Among the tribes in Northern Natal in South Africa, the tribes greet each other with “Sawu bona” which in the English language is equivalent to saying “hello”
The phrase “Sawu bona” literally is defined as “I see you.”
If you are a member of the tribe you would reply, “Sikhona” Which in English language is equivalent to saying “I am here”
The order of the greeting of this exchange is important. And what it is saying…in literal translation.
UNTIL YOU SEE ME~ I do not exist.
Which means: when you see me you bring me into existence.
In the blockbuster movie Avatar when they say “I see you” it means I see the love and your feelings and your soul and you mean everything to me.
When I started my journey with Coronary Heart Disease, I felt more exposed than invisible at the beginning. It was hard to suffer quietly because I have friends and family literally all over the world who are invested in my life and what ails me. Many also follow my journeys with Abante International, as well as my prior ministry involvements trough the years. Everyone who knows me and loves me wanted to follow up on my progress, and I for once wanted to show the world that I could be strong and suffer well. However, when it became evident that progress was nowhere in sight, (though I am still hoping for a miracle) there was a subtle shift. I became a patient, and in all honesty the person I was somehow got lost in translation. Real life is hard as it is, but when things happen that are out of your control, the skin suit becomes heavy and uncomfortable. We like things the way they were. However, the world moves on (as it should), schedules have to be kept, the job/ministry organization has to continue, etc. Simply put, life continued its course for everyone else, while I slowly felt myself becoming less visible.
I am being transparent because I know, some of you struggle with this issue. Then, how do you and I move forward? I wish I could say there is an easy fix to that. Remember Frodo and his struggle with the ring of power, in the Lord of the Ring series? He knew that every time he put that ring on he would become invisible to the evils threatening his life. He also knew that whenever he put that ring on and became invisible, there was a price to pay -like becoming more susceptible to the control of the evil one. And so, here are my go to’s in dealing with this issue:
1. Be honest with yourself. The enemy wants to control your mind, and make you feel worthless! You have a very real battle going on in your mind that goes beyond the physical. The struggle is real, therefore prepare to fight hard!
2. Acknowledge you are not truly invisible. There is one who always sees you regardless of where you are, what you have done, or what has befallen you. When the skin suit comes off, he is still able to see you. There is no hiding, or escaping his all seeing eye.
3. Be grateful. I think you will find a change in your attitude as you begin to focus on the good things you have experienced or are currently experiencing in your life. After every storm, there is always a glorious peace that transcends the pain and terror of the night before. Focus on that!
4. Understand that no one suffers alone. This one took me a while to get, but one day, I looked back and realized I was leaving a trail of broken hearted family and friends who wanted to help but did not know how. Be cautious not to lash out at them in your own pain, they truly care and want to help. Include them in your struggle, and allow then to find a way to mourn with you. After all, they are suffering as well.
5. Replace the empty spaces with new things. There are things you are no longer able to do, and much of you has been lost or taken away. It is sad. Mourn it, but then move on. Teach yourself to do things you always wanted to do but never had the courage to try. Find new things that can replace what once was.
6. Find joy. Perhaps the toughest part of being where you are, is finding joy in the journey. Laugh more often, play, breathe, run, go for walks, listen to music, and spend time with people who make you laugh out loud. Why? Because it is good for the soul, and because we should never forget that “though sorrow may last for the night, joy comes in the morning!”
If you can go through these very simple steps, you will find yourself ready to be seen-truly seen as you are-and to become who you need to be. If you watched the movie Avatar, you might remember that the main phrase throughout the entire feature was “I see you.” Do you know what that phrase means? Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world, and this is how she defines it: