“Can I Get a Witness?!”: On The Importance of Being Seen

I believe we all need to be seen in one way or another. What I mean by that, is that we all want someone to bear witness to our lives, our feelings, our successes, our trials and tribulations.

It is like that old saying “If a tree falls down in a forest, does it make a sound?”. Many of us want our tree to be heard! This got me thinking, maybe this is why social media has really become the diary of our generation. I don’t actually think that people really care about the picture of what they had to eat today, but we do want to be seen, we want our presence in the world noted. People want to feel like their existence matters, that it affects others, that they aren’t just overlooked.

I think that therapy does this in a beautiful way. We are the secret keepers, the witness to stranger’s lives, we are the objective figures in your life that give you feedback, we practice difficult conversations with you, provide a listening ear for you to mull over grievances with when you think no one wants to hear you. Therapists hold a special relationship that allows you to work through your own problems, model healthy relationships with, and provide support when there may be none.

When we think about how much social media has been rooted in our daily lives, people often portray the image of who they think they should be rather than who they really are, as if their true self was not quite good enough to be seen.  The feelings they truly feel need to remain hidden because they are not safe for them to express.  I even find myself censoring my own thoughts and views on my personal social media because I was unsure of the reaction I would get from others.

One of the reasons for why someone comes to feel this way lie in the person’s childhood relationships and experiences (particularly with parents).  These experiences of relationships go into “jars” that we collect that influence our inner voice and our relationships with others throughout our lives. The healing of this can come t hrough awareness and working through corrective experiences, even though the process may feel uncomfortable at times.  Good therapy, the kind that allows the client to feel truly witnessed on many levels, can lead to healing on a soul level.  It can challenge and change our world views, how we behave in relationships, and even how we view ourselves. It will bring about a fearless authenticity.

Now, can I get a witness?! 🙂



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