"It's wonderful to have a psychologist such as Dr. Crawford on contract through Harris County's Risk Management program. I've attended several of his seminars and hold him in the highest regard. In addition, his weekly "Quotes and Comments" are consistently excellent, and, in my opinion, the BEST! Powerful, enlightening, and even liberating. Many thanks to Dr. Bill!"
Quotes and Wisdom
Put another way, often the "face" that people "put on" when they are interacting with the world is created more by their fear of rejection than a decision to be who they truly are. This is understandable if you think of how and where we learned to interact with the world in the first place. For most of us, this learning took place in our childhood, and even though we may have been loved by many, most of us were constantly given the message that "we should be who they wanted us to be," rather than "this is a place to celebrate who you truly are." This masking of our true nature was then reinforced in our teens when the importance of being accepted by one's peers seemed to override all other motivation, and most of us did whatever was required to "fit in." In other words, as we grew and developed, we learned and then practiced the "art" of putting on a facade for self-protection and/or acceptance, and many of us continued this tendency into our adulthood.
While most people would acknowledge that this was a part of their growing-up experience, most would also speak to the exception to this rule. In other words, for those of us fortunate enough, there was that teacher, coach, relative, neighbor, or (if we were really lucky) a parent who consistently saw beyond our attempts at self-protection to the true nature and potential of who we really were and are. For those of us who had such a person in our lives, we remember how powerful and important the feeling of being accepted and respected was, and how "different" and even "free" we felt in their presence. In fact, for many of us it was that "vision" that sustained our hope of one day dropping our carefully created facade and actually being accepted for who we are.
I'm going to suggest that many are still waiting for this day, and are thus still hiding behind their fearful masks of self-doubt or self-importance, and are not showing us or anyone else who they truly are. Unfortunately, this facade requires a lot of energy to keep in place, and therefore limits their creativity and potential.
The only question then is what role are we going to play in this process of "seeing" and evaluating others? Are we going to be a person from whom they must continue to hide to avoid being judged and rejected, or are we going to look beyond their fears and see more... more of who they were as a small child full of enthusiasm, curiosity, and potential... more of who they can be as an adult if they were willing to allow that potential to guide their definition of how they show up in the world?
I am suggesting that if we are wanting to create our vision of others "on purpose" or in the most accurate and powerful way possible, that we take the wisdom of this week's quote to heart and see "more in others than they are showing us." In fact, maybe "to heart" is indeed a measure of how deep we should be looking... past the insecurity... past the fear of rejection... to the heart of who they really are. Maybe then they will begin to show us that part that they have been hiding for so very long, and, if we are the ones that are hiding, maybe it's time we stop waiting for someone to come along and see that in us and instead begin to turn that heartfelt deeper vision inward. As we are willing to see in ourselves more than we may have been showing others, don't we create for others a model for what can be seen? Just a thought... :-)