See and Be Seen

brenebFor most people there’s a struggle between wanting to be known, and being afraid of that very thing. We all want connection, it’s natural to us, but how far we go is up to us. How much we share or edit or hide or are willing to expose our most painful places, our most absurd doubts, our perceived, or very real weaknesses. The places where we might still suffer from shame or doubt. If I share this, will I still be loved? Wanted? Understood? Do I really want to be seen in all my allness?

I’m not just speaking romantically. I’m speaking about one person knowing you all the way, whether it’s your mother, or your best friend or your partner or your sibling or your ex. Is there anyone in your life with whom you feel totally and completely safe to bare your fear and be yourself? Your real self?

A lot of people say they want intimacy, but when push comes to shove, they back out. They get nervous or they run, or use humor as a defense mechanism, because, of course, if you really let someone in, you also give them the roadmap to hurt you if they ever choose to go that route. There are few things worse between people than that kind of betrayal of trust. If you were once close to someone, and they shared their real stuff with you, in my book that is off limits forever, no matter what. You do not go for someone’s jugular. We all know where that line is. Once you speak words that land like knives, you’ve crossed a line you can’t uncross.

I understand the fear, because most of us have been heartbroken, disappointed, discarded, or surprised by the hostility or indifference of someone at one time or another. You don’t have to be hurt too many times to start to build walls around your heart. How else to keep it safe? The thing is, walls keep out the joy, too. So now you’re safe but alone. No one knows you and no one sees you, not really. And that’s not the same as living.

Sometimes people have a perception that everyone else is having this great life with these amazing friends and great job and annoyingly perfect dog to top it all off, while they are just basically sucking at everything. The truth is, most of us are blessed if we have a small group of people who truly, deeply know us and love us, and I’ll tell you, that little group is enough. I wouldn’t forsake it for all the safety in the world, because the sh&t will hit the fan whether you try to make yourself safe, or you venture boldly into the world. Be particular and take your time, but when you meet those people with whom you feel safe to be yourself completely, do it. That’s the best stuff in life, being able to look into the eyes of someone you know without having to look away because there’s not enough truth between you to hold the gaze.

See and be seen, love and be loved,

Ally Hamilton

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6 thoughts on “See and Be Seen”

  1. Thank you Ally, your post is particularly poignant to me today. I bared my truth to a recently ex partner just before I read your post.. I am waiting to see whether he is willing to sort through some pretty heavy shit in counselling. It took a lot for me to share my truth of how his behaviour brings up all sorts of stuff from my sexual past which I know I have issues with. But telling him that I dont want to be TOLD what to do or treated like an object, and how it made me feel devalued as a person, was really tough for me to do.. because i love him and not sure if he will just walk away.. but I know this is my truth.. and i cannot hide from it anymore.. i need someone who understands and accepts me as I am.. and if that isnt him.. then I am better off on my own. Thank you so much for your words of wisdom.. you are an inspiration to me and I am thankful that you share this amazing blog. Thank you Ally. xx much love xx Lesley

    1. I’m at the point in my life where I really think truth is the whole thing. If we can’t be honest, if we can’t share fearlessly, if we can’t speak from our hearts, then what is the point? Intimacy requires bravery. If a person can’t meet you on that field, they don’t belong there with you. I think you just inspired my next post ;). Hope your ex was able to hear you.

  2. Ally, I will be in LA from July 1st-July 14 and would love to attend your classes. I have never taken a yoga class, but if they bring me close to your depth of insightful ness than, , I need to begin the practice as soon as possible. Any suggestions on how or where I get started? Currently I am staying at the Manhattan beach Marriott, but think the Marina Del Rey might be closer.
    Can you help me decide what direction to move towards for a successful experience. Are there particular classes that would accept beginners more readily?

    Thanks for every blog you write. You speak In a kind and understanding tone that cast no blame but allows us to analyze ourselves honestly. I rnjoy your stories and would love to practice this self-healing art. Please let me know how and when I can visit you studio.

    Thanks for the love you send and I wish to send it back two fold. Your blog puts my life into perspective every day.
    Take car,
    Pam Glaze
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

    1. Hi Pam!

      Yes! Come in for a Basic class Friday at 1pm if that works for you, and we’ll see how that goes. We can figure out from there a plan for your 2 weeks in L.A. 🙂 Looking forward to meeting you! You can email me at if you have any questions or need any help!

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