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I See You: From One Divine Soul to Another |

I See You: From One Divine Soul to Another
We are all interconnected. The need for validation comes from the feeling of wanting to belong somewhere. Divine Light by Fael of
Jennifer Madriaga

Sawa bona. (I see you.)  

Sikhona. (I am here.)

Also translated as: Until you see me I do not exist. When you see me, you bring me into existence. ~ Traditional Greeting from the Samburu tribe of North Africa

We are all interconnected.  The need for validation comes from the feeling of wanting to belong somewhere.  Each of us wants to feel acknowledged, important, valued and loved.  But even as we crave to be recognized, we may fear revealing our true selves. The fear of rejection can drive us to create personas that represent what we think others want to see.   Personas are projections, illusions that can be so convincing that we may come to believe that they are in fact real.  But when we are not grounded in our heart center in our interactions with others, we become plagued by feelings of loneliness, emptiness, sadness, falseness.

The beauty of a greeting that says, “I see you,” lies in recognizing the true heart of the other.  But the truth is that many of us hide our hearts, having been taught that vulnerability is a pathway to pain.  We may have been punished for our sensitivity, called “weak” or “worthless,” been told to toughen up.  And the truth is that many times we have been taught this by those people who may have been closest to us—our parents, our siblings, our friends, our lovers.  We have been taught that we deserve love only if certain conditions are met. As a result the need to protect ourselves then eclipses opportunities for kindness, generosity, understanding, love.  When fear of pain shuts us down, we have no way of seeing another way of being exists. We come to expect punishment and ruthlessness as the only end results.

Reflections, Pinay, Filipina, Essayist, Views, Divine, Divine Light, Divine Soul, Connection, Soul Connection

Left: The author views the world with her rose-colored glasses. Right: Her son and dog share a soul connection.

But if someone says, “I see you,” where the heart is truly recognized—stripped of defenses, unencumbered by externals like academic accomplishment, income level, job titles, and past experiences—something miraculous can happen.  The other person now revealed can say, “I am here,” to complete the connection, to acknowledge the Oneness that exists.  “I am here” can then expand in context, beyond “simply being” to a sense of gratitude of being seen and recognized.  Both people are seen.  Both people are present.

Nothing has been more liberating than to finally remove the yoke of others’ expectations and judgments. Ironically, once I defined my value as being intrinsic and independent of what I have accomplished or obtained, I found the things I most craved came to me—validation, acceptance, love.  When I allowed myself to be truly loving of myself, I could then be truly loving of others.  And when I was truly of loving of others, then others could truly be loving back.  As a result, I have no shortage of authentic, heartfelt connections.  I can now say, “I see you” and have the other person feel that it is completely true. (See related stories on identity and finding oneself. Maria Vallarta writes So What if I’m Queer? I am Proud of It and Jenny Serfino writes I Found Myself on My Way to Joining a Sorority. Also see Connect to Something Bigger and other ways to shine by the publisher Perla Daly.)

Jennifer Santos Madriaga, 40, is a fiction writer, poet as well as an essayist. She has written Feeling Down? Essayist Says Rewrite Your Story for She is currently working as an event planner at Duke University, North Carolina. She is also an energy healer as well as an intuitive. You can read more about our author in her blogs Jen Madriaga Blog and The Authentic Heart

Jennifer Madriaga

West Coast origins +Southern Fried upbringing+East Coast funky+Balibayan Shuffling=Expatriate Longing.

Always feeling out of context because the familiar is still foreign.

Belonging neither here or there and yet a true and loyal citizen of the world.

Latest posts by Jennifer Madriaga (see all)


  1. Kanami gid nag post.Thank you, Jennifer! “We are all connected” is exactly what Liwanag and shine series about. Check out this article Connect to Something Bigger: and other ways to shine.

    • Thank you for letting me share. I love your essay as well. You have inspired me for years and continue to inspire. So glad that you are part of my soul tribe. 🙂

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