Excerpt About Eyes

The Need to be Seen

The normal need for mirroring becomes exaggerated at this point. This need is one element of the overall functioning of the normal self, but at this point it takes center stage, revealing its importance for our sense of identity. We become more aware of our fundamental need to be seen, recognized, admired, appreciated, and so on. This need has two elements: The first is the need for someone outside us to see us accurately, understand what we are about, how we feel, what we think, and so on. It is a matter of another person functioning like a mirror for us, thus shoring up our sense of identity. The second need is that the mirroring feedback has to be not only accurate, but extremely positive. We need to be seen with admiring and appreciative, even idolizing, eyes. The need for mirroring reflects the insecurity and instability of the sense of identity. The individual expects the positive empathic feedback to shore up this self-structure. However, because this insecurity reflects the fundamental weakness of the ego identity, which is due to the alienation from the Essential Identity, it is an expression of a deeper need. This deeper need is for our true self to be seen and appreciated, simply because it is not seen, by anyone—ourselves or others.

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