I was reading the other night (and can I just say, I LOVE that I have time again to read–thank you, A&D!) and one of the phrases in the book really stuck in my head. The book was one of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series, which is an excellent read if you’re into fantasy fiction, and in it one of the characters replaces “I love you” with “I see you.”
Wow. That just resonates with me on so many levels. One of the biggest adjustments to life after children was the feeling of being lost. I am “Mom”, I am “wife”, I am “friend”, I am “daughter”…but where is “Taryn” now? I felt like all of the roles I play in my life had overtaken the essence of who I am as a person. And sometimes, in a world that moves as fast as ours where we are always looking at what’s next and our to do lists and staying “busy”, we forget to see other people for who they are vs what role they’re currently playing.
Why is this important as a business owner?
I work in direct sales. My business is entirely relationship based. One of the biggest rewards for me of working this job is that my internet friends “see” me. Not only that, but I see them too. I see women who are struggling in the trenches of parenthood or feeling a little lost after retirement or finding their feet in the adult world after college, but more than that I see their humor, their strength, and their kindness. I frequently tell people that my friends live in my computer because for all its faults, the internet has a funny way of letting us show who we truly are.
Last week in my community, I was approached by a group member who had noticed a fellow member was having an especially rough month. They have never met, they live in different states, and their lives are not remotely the same–but this woman saw another woman doing her best during a difficult time and wanted to brighten her day, so she anonymously purchased a pair of leggings and had me send them.
We can’t always do much for others, but women rallying in support? Someone gifting an internet friend because she sees their struggle? Those things really make me believe in the goodness of people. Nothing makes me feel more successful than watching friendships bloom in my community.
What can you do?
At home, at work, with your kids–wherever you can, try to see the person behind the role. Have a conversation with your spouse that isn’t about bills or kids. Chat to someone at the office about what book they’re reading or ask about their hobby. I feel like the biggest thing we struggle with as adults is that it seems people stop caring so much about us as people and more about whether we are performing a specific function.