I've always struggled with being invisible.
No, i don't have a superpower, but it seems that I've been rendered unseen by some forces stronger than myself. Even when I was a teenager, in my 20s, and now in my 30s, I've always felt that it was hard for people to see me. Okay, my height has something to do with it probably.
I feel like people forget me when introduced the first time. And then when we meet for the 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th time, they will introduce themselves to me as if it's the first time they've met me. And it's awkward coz I always remember people.
In a big group, when I am with them the first time, people rarely pay any attention to me. Even my friends forget to introduce me because they assume I can just introduce myself and that I can get along with everyone else. However, I am not built like that, really. I don’t have the courage to talk to people who don’t talk to me first, and so I just end up not saying anything. And then when I do say something, people tend to look at me like “Oh, you’re there. Who are you?”
Just last week someone told me “You go to _______? How come I haven’t seen you there before?” And I have been going to that place for the past two months almost every Sunday. And I even sat at the same table as the person.
So yeah, invisible.
And for the longest time, there are voices (yes more than one) in my head telling me “You’re nothing. You’re not worth knowing. You’re not important enough. You’re not interesting enough.” And for the longest time, I’ve listened to those voices. I believed them. And I sunk in despair thinking that I am truly invisible and the world cannot see me for who I believe I am.
But over the years, in my struggle with this I have come to understand some things.
First, and probably most importantly, my worth should be found in my Savior. He has bought me with His blood and so I am hidden in Him. If you don’t believe in God or Christ, you probably will not understand and I will not try to explain to you in a few sentences. But really, it has changed my life, knowing that He cares for me and that my worth is not to be found in anything or anyone else but Him. But it’s something I have to believe every day. There are days when I don’t actually believe it. But faith is the thing that binds me to it.
Second, it is enough that the people who are important to you and the people you love most are the ones who see you. Not everyone will appreciate you. Not everyone will find you interesting. Not everyone will make an effort to get to know you. But those who really matter, those who really care, they’re the ones that see you. And that should be enough. In fact, it should be precious. The fact that people you love see you, in all your glory and in all your ugliness and in all your authenticity, and still love you no matter what, that should be enough.
Third, do no believe the lies that the voices are telling you. I have to believe that I am a person worth knowing. That I have stories to tell. That I can listen to other people’s stories. That I am worth knowing and that the people around me are worth knowing. And that I am awesome. Not proud awesome, but awesome awesome because my God is awesome and I am called to be awesome. Awesome right?
Fourth, do not let anyone feel invisible too. Because you know how difficult it is to be noticed, you should be more sensitive to new people that you meet, or even to your own friends who you think may be struggling with things too. Be genuinely interested in the people that you meet and not just be all about you all the time. Listen. Ask questions. Get to know them. I'm a firm believer in the fact that you'll always learn something new from the people around you.
Lastly, I should not be afraid to make myself be seen. I should not fade into the darkness because that is where all the bad voices come alive. I should go into the light and show who I am, what I’m passionate about, why am I worth listening to. And if I feel that I should become a better version of myself, then I should go do things. Make art. Write stories. Play sports. Discover and talk about the things I’m passionate about. Go on missions and outreaches. Champion a cause. But do not do these things because you want to be cool or you want to be noticed by the cool people. Do them because they’re your small (or big) part to contribute to this world that is in dire need of art and passion and light and love.
It is not easy, this trying to be seen thing, this lifting yourself up from the mire of self-doubt and figurative self-immolation, this trying to find your worth and your passion, this discovering yourself and bettering yourself process. It is bloody and messy at times. And sometimes you just want to disappear into the void, because it is much easier (even though it is also very painful)
But we carry on. It is what we are called to do. It is who we are meant to be. Every day, you wake up and you carry on, with the love of the people around you, by loving the people around you, and by His grace and love. Carry on.