[ From the Archives of 365 ]
“To truly love someone you need to truly see them for who they are. Honest, bare, and raw; and we need to be able to acknowledge the humanity in that; that we are all just as human and imperfect as the next person, and to feel a connection with it. That’s what love is.”
“…and to be seen,” quotes Terah, words that, after today, will radiate new meaning in the halls of my home.
Beautiful is an understatement in defining Terah. A model and loving mother, she has had her share of life. A dissolved marriage, the social stigmas placed on women working in the modeling world, and the general pressure that come from what society deems as beautiful. Yet, in meeting Terah, it is quickly apparent that her magic is more than skin deep. Terah is like any other person who truly cares about others.
Terah moves steadfastly within an industry that temps the boldest of narcissism. In her, a soulful self that glows past the external perceptions of trend or status, and towards questioning the worth of the individual.
“Individuals are important. Because of that, it is important to see the people around us… to see who they are, and to be seen. Connection with other people is what makes us all alive, and it’s what makes us know that we are alive.”
To be seen. A statement that with hasty reflection could quite possibly be viewed as self-serving, even self-promoting. But in the context of Terah’s wisdom, a much more edifying lesson can be gleaned. “To see the people around us. To see who they really are… and it’s what makes us know we are alive.”
All of us, alive! Living day-to-day in a world that never yields in classifying us into the confining boxes of them and us.
Terah advises, “I have to relate it to what we have to do individually,” she takes a long thoughtful pause, “we have to face our fears.
“As a culture, and even as an individual, I think that we need to find the freedom in being willing to look at something honestly in order for the answers to come. Unless we are willing to admit that an issue is an issue, or willing to take away the fear and look at it honestly, a solution can’t exist. We need to not be afraid of losing something, and we need to be honest about it in order for there to be freedom and openness in our relationships.”
Terah has hit the nail on the head. How many times do we find ourselves projecting the outcome to only find ourselves destroying the path? Could we possibly be using the wrong vernacular in shielding our inner fears behind facades of cultural difference, imposed stereotypes, and the agendas of, “I’m right,” and “you’re wrong”? Both positions leading not only to enraged opinions, but sadly, the segregation of life choices that make us the fascinating and adaptable species that we are—human, through and through. Or in Terah’s words, “…or are we too afraid of what might happen?”
I agree whole-heartedly. We fight the wrong wars. We rage at each other over different lifestyles and choices. We alter ourselves to protect our values and securities. All the while losing our child-selves in the chaos of walled visions of one another. We unanimously agree with our personal views, we persecute those who differ in their values, and as we do we discard the very thing that can heal and unite us—the simple fact that we are all equally human. Deserving of the same basic civil and human rights as the person next door, across the sea, or in the other church our party.
I ask Terah for her definition of love. She quotes, “To truly love someone you need to truly see them for who they are. Honest, bare, and raw; and we need to be able to acknowledge the humanity in that; that we are all just as human and imperfect as the next person, and to feel a connection with it. That’s what love is.”
Sure, I’m a romantic optimist. A claim that I will proudly wear until the day I die; but more important than my essays are the facts that have been endlessly rephrased to us for over four years of Operation-365. The words, the trust, and the actions of the 1000s of strangers whom we now call friends. The people of 365. Vast and diverse we are, and at the beginning of our works, we be.
The wonderment is upon us. We are a majority and, in our own ways, we feel the same. Together we are becoming a movement, and thanks to friends like Terah, friends like you, and like the many others who are bravely standing up to see one another and respect them as they are—never shall we forget our unified power.
Let us be seen my good friends!