Do you remember a specific time—maybe just a moment—when someone made you feel deeply seen and validated? Tell the story.
Who have you not been seeing? Do you come home so tired that all you notice is what your partner or children haven't done? Can you choose to notice and comment on five things they did right?
Do you assume that your affection and love are known to the people you care about?
What validating words are they longing to hear? Can you say those words today? Every day?
Write down ten people you interact with regularly, from family members to the checkout lady at your supermarket. Spend 60 seconds "seeing" each one in your mind's eye. Are they happy? Afraid? Lonely?
Imagine interacting with a loved one if you had absolutely no need for approval or appreciation. How would your behavior be different?
Do you judge or punish your children more harshly than you would a stranger? How would you see their flaws if you had no fear they'd reflect on you?
Do you get enough space and free time to feel seen and honored, so you can see and honor your children? Where could you treat yourself better so you'd have more to offer?
Harville Hendrix says many repeated marital fights are actually about how we felt as children. What are the wonderful things about you that no one saw when you were little? How would you interact with your partner if you'd been deeply seen as a child?
Are you engaging in behaviors that will ensure that you are invisible? Overeating? Staying in the same rut? Not speaking your mind? How can you let yourself be seen for who you really are?
Printed from Oprah.com on Sunday, December 8, 2013