Lately I’ve been feeling more and more invisible. Not to myself necessarily but to others and in different situations as I’ve been observing this recently as I take it all in. I see being invisible as a good and bad thing and thought I’d dive into this a bit deeper.
I’m a tall white woman and growing up I’ve always spoken my mind when I felt it was required. As the youngest in my family, I’ve learned to speak up and be heard, and seen – otherwise I would miss out. Generally throughout my life I think I’ve been noticed on some level because I have brought attention to myself whether it was speaking my mind or going after what I want or believe is right. I’ll always speak up for someone else that is being taken advantage of too as I believe fiercely in acknowledging injustice. I’ve been taught to do what’s right and be kind first in a situation. I’ve started to question my longheld beliefs to understand who I am better and what makes me tick. It’s interesting to see how one acts because of early beliefs, limiting or not, and experiences and how we often just accept these automatically.
I’ve joined a new gym this year and besides the friendly people who work there who always address me with warmth, I’m very invisible there. There are people of all ages and it’s interesting to observe that those that demand attention get it. I’m happy not to demand anything and I go inside myself and focus on what I’m doing and I really enjoy living in the present moment largely in my own world. I ensure I do lots of yoga and bodywork to not only make me work and sweat, but also go within and find a lovely peace. All of this movement has really helped me open up to my entire world and how I see it and interact in it.
As I get older I’ve been observing myself, my kids, my friends, everyone more from above and learning to watch and listen - not always speak up. Being around younger kids that are dependent means they still look to you for approval and recognition so you're very visible. Now that my oldest is a teenager, being around older kids that are yearning to be independent is a totally new experience but I'm quite invisible. They will be polite and say hello – if they catch your eye and even notice you – but they are much more reserved and cautious in their interactions. I’m learning not to take this personally as they are trying to figure out who they are and what’s important in their world and I know adults can often be an intrusion into this world. I’m trying to see things from their point of view too and find the humour – this is keeping my husband and I sane. My teenager grunts as I disturb his world even just saying ‘good morning’ but I know it’s not about me. I tickle him to get his mobile out of his hand so we’re both laughing (but I still get the mobile and zap him out of zombie screen time) and he appreciates my cleverness and not having to raise my voice. I’m learning that if I want a relationship to be strong and solid that I don’t always have to be right – this is hard for all of us to muster, especially as we can play the ‘I’m the parent’ card and trump any argument. I don’t want to demand my kids or anyone ‘notice’ me so I’m finding a new calm in this invisible veil. It doesn’t always feel good, but I believe everyone is doing their best and are more worried about themselves than you anyway. Something to think about.
I love the Dalai Lama quote ‘Sometimes silence is the best answer.’ With children – and teenagers – this is powerful and so effective as I want to let my kids find their own way and trip over their own feet so they learn and grow. It actually means more peace in my house which is always welcome. I do fade into the background a bit more, but I’m finding this place is quite peaceful and is helping me fine-tune my intuition. I am tapping into my feelings more and finding new little nuggets of gold that previously I might have missed. I’ve also slowed everything right down so I can take it in and be more mindful and purposeful. This new awareness is pretty amazing as I realise how many things slipped by totally unnoticed.
Overall, I like being invisible and in those instances, I feel I need more from those around me, I’ll speak up. Invisibility is my superpower.