It turns out that I was looking, but not seeing.
These past six months have given me a lot of time. Time for reflection. Time for learning. Time for growth. And through this time I have come to realize that I have spent a majority of my life looking, but not seeing.
Is there a difference you might wonder? Well, take a look at the picture that accompanies this post. If you’re looking at it you are noticing that there are yellow flowers and green stems. If you’re seeing it you noticing that some of the flowers are still buds, some of them have bloomed, the yellow on one part of the flowers isn’t necessarily the same on another part of the flowers, that some of the green leaves are bright and some are dark, that some of stems are up and some are down. Looking and seeing are different because with looking we are quickly taking in what is being presented to our eyes with what we think we know from our past. We check in, quickly register what’s there, and move on. Seeing requires us to slow down and see what’s actually there in the present moment.
It turns out that I’ve spent the majority of my life looking at those around me, events that I’ve participated in, and even myself. I’ve been so caught up in moving to the next thing, getting as many things in as I can, that I haven’t taken the time to see what’s right in front on me when I have had the chance.
Seeing takes intention. It takes patience. It takes practice. It takes an awareness of what and who are around you in the present moment. But my goodness, it’s worth it. It’s an amazing way to participate in life. It’s a spectacular gift to give to yourself.
I certainly don’t have all of the answers to how to live your best life, but I do know this…I will choose to intentionally and willingly see everyone and everything that I am lucky enough to come into contact with each day and I will do because I can and because each day is a gift, not a promise.