Posts Tagged ‘Be valued’

I see you – being seen

June 19th, 2018

We all have a need to be seen.  To be seen is to be valued for who we are.  Period.  This kind of positive acceptance is at the core of what we humans are about.  You can see this need shown through (and in) the social media, but also in many other ways.

We all need to be seen

This weekend I experienced being seen as a group:  our village had a party to commemorate a book.  In that book were photos of about 400 people from our small village.  That party was great, the book is even greater!

The party started with a “postenlauf”- a mix of treasure hunt and silly games all in one.  Of course, a neighbor won.  After all, we are all neighbors in my small village.  After the postenlauf awards ceremony, we were treated to an apéro with free snacks and drinks, and then there were speeches and then, finally, the time to go get our free book. Then we stood in line for the photographer to sign it.  While se stood we looked at our books and admired each others’ photos.  They were beautiful.

The book process began more than a year before.  As part of an art and culture project supported by the Swiss insurance company, Mobilar, photographer Ruth Erdt actually moved into our village, Freienwil, and began meeting people and taking their portraits.  She lived with us for about six months, taking part in the village activities, meeting people and taking their photographs.

We all had the opportunity to sign up for one or even more photo sessions.  Many couples and families signed up, but I can imagine that it took quite some courage for my widowed neighbors to sign up for their appointments. They did it, though.  So, in the end, we who participated were all seen in a very poignant way.

Frau Erdt probably asked the same things to each of us:  what’s important for you (hobbies, etc.); where do you enjoy hanging out in your home or in the village; which activities do you enjoy doing at home.  With these questions she built her inner picture of us, as individuals, as households and she really tried to portray them to the world. The product was a beautiful book.

Some people chose not to be in the book.  Schade*. Maybe they felt shy, or maybe they don’t identify with the village that much.  Or maybe they had a myriad of other reasons.  It’s sad they didn’t, though, because somehow the project became bigger than itself: a book of photos.  It has had a unifying effect on us.  We are we, and we are ourselves all at the same time.  The party last Saturday, the sharing of each others’ lives in pictures, the positive vibes when we all said, “Oh! What a great photo!” to our neighbors.  It was amazing!  Saturday’s book launch and party was a cultural and hisorical event, a time marked in our communal life history together.

Because we were valued. Because we were seen.  Because we were all together.

We all need this, coaching helps, art helps, parties can help, too.

What else can help?  How are you being seen?

Patricia Jehle

Jehle Coaching            www.jehle-coaching.com      patricia@jehle-coaching.com

*means sad or too bad

Ps, if you want to see our photos, write me.