How We See You

Self Portrait

Self Portrait by S.Meneley

We see you. I see you.

I mean I really. do. see. you.
It includes the good, the bad, the ugly.
This is what I do for a living. Seeing the truth.


I also know that you see yourself.
The ugly, the bad, the good.

The difference between what I see, and what you see, is the order in which we perceive each other. Right?

Recently I was doing some self-portrait work with a beautiful soul. And I’m not gonna lie, self-portrait work is…not easy. It’s hard. And I think I forget how hard it is, maybe because I force myself to do it often.

But in watching this person do self-portrait work for the first time, I painfully remembered how difficult it is. I recalled the overwhelmingly “naked” feeling it produces. Because you are staring at yourself. And being critical. And you are supposed to manipulate your image. To make it “more of something.” And that something — whether it be more “good, bad, ugly” — can be scary.


And yet it’s also healing. There is a very good thing that happens when working with your TRUE image. But wait, there is something you need know.

What is even more healing…? Having your portrait done for you.
When this person left my studio, I took the VERY SAME image they worked with of themselves, and painted what I saw. Which I feel/know to be truth. I didn’t over-glorifiy anything. Just created what I saw. Which in the end is a haunting, mysterious, deep-soul of a person. Beautiful.

This one person’s experience… is common. VERY COMMON.
You, me, we are hard on our ourselves. We just are. But others see truth. More truth than we see. Isn’t that a bit odd? And yet it is so absolutely true.

I want to prove this to you… watch this video. Please.
You’ll see. It’s only 3 minutes long. Please watch.


(extended version HERE if you’re interested <—more amazing reactions, breath catching)

The next time someone says, “I love your hair” or “You have pretty eyes” or “Wow you are in great shape” or “Have you lost weight” or “That color looks fabulous on you” — please know, it’s truth. Truer than you are willing to see.

And if you are having a hard time with their truth, instead of dismissing it like we all tend to do–all you have to do is say: Thank You. (and then please shut-up. no seriously, say ‘thank-you” and then shut-up the next self-deprecating comment–even if it is only to yourself inside your head – DON’T SAY IT).

Hey you, xoxoxo and big hugs. sometimes saying “shut-up” is a good thing.

You are amazing. You are such a fabulous and beautiful soul. You really really are.
And this is where you say…

Embracing Your Creative WholeHearted Life™

Life Coach: MS, CLC, PCC ~~~ Creativity Coach: KMCC, CCA, Art4Healing®

© 2008-2013 Sherry Meneley All Rights Reserved soiled wings createheart create heart art journal journaling process art therapy

15 thoughts on “How We See You

  1. You have confirmed something in my soul… I ran across this ad and wept. How true it is to how we cut ourselves down. How we limit all that we do, are, see… And I from my perspective, this is what I see happening in the church as well. We “sell” ourselves short. But God is calling out, “You are more than that! You are my beloved!” Oh to hear the voice of the divine lover speaking into our souls!
    Thank you for your continued work in helping others to see that they are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are a rich and vibrant blessing to many. May you be blessed with the sight to see yourself as others have experienced you… and as God has made you: AWESOME!

  2. This reminds me of several things.
    1. A long time ago I was in a setting where one person was put in the hot seat in the middle of a circle of other people. The others took turns telling the person things that they liked or appreciated about her/him. The person in the hot seat was allowed to say only “thank you.” Then somebody else got the hot seat. It was hard… but awesome.

    2. When I started reading what you posted, I remembered thinking/learning that my perception of someone else’s beauty or character or personhood, etc. can be affected by how I feel about them. What I mean is if things are good between us, if the love is flowing, then I am much more likely to see their beauty, to focus on their good points. However, if I am miffed with them or have allowed a rift to form between us, then I might be more picky & tend to focus on faults.

    3. THEN I remembered that I do the same thing to myself sometimes. If I am feeling proud of an accomplishment or have been extending grace to myself, somehow I look better in the mirror. But if I am stuck in self-condemnation, I might tend to feel ugly or dumpy or fat.

    Good stuff. Really good. I needed it. Thanks!

  3. This week I made a mental list of my ugliness. It’s been a very long time I’ve gone down that road. I have no idea what triggered this, except a laziness of wearing glasses instead of contacts and no make-up. My laziness exposed what I really look like. And I didn’t do anything to “fix” it. Instead, My challenge was to accept and embrace my ugliness.

    Perhaps the greater challenge is to believe I am beautiful.

    • Yes, let’s go with the latter. The latter. The latter. You are beautiful. Yup. I mean, I see you… I know. And I’m not a liar. I’m a big giant truth teller.

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