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  • SuePattonThoele

Being Visible



We all long to be visible, especially to those we love and respect. If you’ve ever muttered to yourself, “Good grief, (that person) doesn’t have a clue who I really am!” you are in good company. As touched on earlier, the yearnings of my own heart, and those of many of my clients, can be summed up in four short sentences: See me. Hear me. Hold me. Feel with me. Being seen, heard, held, and empathized with confirms we are known. Being known assuages a primal urge deep within our hearts to be connected and, therefore, safe.

The million dollar question is: Do you see, hear, hold, and feel with yourself?


Seeing, hearing, holding, and feeling with ourselves and others are relational, feminine qualities and the bedrock of a woman’s strength and compassion. These qualities take time, attention, and empathy. Unfortunately, in today’s mind-oriented and action-intense society, softer feminine qualities are easily overlooked—even in caring women.


One of the most valuable growth opportunities in the kiln of relationships is the realization that no one else’s love and positive regard can take the place of self-love and self-respect. No one outside our skin has the power to make us visible to ourselves or to others. That is our soul’s challenging playground.


Of course, being loved, seen, and known by others is life-enhancing, and we’ll discuss that in the next meditation, “Choosing to Be Present.” For now, it’s all about you lovingly getting to know yourself more deeply. When I first uncovered my need for visibility and came up with the four imperatives—See me. Hear me. Hold me. Feel with me—I wrote them on three-by-five-inch cards and taped them on my mirror. It was actually fun to get better acquainted with the cool me. Not so much fun to know the petty, pissed-off, needy, vulnerable me. But those fragile and hurting parts of me were wounded child subpersonalities whom I could begin healing only when I knew they existed.


Wise women find strength in seeing themselves clearly and treating themselves compassionately.


During your day...


  • Rest in the embrace of the Sacred Feminine who will see, hear, hold, and feel with you.

  • Please, please be gentle with yourself on your journey of self-discovery. It’s a lifelong process, and some days naturally feel more successful and loving than others.

  • Vulnerability and visibility go hand in hand. Both are evidence of strength.


Our deepest human need is not material at

all: Our deepest need is to be seen.

—Marianne Williamson

Excerpted from The Woman's Book of Strength by Sue Patton Thoele. Available on Mango and Amazon.

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