“I am tired of feeling invisible.” While not a universal female truth, there are enough of us who have experienced this feeling. When spoken, there is often an acknowledgment of a shared experience—nodding heads and wry smiles. The conversation often pauses, just briefly, as recollected moments of invisibility resurface. Reliving that horrible moment when you know, you know that you are not being seen or heard. As if you covered up in a cloak, woven by feelings of insecurities, society’s assumptions, and stereotypes. Woven so tightly, it can render you invisible, an internalized perception of self, one in which you identify as having little significance and often less value.
Invisibility is a destructive sensation; there can be no minimizing the impact on our psyche. Experiencing it once is enough, twice is too many, and yet many women experience it over and over. Normalizing the abnormal creates an overpowering experience that diminishes our essence. As if a tiny mad tailor is hell-bent on designing a thick cloak that will hide every spark inside of us.
What feeds invisibility? Is it society’s expectations, the media’s portrayal of women, or technology that has opened a gateway to an endless comparison of ourselves with others. Coming up short again and again, against a constructed non-reality that is only one dimensional, staged, distorted and filtered. The impact for so many of us is the creation of a highly personalized collection of nasty saboteurs. These saboteurs are ready, willing and able to buy into the media’s portrayal of women of having value only if: 1 ) young, and beautiful 2) thin and sexy 3) rich, and endlessly hilarious, not to mention charmingly quirky, along with 4) perfect. Under the guise of protection and aided by that mad tailor, these saboteurs in a flash will smother our spark. Within that moment, a lingering sensation is born; self-doubt. We dim. When the moment passes, we emerge slowly, a lasting shadow cast upon our inner soul.
It is easy to say “ENOUGH”! It is difficult to break this cycle, battling all of society, the media, and technology. The thought of fighting that battle can be overwhelming to consider, a sense of hopelessness emerges, twinned with our self-doubt becomes a deadly duo, hard to comprehend any chance of success.
Consider then, not a battle, but a reconceptualization of all that has passed before. Those moments of invisibility, those nasty saboteurs, and that mad little tailor, imagine that they have constructed a chrysalis around you instead. Within that chrysalis, just like a caterpillar, one can experience a metamorphosis. A transformation fueled not only by our previous experiences but from our desire to live differently, free from limiting beliefs. We can emerge wholly new, vibrant, colourful and oh so visible.
Once the process starts, once we individually state ‘no more,’ that is our moment of freedom, it is not freedom easily won. In my own life, to face my saboteurs has been scary, a palatable fear so thick I was almost held back. I learned to visualize them; mine are like trolls, ugly and robust, evil and filthy, but brought to the light, I can turn them to stone! The fear is real; I don’t want to diminish that. Its shadow is one of the darkest, yet it can be left behind. We can push through it, and we emerge slowly, resting to gather strength and move beyond the fear.
Akin to that caterpillar, we are forever changed by emerging. Our emergence will create the ability to move in new ways powerfully. Oh yes, it is a messy process; we are leaving behind the old ways; we must develop anew. To soar beyond our self-limiting beliefs, we must care less about the constrictions present—other opinions, comparing ourselves to unrealistic expectations and society’s narrow definition of beauty. We must walk with kindness for ourselves and those we encounter.
In that moment of emergence, we can not be unseen; we can not go back to the way before. You see, we transform! Our value no longer tied to a non- reality, tarnished and diminishing. Our value is our construction, while we are all only one being, one individual refusing to be invisible, our visibility holds extraordinary power; it ripples outward—vigorous spiritual energy emitting light on our uniqueness. Others see us; we glow. By emerging, we can shine through into their chrysalis, infusing strength and light as an impetus towards their metamorphic change. The magic is within us, be visible, be vibrant, be seen, be that change in your world, be ready to ignite. It does not matter what has gone before; our time is now!