It’s Okay To Want To Be Seen


I took a picture of myself journaling. That is some is next level shit.

I use social media as a tool for connection and to get my art into the world immediately and accessibly and I also use it to be noticed, observed doing something useful in the world- therefore making it valid.

I used to be ashamed of my desire to be seen. I went to therapy, I floated in tanks of salt. I swam with cosmic dolphins, I went to vaginal exploration classes, I danced with scarves and talked to hand puppets. I even had a man play didgeridoo over my naked body trying to cleanse me of my longing to be seen.

I thought “maybe there’s something hurt or unfinished in me that would be filled up by being seen?”

I thought “am I a narcissist? Do I have a personality disorder in this desire to be seen?

 

There’s nothing wrong with being seen.

Be seen.

If you feel the need to be seen- go get yourself seen.

 

What’s unnecessary is the shame we feel around the showing – and then the pretending we’re doing something different.

“Here’s a picture of me journaling, I’m on day 29 of my journaling mastermind. It feels so great to be so deeply connected with my inner wisdom.”

No.

“Here’s a picture of me journaling. I took it, so I could be seen journaling.”

Much better.

You are not deficient because you like how many likes you get.

It’s important to feel liked. I’ve liked being liked since the day I was born.

Own it.

When social media was born I finally found an easy outlet to be seen and the hunger left me. It was a relief. And I didn’t mind making mistakes. I shared my imperfections. I played with the medium. I was fast and followed my impulses and didn’t care about grammar (I still don’t). It became a new art practice.

And then I starting realizing that we’ve been longing to be seen our entire time on earth. People wrote hieroglyphs to have them seen 1000’s of years later. Buckminster Fuller kept all his receipts and a daily journal and calendar of all his appointments and entered something new every 15 minutes as an experiment to track his life, “I was here.” This was his mark.

Putting our lives on social media is one of the main ways we reach out and find community now. I have friends I love that I’ve never met in the flesh. It’s how we pass on critical information and get smarter and it’s because we want to be seen.

We learn from seeing other peoples lives and fuck ups and turnarounds. We are inspired by seeing and warned and hopeful and angry.

When you are brave enough to let someone “see you” you are giving them the opportunity for choice and dissemination and compassion and judgment.

When you show the shit you just did in your pants (metaphorically) you are gifting us with not making the same mistake, or even better – relieving us that we are not alone in the skidz.

That being said…I’m misunderstood a lot. People think I’m sharing my unfiltered guts. Friends check up in me “You ok em? That post you wrote was pretty raw.” It’s well-intentioned but annoying.

I’m a professional sharer. I give you what I’ve already cleaned up inside myself. It’s always safe. I’ve processed it. I decide what you get to see and I show you with the prism that I think is most interesting. That’s what being a good storyteller is. “Here’s the lens, now look at this fractal. Yah. That’s some pretty fucked up shit eh?”

But the value is that I share my hilarious horror of what it means to be human (and the ridiculous beauty) with the intention to connect deeply.

I use the medium of social media to practice – being myself – in a public forum to make you laugh/cry in recognition.

I want it to hurt so good.

 It’s not crazy to say it’s become part of my spiritual practice; walking this fine line of real life and online. In both worlds, I’m the same person asking the same questions. Am I here? Am I present? Am I being fully me? How can I serve?

That’s my hieroglyph.

Cracking open these dusty ribs, powering washing them clean and then getting used to the shine…