And You Do, Too
One of the strangest things about life is that, deep down,
whether or not we admit it, we hunger for the same things, no
matter who we are, or where were from, or what we do. Not material
things, of course. But nor what were taught to desire: money, sex,
fame, and power, all of which are just easy ways to pretend we dont
really want something deeper, truer, more meaningful and lasting
and significant and worthy from this life. Pretending all that,
which is living a lie, leads to great inner pain which, if its not
tended to, only grows. Ill come back to that.
To be seen, to be held, and to be known. Theyre the three things
everyone wants. I can prove it to you with a sentence: imagine you
had all the material stuff in the world you ever wanted, all the
money, sex, power, and so on, now double it, now double it again,
but no onenot a single soulever really saw you, held you, or knew
you. Id bet youd be depressed, hollow, and broken in just a year or
two, because every bit of pleasure would only hurt that
The strange truth is this. Though these are the three things
everyone really wants, almost no one knows how to give them (except
maybe babies and puppies), and so the world spins in pain, anger,
shame, and rage. Lets consider it for a moment. How often do people
really see you? Hold you? Know you? What happens when they dont?
You feel a little ashamed, angry, afraid, or guilt, dont you? And
so, in every single interaction that we have, from the smallest to
the biggest, to most trivial to the most significant, arent these
three things all that were really looking for? So as a result,
those tiny few that can give us these three magical things we
immediately gush over, adore, and celebrate, saying theyre full of
charisma or warmth or energy, and so on.
The trickthats a terrible shorthand, so let us say instead the
giftin life therefore is to give them generously, freely, with
abandon. If you can see people, hold people, and know people, quite
simply, people will love you. You will be able to relate to people,
as the pop-psycho lingo goes, but its better to say that youll feel
more alive, overflowing with a sense of really being here, now,
this, you. Not because you are seen, held, or known back.
You often wont be, and you dont need to be: its not some kind of
trade. Something subtler and greater happens. The gift is itself
the reward. That doesnt make any sense yet, I know. It will, after
I discuss each one briefly.
To see someone, really see someone. Its the hardest thing of
all. Why is that? Because seeing another person asks us to be
naked, too. To see clearly, we must drop our own veils. We cannot
see anyone if we are only idealizing, romanticizing, or the....