It crept up on me slowly at first. Like a slow-moving, grey cloud carrying its own atmospheric pressure ecosystem.
I had just come out of a 6 year relationship that blew my whole world open in the ways my world needed to be blown open and had blessed me with such powerful growth, in that way that only relationships can do.
For a month after the breakup, I felt as we all feel when we come out of a relationship…
After the sadness subsides and the mental stories that gloomily foretell the possibility of being alone forever begin to fade away, that rush comes.
You know the rush I’m talking about.
That true taste of pure, unadulterated freedom beaming it’s way out of your core and connecting you to all of life. That kind of freedom as all the parts of you that were wrapped up in the other person begin to come back to you.
The relationship had started at the age of 28 and ended when I was 33. I had been out of the dating game for what seemed like eons and as I usually do, the minute I had entered into my relationship, I had put far from my mind the possibility of being with anyone else forever.
So, getting back in the game felt like stepping into an alien world. So much had happened in those 6 years, externally and internally. I was a different person and the world was different.
And the way we date at 28 is very different than the way we date at 33.
Nevertheless, I assumed things would be as they always had been. I’d meet several eligible suitors, I’d have a few of them interested and I would fall in love again, as I had always done my entire life.
Man, was my ego in for a rude awakening.
At first it seemed like things would go as they always had gone.
I got a few interested suitors, some flirtations as delicious as a light chocolate soufflé
and some that were the wrong choice off the menu, to put it delicately.
And then I became invisible.
My entire life I had been used to being that woman. The one that enters a room and 5
out of 6 men turn their heads at. The one that easily makes instant friends. The one
that is always liked. The one everyone wants to know. The desired one. The special one. The intelligent one. The charismatic one.
Now before you think I’m some vain, privileged bee-otch who has no idea what it’s
like in “the real world”–believe me, I have had my fair share of rejections and heartbreaks. Plenty of people have not wanted to be my friend and plenty have just plain not liked me.
And I am by no means the most beautiful or amazing woman in the room everywhere I go, nor have I ever thought that of myself. But what I did always have was the ability to flip a switch in a room full of people and attract the people into my life that I desired to attract: business relationships, suitors or friends.
“Skunk medicine”, as one of my animal-totem-loving friends affectionately dubbed it when she saw it in action. The power to strongly attract or repel that which I wanted at any moment.
And then I lost that power. The switch broke.
Slowly I began to notice that I could walk in crowds and crowds of people and not a single person would look into my eyes or notice me. Men stopped asking me out. In fact, not a single man asked me out or expressed romantic interest in me in two years.
I inexplicably gained 40 pounds, even though I was eating the same healthy way I had
always eaten. I started to feel incredibly unattractive. My healthy self-esteem got a new internal companion–a sullen woman that thought my body was disgusting and repulsive to others.
I began to compare myself to every woman in the room and find all the reasons
why she was more beautiful internally and externally than me, more deserving of
love, more intelligent, more interesting and more sparkly. They all seemed to have that
“glow” that I was missing. I was the dull, dark thing gathering dust under the bed, where
most seldom want to look.
In conversations, I had been used to people always wanting to know what I had to say
and that was no longer the case. I have lost count of the amount of times over the last
two years when I was out to dinner or at an event where one question was asked of
everyone present and I was accidentally skipped over every. single. time.
I started to lose my voice in the world. In large gatherings, every time I spoke, my voice
was drowned out by other voices in the conversation or no one would respond and the topic of the conversation would change, without any indication that I had just spoken. No one asked me questions about myself anymore or seemed to want to get to know me–the person next to them at the dinner table–even though I attempted always to ask them questions and create connection.
My social media account, on which I had always been visible and outspoken, lost its
power of exposure. I went from having a highly engaged audience, commenting on my
posts and sharing them, to days where I poured my heart out and not a single person liked it or commented on it. I lost a lot of business when my Facebook profile became inexplicably invisible to most of my audience after the algorithm changes took effect.
To say this was an initiation for my ego is putting it lightly.
When I could no longer stand it, I visited a powerful astrologer to find out what the heck was happening to me. I had never felt so alone and depressed.
I felt like there was a gray cloud over my head, following me everywhere.
He took one look at my chart and said, in his rough, almost-Scottish-sounding, English
accent “you’ve got Saturn on your ascendant, darling”.
That moment and his subsequent explanation of what that meant, changed
everything for me.
Let me tell you a little bit about Saturn. He ain’t pretty and he ain’t the life of the party.
While other planets are the joyous, happy-go-lucky planets that bring good times with them everywhere they go, Saturn is that serious looking, stern looking grandfather in the corner, looking right through you and all of your bullshit.
Saturn is the speaker of Truth. He doesn’t regale you with compliments and ego-soothers.
He doesn’t coddle you or tell a joke to break the ice when things get a little too deep or serious for comfort. He pulls you into depth, unashamedly. He doesn’t give a fuck about social conventions.
Saturn stands there, relentlessly holding up a mirror to all of the things inside of you that you have not wanted to see about yourself. All of the ways you BS yourself, all of the ways you need external validation to define who you are, all of the false labels you give yourself to avoid seeing your real Self.
It’s like looking at your face in a 10x magnifying mirror and seeing all of the pores, wrinkles and little imperfections on your face that you’d rather not look at every day. Saturn prefers that you do. All the time. Until you can see beyond that.
Saturn rips away all of the stories you tell yourself and all of the illusions you live in by making you invisible. He shows you there is no meaning to life (other than the one we create). That you are a small, meaningless ant in the enormity of the cosmos. You are just a cog in the wheel of the much more important Universal machine that doesn’t have time for the petty grievances of your tiny human life. That’s Saturnian energy.
So naturally, Saturn shone the mirror on all of my egoic attachments. All of the labels I had given myself over the years and so strongly identified my being-ness with.
“Good at business”
Saturn showed me all the ways in which I was none of those things.
But before you go and freak out over Saturn, Saturn sitting on top of my ascendant
didn’t do this to me as some sort of messed up curse.
He stripped me of all of my labels until I realized that I was much more than the
labels, masks and egoic attachments I had piled on over the years.
I became more serious. More introspective.
I noticed that I made people uncomfortable with my seriousness.
Most people are avoiding themselves (just like I was unknowingly doing at the time) by
filling their lives with social pleasantries and distractions or by strongly identifying with a million labels they must constantly proclaim to the world and to themselves to prove that they’re worthy. (When in reality, Saturn shows you that you need absolutely none of that to be worthy. You ARE worthy. You just are.)
When they hang out with someone who is being visited by Saturn, they feel one millisecond of that Saturnian truth-mirror and they want to run in the other direction to avoid meeting themselves face to face.
So, I became a bit of a social pariah.
Conversations were awkward as I was no longer good at small talk or pretending.
Next, I was inexplicably directed by my intuition to give up my cute little apartment in New York, sell everything I own (except for the contents of two suitcases and my dog) and move to Panama far away from my soul community.
There were times when 4 days would go by and I had not spoken to a single soul except my dog, Lucy. And when the time came, she, the only being who had truly seen me during that difficult, two year period, passed away just as it was about to lift.
Truth be told, I lost count of the nights I spent lying in my bed feeling like I would cave in upon myself with loneliness. I felt as if I had gone mute, deaf and blind and lived in a cocoon.
But that’s the crux of it isn’t it?
A caterpillar does not become a butterfly until she is ready.
While the caterpillar is in the cocoon she literally dissolves herself into a dark brown goo.
Everything is a mess and nothing is culturally “beautiful” about it. You cannot open up the cocoon before its time or the goo will leak out and the butterfly will never be born.
You cannot bypass the mess to get to the brightly colored wings and the flying part.
In the same manner–every time I tried to push my way out of the Saturnian cocoon or go back to getting external validation to soothe my ego, it backfired and would not happen.
After I spoke with my astrologer, I realized, that Saturn was here to stay for 2 years and that, as it is with all hard things, I could either surrender and open to the lessons it had for me or fight it every step of the way and sorely lose.
So I surrendered.
I faced the fear my ego had of completely disappearing–that fear that She had been kicking and screaming against for months… and I let go.
Awash in Saturn’s churning, dark ocean, I was pulled into his undertow. I let the waves toss me about like a rag doll until my lungs filled with water and I disappeared into his nothingness.
I gave up the hope of anyone finding me attractive.
I gave up the hope of anyone knowing that I was actually smart.
I gave up the hope of anyone knowing that I was special.
I gave up the hope of being seen.
I let myself die to myself.
And when I did that, all that was left for me to do was to turn the Universal Eye I was seeking attention from, inwards.
I released my attachment and need to be truly seen by another.
I had blindly been stuck in a thought form that said the more I felt seen by the people around me, the more worthy I was. If that man saw me as beautiful and special, that must mean I was all of those things. If he didn’t, was there something wrong with me?
If that person saw me as intelligent, then that meant I could give myself more permission to believe those things about myself too.
And what that had created was a person that sometimes needed external validation from others, in order to feel worthy and good about herself. When Saturn made me invisible, he revealed my attachment to being seen as whatever label I needed to be seen as, in order to feel good.
And so many of us are caught up in this cycle, day after day, without even realizing all of the little ways in which we seek validation from the external world. It’s like there’s a part of us waiting for someone to give us permission to shine.
Can you imagine the toll that getting caught up in this cycle of validation takes on us?
Can you imagine how that totally cuts off true connection with others because in your energetic exchange there is always a subtle energy of you trying to “get” that validation from them?
Saturn helped me see that that is literally the definition of hell.
In this hell you are a raging monster of neediness whose appetite can never be satisfied.
You are so attached and identified with your labels that you minimize how large you truly are by spending all of your time looking for people who will “see” you as all of your small labels, so that you can live in your smallness, vs seeing who you truly are–a vast being that could never be defined by ego-soothing labels.
Saturn showed me all of this.
And the minute I surrendered to Him, I learned how to See myself.
And I no longer NEEDED anyone to see me in order to feel seen.
Being seen then simply became a pleasant fun surprise when it did happen.
But it was no longer a necessity for me to feel good or valid.
It was no longer a necessity for me to be seen, in order for me to exist, take up space in the world and shine in all of my raw, messy Lisa-ness.
I stopped using up all my energy on trying to see how I could be seen as the prettiest, the smartest, the most successful and instead I learned that I am lovable and worthy, whether I am seen or not.
You are lovable and worthy, even if you live on a deserted island and no one sees you your entire life. There’s nothing you have to “do” to be that.
Through the initiation of invisibility, I stopped feeling small when someone in a group with me was praised for a special talent and I wasn’t.
I stopped feeling “not enough” when someone next to me was given a compliment.
I stopped needing to tear someone down when they were getting more attention than me.
I learned that there is a time and place for me to be celebrated and a time and place for allowing another person to be the star.
And that none of that means anything about how wonderful and magnificent you are.
I learned how to truly celebrate another person, to feel joy at the fact that they were being celebrated, without always making it about me “not being seen” if I wasn’t being celebrated, too. I learned to be delighted by someone else being seen, as if it were happening to me as well.
That is true freedom in my book.
It is because of invisibility, that I now know my worth, instead of waiting for you to give it to me with an approving glance or a reassuring word.
Am I perfect at all of this? Of course not.
But if you ask me how I feel about Saturn now, I’ll tell you that he was my great liberator.
The invisibility he gifted to me is the greatest thing that ever happened to me.
Those are the experiences that show us who we really are.
Those are the experiences that set the bright light inside of us free and that leave room for everyone to shine and be visible, because we are no longer shining in order to receive validation–we are just shining because it is our birthright as human beings and is what we naturally do just by existing.
If you’re reading this and you’re feeling invisible, unseen, misunderstood, unloved, unworthy, I want you to open the gift of your invisibility. Untie that ugly bow, lift that heavy lid and see the absolute delight that lies hidden in all those layers of grey wrapping paper.
Repeat this mantra to yourself, daily:
I accept myself, as I am. I am enough. I am worthy just by being. I will not shrink and I will not tear another down when they are shining. There is room for everyone to shine.
My desire for you by sharing this intensely personal story, is that you embrace your invisibility and allow it to show you the truth about who you really are.
You are an intriguingly odd, beautiful, unique Universal creation that can never ever be replicated, that is much greater than you have allowed yourself to see, by letting your labels and external validations define you.
Be grateful for the gift of your invisibility. When we embrace invisibility, we come back into our wholeness and for the first time, because we know that the only person we need to see us, is ourselves.
What matters is that you are allowing yourself to be seen–not that others see you
as the labels your ego wants you to be.
Embrace the brown goo. Revel in it.
Because it is making way for the astonishing creature you were born to be.
If this was helpful to you, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. And if there’s a friend who is struggling with being seen and you’ve have a hunch they’d benefit from it, feel free to share it with them by clicking on the share buttons below.