“Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be recognized as the person that they are and not a stereotype or an image.” –  Loretta Lynch

It hurt, it was difficult, but it was necessary. As much as I wanted to keep myself covered up and avoid being seen or heard, I knew that doing so would result in just that. My heart was broken and I was not going to just swallow it and let it settle in my stomach. I’d had to break promises I’d made to my daughter, and that cold feeling had spread across my soul. More than anything I never want to have to let my children down, and that’s the reality I was facing.

So, naturally, I went to Facebook to rant. My normal rantings were about politics, movies, food, and sarcastic memes. Yesterday, though, I put some personal shit out into the universe because I honestly felt so full up that I wasn’t able to keep it to myself anymore. Under normal circumstances I’d just bottle every little nuance up and tuck it away for a day I could overthink it. It’s such a natural reaction I had to actually force myself to pay closer attention yesterday and own that I was doing “it” again.

The thing about being seen and heard is that you put yourself in a position where you’re admitting weakness. For someone like me who had no choice but to put myself in a position where I was never allowed to show any sort of weakness it’s a spot that I’m totally unfamiliar with. It was scary. There, I said it. I was scared. I had no idea how the people in my life would react to seeing me be, well, basically, naked. Like, in that nightmare when you walk into class and everyone’s laughing because you’re in your underwear.

What’s good about being seen? The people in your life are given the chance to actually offer you help. Why is that important? Because when you always give off the “I can handle it on my own,” vibe people never get to show you they care about you without feeling weird about it. How does someone help you when you are always closed off and the door is closed? It’s a difficult step, to be sure, but the upside of showing your skin a little makes you come across more human and approachable.

More than anything I want to take the steps to be a better me, and one of the biggest steps towards that goal was this: strip away all that pride and hard-headedness and let the people in my life know that I was truly struggling with an issue and that if they could help me it would be the greatest thing ever.

The most beautiful part of this situation was how the people in my life reacted. I was so unsure of myself and putting my business out into the universe that I could never have guessed my tribe would show up so hardcore. The offers of help I was given were more than I could have ever asked for, and it came in so many different versions. Without going into specifics I can say that I have never felt so cared about by the people in my life. I shouldn’t be shocked by the outpouring of help, I really shouldn’t.

This is why I say people should be seen and heard; it feels good on every level. There is nothing better than having to worry less about an issue because your tribe knew you had a need and they came to your side and said, “Here,” and from each person, it meant something different. People like to help, people want to know that when you needed them they were there. It’s an amazing feeling to offer aid to a loved one and know that you made their life better. Normally, this is my position so I can vouch for this. I love helping, and if I know there’s something I can do I just do it, I don’t even ask: I’m that asshole.

It’s a comforting feeling knowing I have friendships from thirty years ago, twenty years ago, and last year that all can show up when I need them. Nothing stopped people from coming to me and asking what they could do, how they could help, or what they could offer. To me, that’s the most magical and special part of having a tribe of people connected by friendship. The mush factor is high with this one, but I feel like it needs to be said. I’ve had people in my life for so long now that I haven’t even seen in years, but the moment I mention I need help, they’re right there.

It’s a beautiful thing, and I just hope I can repay the kindness I was shown this week in some way ❤

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