment came at you out of left field. It throws you off balance, and can easily wound - or opens an old one you didn't know you had. You were not standing in your power. And did not acknowledge the flow coming at you, not able to receive it and keep it cycling.
We are co-participants in the flow of life.
Jesus says - "I did not heal you. Your faith has healed you." He was a conduit for God's power, and she had the faith to access it. Not everyone that touched him was healed or drained him. The power and belief she called forth must have been powerful. Jesus, in oneness, felt the imbalance. Did her faith draw it without agreement from Jesus the man?
Does this mean she healed herself? Not exactly. It sounds more like her faith was grounded at the source - flowing from the ground of her being. This kind of faith comes from the ability to stand centered in the source of life itself, or the Divine. In other words, she snapped herself in. When you can stand snapped in, you're connected. This is the place transformation lives.
Non-dual consciousness and being 'connected' at the ground of our being in the Divine feel slightly different in my experience, yet they result in the same clarity and balance. It's a safe place that knows who it is - and is clear about being love and loved. It doesn't ask anything of it, or question it. It just is.
Her connection to it gave her power driven by faith. Jesus' anointing gave him access to the flow of God. I wonder if, like the Trinity and a waterwheel, no matter how much power or faith someone has, the flow needs co-participation to activate, maintain balance, and create forward motion. If it sets itself higher, lower, or outside the other, does it stall?
Is truly seeing each other - past imperfections and suffering - the power switch? Is the secret to activating some gifts of the Spirit and other mystical experiences found in our ability to access this in our relationship to God, and activate it through relationship with others? I don't know, but I do wonder...
(DRAFT WORKING COPY)