We all want to be seen. Even the shy introverts may want to be seen by a parent or a loved one. There are 2 ways other people see us. One is our outside. People watch, observe, judge, and think about what they see on the outside. They see how we look and how we are acting. The other way we are seen is on the inside. The way the Lord sees us, our true selves. We allow very few people to see us on the inside.
We are always compared to the temple in the scriptures so I am going to compare them to how we are seen by others. Many of us who have been on the outside of a temple know that it is very clean and well-groomed. The outside of the temple is simple and beautiful. The inside is just as beautiful and orderly. Many people describe it as peaceful. The inside matches the outside.
Imagine a temple that had flashing neon lights saying “open”. There was tagging and graffiti all over the walls. It was painted bright colors and had lights strung all over it. This temple definitely wanted to be seen. When you go inside the temple it is dark and many of the rooms are empty. There is a maze trying to find your way around, easy to be lost. These are the people who feel empty inside and lost. They work so hard to be seen for their outside, but don’t know who they really are on the inside.
The next temple is like many members of the LDS church. The outside is beautiful. It is very well-groomed and looks all put together. Nothing looks out of place. When you walk inside this temple it is completely chaotic. There are workers running all over the place, papers flying around, trash on the floor. No one knows what they should be doing and everything feels like it is falling apart. Many of us work really hard to appear that we have it all together, that everything is perfect. But on the inside we feel chaos, confusion, and anxious. We don’t understand why we aren’t happier when we look so great from the outside. We spend so much time focusing on the exterior, that we neglect the inside. We feel anxious that someone may open the door and see who we really are.
The last temple is like the temples we have on the Earth today. The outside is in alignment with the inside- this is what brings peace. What you see is what you get. It doesn’t mean that everything is always running smoothly on the inside, but all the workers are trying their best and know what their purpose is. There are still storms that crash on the outside of the temple, but after the storm is gone, the outside gets repaired and continues to do its work.
The best way to be seen is to work from the inside-out. Focus on who you really are and the light within will reflect out on the outside. People will breathe around you because they know that when they open the door, they know what is inside. True connection happens when we allow ourselves to be truly seen.
I spent most of my marriage as the second temple. I worked so hard on my physical appearance and how I was acting so my husband would see me. I ended up exhausted and resentful. I kept pushing down who I really was, how I really felt, in fear that I wouldn’t be loved. As I have slowly learned to be more open and allow my real self to be exposed, I feel more free. It is scary, but has resulted in both my husband and I connecting on a deeper level. Brene Brown is the master on vulnerability. I love this quote by her, “I define vulnerability as uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. With that definition in mind, let’s think about love. Waking up everyday and loving someone who may or may not love us back, whose safety we can’t ensure, who may stay in our lives or may leave without a moment’s notice, who may be loyal to the day they die or betray us tomorrow- that’s vulnerability. Love is uncertain. It’s incredibly risky. And loving someone leaves us emotionally exposed. Yes, it’s scary and yes, we’re open to being hurt, but can you imagine your life without loving or being loved?”
Many times we are acting in a way on the outside that feels out of alignment, but we don’t always understand what is happening on the inside, this is where coaching helps. The right questions can help bring understanding to why we behave in a certain way. I really like to ask questions! Email me. Kendra@bravestlove.com