"> Being Seen, Being Understood

Being Seen, Being Understood

Many of us more sensitive types feel that being seen is the same as being judged, or criticized. Who wants that? Though we do want to be noticed and accepted in all our flawed wonderfulness, “I see you!” doesn’t always feel appreciative. In fact, it can feel intrusive.

Seeing is more than perceiving. It’s also the taking in of that visual information, to make conclusions about it, to know and understand. When someone explains something to you, telling him “I see!” means you follow his thought process.

When I started exploring vision improvement for myself 20 years ago, and since I’ve always been interested in words, the connection between seeing and understanding immediately struck me. I prided myself on being a good student back then, and hated to admit how poor my vision was behind my -10 glasses. Was it possible, since I couldn’t see very well, I wasn’t truly understanding my surroundings accurately either?

Since I’ve improved my vision so much, the 2 biggest related changes in me are being less anxious and fearful (or more grounded and centered), and being friendlier, that is, more easily reaching out to connect with others. It seems the place where I was seeing incorrectly, in the understanding sense, was in seeing other people, and especially their reactions to me.

Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. I’ve wondered if those with glasses feel this need more deeply, or possibly are more hurt by what seems like disapproval or criticism. And I’ve further wondered whether our glasses become a sort of protection, a shield or barrier to mute or “blur” (!) others’ invasive looking into our tender feelings.

If seeing is an energy exchange, so what I am seeing is seeing me right back, it can feel scary if I don’t feel safe. I may not even want to open my eyes! As my vision has improved, it’s been equally difficult to let myself see farther than I formerly did, and to let other people see me, and especially for them to see my feelings.

Though I’ll probably always prefer to spend a lot of time alone, I can relax around others more than I ever did, really letting them see me. There will be many (if not most) people who continue to think I’m strange, which is fine because I have a few close friends whom I cherish. It is so nourishing to be deeply heard and seen and understood! “Oh, you shouldn’t feel that way!” can shut down the conversation and the energy exchange immediately.

So as the old year comes to a close and a new one is about to start, my intention is to see more (and more clearly), and to let myself be seen more too. Are there things you aren’t looking at, so aren’t seeing well, if at all? Are there ways you’re holding yourself back from being seen, when many people could benefit from what you know or have to share? Let’s all try to be more of our full radiant selves going forward. The world needs us!


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Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, from age 5 into my 40s. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.

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I have just entered the below musings in my ‘vision log’, and thought I’d also leave them here (nothing directly related to the article); hope I’m not intruding.

Glasses at five:
1.) lock shock, doubt, insecurity, fear, bonding failure in place
(with glasses on, organism now has to produce (otherwise possibly temporary) shock reaction (refractive error) permanently)
2.) override the very specific protective mechanism of not seeing
(by artificially making organism see)
3.) reinforce dependency/inferiority mindset
(am blind, helpless without this mechanism, and, in my ‘natural’ state, substantially flawed)

As I write this I am really back there, seeing/feeling myself thrown about between 3 and 1 especially.

Thanks for reading


Nancy – Thank you very much for your kind response! As hard and unfair as all this seems at times, I am more and more thinking of my ‘process’ as a true opportunity to – step by tiny step – make a difference for myself and (if they bear with me) some of those around me. (Sounds a bit grandiose, but sometimes I do feel that. Today not so much, but this often happens right after ‘insights’ like the one above. Not entirely sure yet why this is so. ‘Dangerous territory ahead’, I suppose …)
Again, thank you.


I find the ‘tribe’ analogy exactly accurate, Nancy! This is what I feel is happening at the moment. Slowly but perceptibly. And when I feel that it makes me feel *alive*. Thanks again – also for providing a platform where I can express this.


Congratulations on another great article, Nancy. A lot of what you wrote resonated with me. Are all myopes introverts? I would guess, most of them (us) are, in different degrees. I certainly was one (an probably still am), but as a grown-up, I’ve learned to cope with those childhood fears, and the Bates Method has helped me tremendously in that regard.


I’d be careful with words like “everyone” and “no one”. At best you can claim the mad majority which a courageous individual would not be afraid to oppose. A wise man once said be aware of the 3 “c” (in russian); translated; fame, lust, and love of money.


The big part of growing up is not trying to appease the enemies… it’s all a waste of time trying to please humans, because most of them would only be pleased in seeing you devastated, in other words, dead! The whole point of existence is pleasing the one who deserves and can be pleased!


Happy New Year Nancy,

I have read (Jonathan Barnes, “Improve Your Eyesight”) that myopes tend to be introvertive and bookish and this would support your views that people who are short-sighted created a conceptual barrier between themselves and the outside world.

I am sure that being hurt and/or upset can lead many of us down this path. It goes without saying that two wrongs don’t make a right, but we need to learn how to engage with the world and integrate with it as opposed to retreating in to a blurred shell where we are hurting ourselves.

However it is always done through passive relaxation, not through conscious effort as we know.