Will You Be My Witness?
I’m asking you to see me, I’m asking to be seen.
As a witness you don’t need to do anything but observe and listen.
As a witness you don’t have to form an opinion, solve a problem, or rescue me.
As a witness your time, and being totally present in this moment is the precious commodity you have to offer. I am asking you to share this commodity with me. How comfortable are you sharing? Can you spare me these 4 minutes?
As a witness your role and responsibility is to be non-judgemental and to accept me as I am. Now, how comfortable are you? How has this changed your opinion of being a witness? Can we move on? If you agree, then you’re side of the contact is now set, thank you. Now my side.
I am nervous. I am nervous about being seen. I am nervous about stepping into the spotlight and saying I am here, please look at me. But what’s the big deal?
Human nature tends to link our viewpoint of ourselves with how others view us. So my fear is that when I step into the spotlight, you will judge me. I am fearful of being mocked by you, or worse, deemed insincere and a drama queen asking for attention.
The Reality of Human Filters
Essentially, since as humans we are used to making judgements from our own perspectives, I have used this filter to assume how others must see me. My default; to use the inner belief I hold about myself and my inner negative chatter as the lens through which the rest of the world must see me. This belief has been my absolute truth. The rational psychologist part of me understands that in reality people don’t pay anywhere near as much attention to you as they’re paying to themselves. But as humans, we’re not always rational.
By asking you to be my witness, I am putting myself into an uncomfortable space that I’ve avoided for long time — this is, in effect, a bit of aversion or exposure therapy. But I’ve made a contract with you not to judge me, not to manifest my worst fears.
So here goes… as my witness — I say to you ’I am enough’.
As I now step into the spotlight, I am Asha, mum, life coach, MA student, foodie, business owner…but I am not defined by these things, because I am enough. I honour all that I can give and respect its value to the world, because I am enough.
As I now step into the spotlight I commit to you, my witness, that I now fill the inner emptiness of not feeling ‘enough’, with inner knowing of my own value. Value of being me.
As I step into the spotlight, I voice my intention that the dynasty of this belief, passed down from my grandparents to both my parents, will not be passed on to future generations. As my witness I commit to you that I will not knowingly pass this negative wisdom on; the lineage stops here.
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
- Maya Angelou
As I step into the spot light I commit to changing my attitude towards my new belief of ‘being enough’. I pull back on judgement — it’s wasted time and energy.
My practical coach brain says we are human beings living a dynamic existence, where the potential for change is around every corner. To thrive in this dynamic, we need a coping mechanism. Mine is a three step process: Recognise. Reshape. Reinforce. These steps trigger a change in my attitude and behaviour.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
- Søren Kierkegaard
Writing this piece is the the next phase of my own personal liberation. I’ve already worked on being able to identify the belief that has held me back, as well as understanding its origins and how it manifests in my life.
The idea 3-years ago of exposing my fear in this public way would have been unthinkable. I’ve come a long way. I’ve lived like a cuckoo in a clock. I appear on the hour vivacious, chatty, with lots of smiles and then I pop back, doors slam shut and I hide away. Now though, the doors are open wide and I can be seen.
How will you listen?
Thank your for being my witness, I’m grateful. We are asked to listen to people’s stories all the time and often we throw away our own personal energy on helping, finding solutions and judging, when the reality is that the storyteller may prefer just your time and an opportunity to be heard.
Sometimes our own needs and drivers to help and judge are transferred on to others. So what one thing could you do whilst listening to someone today, that you will do differently based on this experience with me?
Our contract is now completed! Thank you. I hope in some way it’s helped you too.