We All Want to be Seen

Filed in Finding & Following Your Voice, Your Purpose as a Writer by on April 18, 2011 • views: 688

Actor Kiefer Sutherland has a new, innovative series showing on Hulu called “The Confession.” Airing in five-minute episodes, it tells the story of an assassin who corners a priest in the confession booth for an in-depth conversation about the nature of good and evil. The assassin wants to understand faith, and the priest doesn’t have much choice but to go along or watch the assassin kill the parishioners on the other side of the thin wooden wall.

The priest predicts the assassin won’t stop killing because the gun gives him power. “Without it, you’re just a scared little boy,” he says.

The assassin counters that the priest is not that different. His power comes from his collar, and though his faith has dwindled over the years, he clings to the collar for the respect it earns him.

“Yes, I do have doubts,” the priest admits, “and pride is a sin that I possess, and you’re right, everyone needs to be seen and heard, but I try and go about it through love, whereas all you can offer is hatred.”

When I heard that line, I thought, what a great way to describe the power of the inner voice. We all need to be seen and heard. The priest states it so matter of factly. But it’s when we operate from a place of love that we reach our highest potential.

Think about our young kids who have gone to school with guns. Most of them were loners. They didn’t feel they belonged. They were ignored. The guns gave them power. People suddenly paid attention.

We all need to be seen. That’s part of what the inner voice urges us to do—that which we are gifted at, that which we love. It’s when we heed that call and take action that we shine. To do otherwise is to remain in obscurity.

“[S]ometimes we feel like ghosts walking through life,” writes blogger Vicki Hopkins. “We’re having this overwhelming need to be seen.”

Sometimes we may feel guilty about this desire. Who am I to want people to notice? But it’s natural to want to shine in our own individual ways. We’re not made to be drones punching in and punching out like robots on an assembly line.

American writer James Truslow Adams said, “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”

This describes love. Doing that which you love takes you into the light that you seek. Much better to follow that, then to find other, less positive ways to make people take notice.

I don’t yet know how The Confession will end, if the priest will manage to get the assassin to change his ways, or if the man of god might end up a victim himself. Saint Augustine said, “The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.” I’m not sure that’s always true. But here’s hoping that if you’re feeling a little ghostly today, you find a way to shine your light—by doing what you love.

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