Two weeks ago I wrote about How to Be an Adult in Relationships and I got this response from Kirsi and she gave me permission to publish it:
”Your newsletter touched me a lot. The most important sentence for me was ‘…we can gain our power back in mirroring (being witnessed).’ I’m actually working on this subject myself right now and related to this I have realized that I don’t see myself, I don’t watch myself. I suppose you can’t see yourself unless you’ve been seen/witnessed first. I think this could be a part of or already is part of your workshops.
Now I understand why it was so powerful for me to attend your free webinar. Of course because of the topic which was important to me at the time (Anger, hate ?), and your great hosting but really seeing myself in that little frame on the zoom screen. I was kinda shocked about the emotions I saw my face reflecting. I wasn’t aware at all about the deepness of the emotion and how it was showing. I thought I wasn’t showing anything.
And it could be that nobody else saw any emotion on my face, but I think the point is that I saw myself and recognized the deep emotion in me. And I don’t think it would have been possible without the acceptance, the feeling that I was being witnessed by you and other participants.
Now I wonder what it means to a person to see oneself, to witness your own emotions?”
I am sharing this email for a few reasons.
One is that the way Kirsi wrote touched me. She wrote about the wish to be mirrored and I especially like this sentence ”I have realized that I don’t see myself, I don’t watch myself. I suppose you can’t see yourself unless you’ve been seen/witnessed first”.
I both agree and don’t agree. We can also be witnessed by others and in that process see ourselves. I think both being seen by others and seeing ourselves is important and can happen in parallel.
Secondly this wish to be seen and witnessed is so fundamental to us humans. We are social mammals and whether we choose it or not we do have a desire to be seen and mirrored. In the historical past we humans survived in groups – we needed others for hunting food, building shelter, reproduction and avoiding danger, such as floods or saber tooth tigers. We can far better survive in the modern world and we are still run by a desire to be accepted by our flock and be seen by our closest people.
There’s nothing wrong with a wish to be seen and heard as we are; to be listened to without advice or commentary. However when our wish to be seen and to be accepted by others is running us and determining our actions – that’s the point when this is no longer serving us. Here is a video I made about that:
I made a also a video about this topic, our desire to be seen and witnessed by others and by ourselves:
Thirdly, I love when people get ideas, thoughts or inspirations from my newsletters, webinars or other events and share those with me and Pete. I feel seen then. I make my work matter and feel more motivated to write and record videos and organize free webinars.
I also want to share another sweet message I received after sending a newsletter called ”Tuulia’s List of Life”. Eevi wrote this
”This is what I came up with on these lists so far:
Best self love tips:
Eat, sleep, go out, forgive yourself often, regularly. Take a shower at night, before bed. Morning and evening have a moment of prayer/motivational moment/silence/nourishment. Notice bodily sensations and verbalize them. Say what’s happening in you. Take more than you give. Ask for what you want and what you need. Use the resources and people in your life. It’s now or never and you are worth it! Speak, speak, speak.
How to heal from wounds and trauma:
Give time, see and experience the tricky situations that happen in daily life, and learn from it; use it for your growth. In silence, the cause of trauma arises, the connection from the past to these tricky situations is seen and it all makes sense. Give good space and good time for them to arise, and safety. Self compassion. Do not judge yourself.
Letting go of people and habits that I don’t want in my life anymore:
Say truthfully what I feel, exit the game. Decide, make a decision, I don’t want this anymore. And act on that decision. Final talk. Drawing boundaries. Grieving. Saying goodbye. I am sad that this didn’t work out. I want us both to get over this and go forward. What does it need for us to do that? What is still unclear? And I let people have their own processes and just be responsible for my own.
Steps to rewarding and fun sex and intimacy:
Create a safe environment and be safe ourselves. Play together. Full acceptance (which might come from noticing lack of acceptance, and verbalizing it).
Forgetting unhealthy patterns:
Observing, seeing how that pattern does not serve me. Also enquiring, how it does serve me, i.e. how I benefit from it and use it for my own detriment (maybe in the past). Hot seat work or constellation, to get to know the pattern. Then allowing for a spontaneous natural process, of the pattern transforming inside me. And having enough time and space for integration. And then, forget.
Happiness and authenticity in children, supporting that:
Be a living example, being happy and authentic myself. Active listening. Giving space. Allowing feelings. Support and compliment them expressing. Enable happiness, focus on solutions not only on problems. See the good start and possibility even in very little successes. Have time together, have connection.”
Thanks Eevi! I appreciate you for writing all this and especially mentioning children and writing ”be a living example, being happy and authentic myself”. I judge that’s the best we can do for our children and other children around us. And complete the unfinished stuff with our parents so that we don’t carry that over to our kids.
Tuulia & Pete