A group of people hugging

You Are Seen

We never really see ourselves. I mean that literally. Our eyes face forward at the world around us. We have no real way of seeing what others see when they look at us.

Sure, we can look in a mirror, but that’s a reverse image. The closest I’ve ever gotten is with my youtube videos. Still, it doesn’t show who I really am.

What with cancer and COVID-19, some of us feel invisible at times. We don’t see ourselves, so we feel like we’re walking unseen. It’s easy to think we’re really not a part of other people’s lives.

So it often surprises us when someone takes notice.

You aren't as invisible as you might feel

A few months back, after vaccinations, we had a visit with relatives I hadn’t seen for years. Actually, make that decades. For one cousin it had been at least 10 years. The other was back in the 1970s.

I was young, good-looking, and had hair back then. Now I’m old, wrinkled, and bald. Well, it’s not that bad, but still, I’m amazed they recognized me.

The thing is, he and his wife drove over a thousand miles to see their west coast relatives. They picked up my other cousin who lives 100 miles away from me, and all three drove up to see my wife and me.

To my surprise and delight, they put me on their itinerary.

What I’m getting at is, you are not as invisible as you might feel. What you say, what you do, and how you live matters to others. There are people involved in your life and despite what you think, you are in theirs.

I remember giving a sermon once. (Our pastor forced his reluctant elders to do that from time to time.) This particular day it was my turn to stand at the podium and speak.

As I blabbed on, I scanned the congregation. I suddenly realized they were actually listening to me. Not only that, but they were swallowing every word I said - actually listening and believing what I was saying.

It hit me that I wasn’t invisible and I had a real responsibility to choose my words carefully. Each individual might apply what I said to his or her life.

Even though I was looking out at them, and could not see myself, they were seeing me.

Cancer can be isolating

Cancer, at times, can be an isolating thing. You can feel set apart from others, set adrift, forgotten. But that feeling is not real, or at least it doesn’t have to be.

Loneliness and feeling invisible is a choice. We chose to believe what we are feeling. Introverts, like myself, tend to look inwards. But we don’t have to let our feelings form our view of reality.

You can’t let your cancer isolate you. You're not the disease. You are still you. And, you are not alone.

There’re people out there who are thinking of you. You might be surprised to discover that you are noticed. You do matter.

Someone out there sees you.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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