The rest area had been a welcomed site after hours of driving. I stood in front of the sink waving my soap filled hands back and forth. I moved closer and then far away and then tried jumping back into position thinking the magic eye of the faucet would see me.
Standing still for a brief moment I looked in the mirror wondering if anyone could see the reflection I saw.
Convinced the faucet was not working, I stepped over to the next sink to try my luck. After several creative hand movements the water finally came on.
Moving to the paper towel dispenser I experienced the same problem. The other ladies in the restroom didn't seem to have any trouble when they stepped up to the sink and the paper towels came out just fine for them. What do I have to do for these automatic machines to see me?
It was as if I didn't exist.
I felt ignored and invisible.
Stepping outside the wind felt like it whistled right through me.
Maybe I’m not really here.
It happens to me all the time with these type of machines. Equally disturbing is the fact that no one in the room ever acknowledges my dilemma. It is a mystery to me why my DNA doesn't seem to set off the mechanical eyes. Am I the only one this happens to? Why don’t others notice?
How many times in life do we make others feel like these machines make me feel?
When you see someone with a disability do you avoid eye contact?
Do you power your way through your day pushing your agenda and not allowing others the opportunity to speak?
And what about the brown sign carriers—you know the ones on the corner with their life message scribbled on cardboard? Do you speed your car by them so that you don’t give your eyes and heart time to feel their message?
Standing in front of the faucet I just wanted to be seen. I wanted someone else to acknowledge my circumstance. I wanted to feel like I matter. Isn't that what we all want? We shouldn't have to jump up and down, stand in creative positions or shout to be noticed.
Maybe if we are honest, we don’t want others to look too deeply or see us too clearly as they will see our imperfections, our shame and our guilt.
Maybe this is why we walk by others without looking at them. We fear that by seeing them their imperfections, shame and guilt will reflect our own.
Look at them anyway.
See them with eyes wide open to their heart as the heart outshines all of these fears and opens the space of commonality that connects us. The gift of reflecting me in you and you in me is not one to fear. It is this heart opening that will make us feel seen and acknowledged.
Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“See and acknowledge others –
as in them we see and acknowledge ourselves.”
My intent in sharing this with you is to encourage you to think about how you feel when you don't believe you are seen and acknowledged. And, how you do this to others.
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