The Power of Acknowledgement

Forewarning: this is an oddly philosophical, floaty post. And, it has little to do with my currently plateau-ed weight loss journey. You have been warned ūüôā

You know that feeling you get when someone simply acknowledges your presence? Maybe it’s a stranger in a coffee shop who gives you a smile and a nod, or maybe it’s a friend who greets you after a long time apart. Maybe the act doesn’t even come from a human: I’ve seen dementia temporarily¬†cured and muteness lifted for a little while by the simple act of acknowledgement from a little dog in a nursing home ward. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for myself: when I am acknowledged, it feels like a nod to my existence. I feel like I am worthy, right then,¬†to be in the right place at the right time for whatever is right for that moment. The act of acknowledging and being acknowledged is a¬†profound and important one; at least, it’s that way for me.

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There was a time when I didn’t really feel I was worthy of being seen or acknowledged. I desperately wanted to be seen; but, I also wanted to be invisible. Self hatred and reliance on external sources to provide meaning to your life and definition to your sense of “self” will do that to you. This time in my life is in the past, and it is not where I am¬†anymore; nevertheless, it’s something I’ve been reminded of lately — the power of acknowledgement.

This week, I have found myself genuinely touched by moments when someone else acknowledges me…when they see me and take a moment to¬†say hello, smile, share a laugh, like a Facebook post, really any little thing. And, I have felt compelled to acknowledge others more — not just people I know, but also the people I encounter wherever I am in the moment. It’s important to know and make known when someone is seen because there are many people out there who feel invisible. Choosing to see someone in any given moment could, for all you know, give them a breath to get through the next moment. Even a simple act of connection can remind someone “you exist; I see you,” and I believe¬†that is an important message to send to those around you.

There’s little point to this post except to encourage you to make eye contact with someone today. Acknowledge someone. See someone you might not typically notice. Let’s all remind one another that we exist and are worthy to do so.

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4 thoughts on “The Power of Acknowledgement

  1. Hi, I can so relate to this, I have spent years thinking I know who I am but truly knew I didn’t! I kept myself busy and when I say that I had one pace – flat out,5th gear the whole time doing anything and everything. I believed this was who I was and that I was happy, then it all changed suddenly one morning last christmas when i had my stroke – imagine it, I’m in my thirties and my life just changed in a heartbeat, changing everything I knew, what I could feel and do, although doing really well with my recovery im struggling with my past, my upbringing and abuse within it. It all came coming flooding back and it hit me I don’t know who I truly am, I’ve run from it all my life and so I started the hardest journey of my life, one to discover me!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I never thought of it this way. I think i spent so much of my life wanting no one to acknowledge me or worry about me to remain invisible. don’t pay attention to me. But what was going on inside was quite the contrary, I needed attention, acknowledgement, badly. And i was hurt when i was ignored or left out even when I designed things to be that way. Ive come a long way from being this way, but it still strikes a deep painful place to be left out, forgotten and not acknowledged as Ive worked so hard to realize my worth and I don’t need to be invisible.

  3. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate the genuine way you express yourself. I am deeply touched. I relate. My daughter introduced me to your blog through her Facebook page, who in turn was introduced through another friend’s FB post about your blog. I want to share your blog with everyone I know! You have a way of touching some very human and common issues, in a very clear and sensitive way. Your ability to communicate, just by being you is a gift. Your gift. A gift that makes those who read your words feel as if we are receiving a gift. Thank you!

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