Every day we rush around, going to school, to work, doing errands. How often do we really see the people we pass along the way? How often do we even look them in the eye? Or do we scurry by hoping not to engage and thus be deterred from completing our mission in the precious few minutes we’ve allotted? Conversely, have you ever had an experience when you connected with someone you didn’t know, maybe shared a moment’s experience, eyes smiling into theirs, and then walked away filled with the elation of having touched spirit to spirit?
Derived from Sanskrit, the Indian greeting Namaste is often translated as “from the light within me to the light within you.” How beautiful!
And the following excerpt from the blog, http://sheilaochugboju.posterous.com/sawubona-i-see-you-africa-knows, blew me away:
The Zulu greeting, “Sawubona” means “I see you” and the response “Ngikhona” means “I am here.” I love the depth of meaning that African languages carry. Inherent in the Zulu greeting and in the grateful response, is the sense that until you saw me, I didn’t exist. By recognizing me, you brought me into existence. A Zulu folk saying clarifies this, “Umuntu ngumuntu nagabantu“, meaning “A person is a person because of other people.” We are liberated by our connections to our community and when they truly see us, they offer a mirror to our inner selves that allows us to freely connect.
Wow! What a departure from our simple “hello” or “hi”!
For don’t we all just want to be seen for who we really are?! To be seen, not just as a first impression, but as a multi-dimensional human being with many gifts to offer.
Through her artwork our wonderful friend, Antoinette Martignoni, taught us the need and the value of being seen. She shares this on her website www.youareseen.com:
YOU ARE SEEN. Knowing we are seen is to see with new eyes our neighbors as ourselves.
Imagine shifting our perspective to truly see another person in a way that acknowledges who they really are; letting go of the judgments about appearance, accent, intelligence, behavior, and seeing the light that shines from their essence. And when we do, miraculously, they in turn begin to view us through a more accepting, appreciative lens.
As an exercise, next time you are walking along and pass another, silently say, “I see you.” Feel what happens inside. Feel the light that begins to peek out and that grows every time you repeat this experience. Let your light shine and by simply doing so you will unleash the light of others.
Please share any experiences you may have with this exercise – we’d love to hear about it!