Oh would some power the gift give us, to see ourselves as others see us!
– Robert Burns
To be truly witnessed is a mighty thing. When we are recognized and validated by someone else, that moment of communion becomes it’s own little “satellite of love,” as Lou Reed might say. Objectivity is a powerful thing. Objectivity + love can rewrite your whole storyline.
Recognition doesn’t have to be glowing to be powerful. Sometimes having a well-intentioned heart standing next you to say, “I see what you’re going through and man, it sucks,” can be the most helpful thing to hear. And then there are those gemstones that someone plucks out of the heap of our shabby self-perceptions to say that we are stronger than we think, more talented than we give ourselves credit for, and that we’ve come a long way, baby.
Have you ever asked a good friend what they think of you?
Just that simple… and terrifyingly profound, it goes way beyond, “So like, what do you think of my new haircut? Too short?” Asking someone who loves you how they actually perceive you is an act of deep vulnerability and courage that could open a new route to your fullness–like a doorway hidden behind ivy that you’ve been too busy to find.
THE WHITE HOT TRUTH ASK-A-FRIEND SURVEY.
Sometimes another perspective can create a quantum leap for us. So take a deep breath and… just ask. Yeah, it’s a risk, but value is often proportionate to risk. Send your friend a link to this, paste it into an email, pour yourself a glass of wine and pick up the phone.
What do you think is my greatest strength?
How would you describe my style?
What do you think I should let go of?
When do you feel that I am at my best?
What do you wish I were less of, for my sake?
When have you seen me looking my most fabulous?
What do you think I could give myself more credit for or celebrate more?
The prerequisite is this: only send these questions (or make up your own) to someone who: you respect, makes you feel more like yourself, and actively adores you. This isn’t about being critiqued or gutted. The purpose of this exercise is to see your self more clearly so that you can rise to your own fullness.
I had a friend ask me once. On a long hike with nowhere to be, she worked her way into it and said, “Okay, I’m going to ask… What do you think of me?” Big exhale. I was so touched and honoured that I got a bit misty. It felt like a proposal… that we’d be friends who meet each other with courage and sweetness–that we were really here to help each other make it in life. We talked and laughed for hours. Beaming…together. A satellite of love.