When I started this blog/website, I had a vision for it being a sense of community. I envisioned it being akin to the best friend that you call at 3 in the morning when the baby won’t settle and your husband won’t wake up and the A/C might be on the fritz… and you just needed to talk to someone who got it. Someone who understood. And I didn’t realize it at the time, but the underlying current for this vision was that the best friend on the other end of the line could say I see you. I hear you. Tell me everything.
Brené Brown is exceptionally influential in my life, and I recently finished Rising Strong (which, by the way, should probably be required reading for everyone). While there were many earth-shattering revelations for me in the book, there was one section in particular that hit me like a ton of bricks.
Brené talks about homelessness. She’s somewhat been tuned in, she can see them out and about, struggles to make eye contact… but she worries that she can’t see them. There’s a block there, she isn’t sure what yet, but it’s impeding her. There’s a bit of a Rumble within her personal life, and it suddenly dawns on her: she hasn’t seen in them what she needs to see in herself.
She talks very frankly and eloquently about how she has always postured as the problem solver. The one who doesn’t need. She’s strong enough for everyone. She delegates. She’s the shoulder. She’s the burden bearer. But as she works through her mishegoss, she realizes that sometimes, she needs, too. Sometimes she needs to trust that a family member will do what she asks. Sometimes she needs her husband close for a hug or a tender word. Sometimes the weight of the world is too much to bear and she needs someone to be Atlas with her before she shrugs. When she is able to say I see you to that part of her, she is able to say I see you to the homeless.
And that’s what this new series on A Nourished Mom is all about. It’s about saying I see you to those that we are.
I can say I see you to a new mom because I’ve been a new mom. I can say I see you to a mom of two kids because I am a mom of two kids. I can say I see you to the working mom because I am a working mom. But I can’t say it to everyone. Not yet, anyway.
Brené talks about this as empathy, a connection builder between people, and there’s a great video that summarizes this concept pretty brilliantly:
When we can make that empathetic connection, we’re able to help heal. And that’s really what I See You is about. It’s about creating that empathetic connection between people to say I see you because I am you. Whether you’re a single mom or a stay-at-home-dad, this series is designed to help bring a sense of community, that best friend out into the world.
Now, I want to be really clear here: I don’t see everyone because I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m working on it, and I stumble. A lot. But I don’t think that should stop me from trying.
This is also why I’m introducing this as a guest blogger series. My friend base is wide and diverse, but even within that, I don’t know all of the trials and tribulations. Sure, I can listen and say thank you for sharing with me, but I don’t know what it’s like to be an addict raising a child. I don’t know what it’s like trying to parent children while I work through recovery from an abusive, traumatic childhood. I don’t know what it’s like to go through a divorce, either as a parent or child. I don’t know what it’s like to have a miscarriage. Right now, there is an unimaginable world of conversations to have, and what I can say now is I hear you.
But, friend, I want to be able to say I see you.
And I want you to feel seen.
If you’d like to be a contributor for the I See You series, please fill out this form. It will take you to a Google form (I’m so not cool or savvy enough to figure out fancier forms!) so I can contact you about a possible submission. If you know someone who would be a great contributor, please share this post!