When is the first time you remember feeling "seen" as a child? I was so shy, winning the Most Quiet Girl Award in my eighth grade class. I once stood in a passel of chattering school chums when a classmate looked at me and said, "What's wrong with you--you never say a word!" Sometime after that comment (and after winning my award), I gave a speech in front of my class. I trudged up to the podium with a talk I wrote called "People Need People." Plastered on the front cover was this photograph of a girl scout tapping the rump of one of her troop leaders. I loved the mischief of that young girl. Her actions said: I know we all look solid and stolid and official but let's not forget to feel mirth in the moment. Mirth= Connection. I read my paper out loud to my class the way a lion roars in the jungle. It was thrilling to feel my audience bathe in my words. In that moment, I felt seen.
The author and international peace consultant, James O'Dea, said in a recent interview how important it is for people to be known for their essence, their qualities. One person may be tart cherry. Another sweet apricot. To be known for your qualities is to be born into your leadership.
It all germinates from a very early age. Remembering when you first felt seen is an important part of your life story.