You know when something keeps popping up in your life over and over in just a few days time? Like for example, your little old neighbor drops off a bouquet of daisies to you just because and then your new co-workers introduces herself to you that day at work and says her name is Daisy. Then the next night at dinner your BFF tells you her and her husband just painted their living room this amazing new color, Daisy Yellow and then when you open your fortune cookie the word on the back written in Chinese and English for you to learn is "daisy." I feel like that has all happened to us one time or another. Right?! And maybe it has been some silly coincidence like the reoccurrence of the word "daisy" (which I would probably see as a sign that we should get a puppy and name her Daisy :) ). Or maybe its been something that has been stirring in our hearts that has been brought to our attention by little things in our world.
Recently for me, it's been the latter of the two. Over the past few weeks, in multiple conversations, TV shows, the news, and other random places the idea of wanting to be "known" has been coming up a lot and really got me to thinking... What does it mean to be "known?"
Being truly known doesn't mean being famous, although for some that might be part of their story. Having accolades, trophies and medals isn't a requirement for being known. For me, being known means being our true authentic selves and seen for who we really are at the core. You know - the unedited version. Not the perfectly calculated what-the-world-wants-us-to-be self. Not the idea that others have of who or what we should be. Not the Pinterest board version of ourselves.
Being known means being seen for who we truly are. No walls up. No fake facade. Just the real deal with all of our messiness, imperfections, and rough edges. When we live in that freedom and share that with others, that is what it means to truly be known. I think there is an innate desire in all of us to be known in this way.
But being truly known does have consequences... we open ourselves up to judgment, criticism, and rejection. We are vulnerable to be made to feel like we fall short. Yet we must hold on to the truth that we are enough just the way we are. Being acknowledged and appreciated for our individuality and what only we can bring to this world is such an amazing feeling. It's an acknowledgement that speaks to our heart and tells us we matter, for just being ourselves. The author Timothy Keller wrote, "To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved in our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved [....] liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-ritueousness, and fortifies us for any difficult life can throw at us."
I can tell you, I would rather be vulnerable and live in the freedom of being known for who I really am then being acknowledged and affirmed for being the less then 100% authentic Me. I would rather be seen, accepted and loved - I would rather be known - than famous, chameleon-like or inauthentic.
So here's to being seen for who we are. Here's to being brave, being open and sharing our hearts. Here's to living freely with authenticity. Here's to being known.