When my grandson, Jude was a little boy he loved the game “peekaboo.” As his chubby hands covered his eyes he really did think we couldn’t see him. And the joy he felt as he took his hands down was evident by the smile that covered his face.
Some of us have felt invisible growing up. Whether it’s because we felt unseen, or unheard, this can have a profound effect on us.
When people feel invisible, they feel discounted. And when that button gets pressed later in life, the pain is the same as if they were still children.
What would the world look like if we went looking for those who feel invisible, and we somehow convinced them that they do matter?
All of us are visible, regardless of how we sometimes feel. We all matter. And we have to remind ourselves our feelings cannot be trusted.
When we struggle with feeling invisible, we can learn to treat ourselves sensitively and thereby grow in the areas we are lacking. We can provide for ourselves what we needed but never received.
For instance, if we were continually put down when we were young with demeaning words. We need to think about what we needed to hear. Once that is determined we can repeat those things over and over to ourselves. They say it takes 9 positive things to overturn a negative one. So telling ourselves affirmations helps retrain our minds, changing our poor self-image.
People who struggle with feeling invisible feel like they somehow blend into the background. George felt invisible growing up. Like no one really saw or heard him. He once shared how he had been accidentally locked in the garage when he was a young child. Crying for over an hour, he convinced himself no one would be coming and that no one cared that he was gone. When the button of feeling invisible gets pressed in George even today, he feels like he did as a little boy, instead of the full-grown adult he is.
When we know people who struggle in this area it is rewarding to see their minds begin to change. All it takes is some tender loving care with consistency. Then the button will eventually become ineffective. After a while, they will be better at differentiating their feelings from what is true.
Remember the story of Zacchaeus that we learned as children? He was a wee little man who climbed a Sycamore tree to catch a glimpse of Jesus, passing through his town. Zacchaeus was surprised when Jesus told him to come down from the tree. Zaccheaus succeeded in seeing Jesus, but more importantly, Jesus saw him.
Isn’t it great to know no one is invisible to God. No one.
About Anne Peterson
I write words you can feel, sometimes they rhyme. If I'm not writing, I'm telling stories from my head, to little ones who call me grandma.