Pakku is not used to compliments. Or for people to notice his skills over his quirks. He has been, for most of his life, largely invisible.
I remember watching a TEDtalk with Amanda Palmer. She was talking about how part of the service she offered, when she was working as a living statue, was what she called “intense eye contact.” She describes some of the most meaningful moments where she would interact with people, especially those that seemed lonely, and in that moment of eye contact there was a silent conversation. “Thank you. And, I see you.”
There is something very important about being seen. Sometimes it is very hard to see ourselves, or to view what we see with acceptance.
One comment I get a lot on my old story, Shades of Grey, is that the character shifts happen “too fast.” I am often told, “Nobody does a 180 like that,” which I have always found strange, because that is exactly how I would shift from one state to another during most of my younger years. I’ve since realized this was mostly because I had bad boundary control, and lived in an environment with people that would violate any boundaries I did attempt to create. I called myself “Silk and Steel,” because I would capitulate, and capitulate, and capitulate, and then suddenly something would catch, and I would become hard. Cold. Divorced from my feelings. I would feel like a being of cruel, harsh logic.
Nobody liked Steel very much. My first boyfriend, who was emotionally abusive, was particularly disapproving. I emerged from that relationship believing that my Steel side was wicked. Sick. Dark. And that, as a result, I would forever be alone.
I remember when Cory encountered Steel. He’d come for my advice on a difficult decision, one that I was emotionally invested in. And I felt that the only way I could be honest and a good friend was to access that cold, logical, emotionless aspect of myself. I was also prepared to lose him as a friend as a result. Instead, he valued it. He appreciated those pieces of me. He saw me.
It was a profoundly important moment in my life.
Have you had a moment where you were seen? Or where you saw someone else? How did it change your life?