Our Terrifying Desire To Be Seen, Heard, And Understood.

By: Craig Stanland

There was one Super Bowl commercial that hit me.

I enjoyed a bunch of them, for sure, but there was one that struck a chord.

That it struck a chord speaks to one of our deepest human desires, and that desire connects to living authentically.

I have terrible eyesight and have since the 1st grade.

I’m grateful and fortunate that my eyesight isn’t so bad that lenses can’t correct it, though.

In my life, I’ve only met two people who have stronger eyeglass prescriptions than me.

Anything beyond 5 inches past my nose is a complete blur.

I wouldn’t leave my house without my contact lenses or glasses, especially when I lived in NYC – it would be too dangerous.

I’ve tried for years to explain to people what it’s like to experience life through a complete blur, and no one understands.

Lately, my wife and I have been discussing how bad my vision is.

She’s one of the most empathetic people I know, but no amount of descriptive language could connect her with the experience.

When the Google Pixel commercial popped up on our TV in its blurry glory, I was immediately in awe.

The commercial captured what it’s like when I remove my glasses or my contacts, and I pointed to the TV and said,

“This is what my vision is like without help; this is how I see the world.”

Her jaw dropped, and she said,

“I had no idea; that’s terrible. I’m so sorry.”

I smiled, and she said,

“Do you feel seen and heard?”

And that’s when it hit me: I felt seen, heard, and understood.

Which is one of our deepest human desires and one of our deepest fears.

Because we want to be seen and heard for who we authentically are, and we’re terrified we’ll be rejected.

When we can connect with anything that makes us feel seen, heard, and understood for who we truly are, it unlocks our potential – even if it is just a TV commercial.

The key to begin the journey of living authentically and unleashing our potential is to seek the small and sublime moments in our lives where we feel seen, heard, and understood.

We must be open to the moments that are given to us, and we must seek opportunities to expand instead of diminish.

The more of these moments we string together, the more we’ll be willing to expand into the areas of our lives that we’re afraid to expand into. This is how you’ll craft your remarkable second half-life story.

Craig Stanland is a Reinvention Architect & Mindset Coach, TEDx & Keynote Speaker, and the Best-Selling Author of “Blank Canvas, How I Reinvented My Life After Prison.” He specializes in working with high-achievers who’ve chased success, money, and status in their 1st half, only to find a success-sized hole in their lives. He helps them unleash their full potential, break free from autopilot, draft a new life blueprint, and connect with their Life’s Mission so they can live extraordinary lives with purpose, meaning, and fulfillment. Craig is also a member of the Ministry’s White Collar Support Group that meets every Monday evening on Zoom.


We highly recommend Brent Cassity’s podcast, Nightmare Success, in which he interviews justice-impacted people from all walks of life. He is a White Collar Support Group member with a mission to be of service to our community. Please check it out on Spotify or on your favorite podcast platform.

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