Wanting To Be Seen
December 25, 2021
Laura Lee

“What have we found, in those moments, that we are always looking for outside?” My yoga class had just finished, and the teacher was sharing a few thoughts like he often does at the end of a class. He was talking about those fleeting moments of peace that we might meet in yoga and on a few other occasions. My first thought was ‘silence’, and someone else echoed me out loud. “To be seen,” the teacher answered.

I don’t know if it’s because I had been out of yoga for a while, and this was my first introspective moment in months, or if it’s because I had been going through a difficult time recently, but his words really struck me. I suddenly realized that this is something that I really struggle with. The teacher went on to explain how it’s part of human nature. We buy flashy cars and fashionable clothing etc. because we want to be seen. But for me, this seemed to run deeper. I’m naturally a shy introvert and keep myself to myself. I am the youngest of 4 siblings and have always felt that I am still treated as the baby of the family. A lot of my world views are different from the rest of my family, and I’ve never felt that they respected me. At work I’ll often say something, only to be completely ignored, or sometimes even undermined, and I’m not sure which is worse.

Getty Images/Moment/Oscar Wong

When a person is being watched without knowing, then everything is normal. The minute we know we’re being watched, our behavior instinctively changes. Part of Vijnana yoga is learning to find the balance between ‘seeing’ and ‘being seen’. Hearing my yoga teacher say those words, suddenly strung everything together. I’m in an endless battle, fighting to be seen. But in reality, it doesn’t matter how much other people will see me, or how much I am seen by them. No one can truly see me, apart from me. So now it’s about trying to let go of the battle and learning to accept that it’s enough to be seen by myself because that’s what truly matters.

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