Hiding in Plain Sight by Karen Stuth

It’s not unusual to lose things now and then. We all do it. Lose our keys, set down our glasses or cell phone only to discover they have seemingly disappeared into a pocket in the sky. We lose all sense of time, looking up in surprise to realize several hours have passed in the proverbial ‘blink of an eye.’ As we grow older, we lose friends to distance, illness, death, or a lack of loving attention. We lose places we have visited or want to go to fading memory or fatigue. We lose money and things and people and places and ideals and values, sometimes to natural attrition but also to our own carelessness or lack of attention.

But most of all we can also lose ourselves.

It happens in many ways; faithlessness to our core purpose, adapting the goals and ideals of others, our occasional willingness to please, indecision, being discomfited by bald-faced truth. Perhaps we have been lulled away from ourselves by the general noise of life, by allegiance to ‘our list,’ to financial stress, to disappearing into another, to loneliness, or to a heavy blanket of apathy, depression, or distrust.

Sometimes things that we believe we have lost were in fact never lost at all but hiding in plain sight.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. How often do I misplace something only to find it has been staring me in the face, waiting to be ‘found?’ The truth is that that the thing I was seeking was never lost, but only waiting to be seen.

Just like each of us.

My sisters and I recently lost our mother.  She was 91 years old when she died. We carry her within us in so many ways.  She is imprinted on each of us; toward the end of her life, we did recognize her for who she was; an imperfect, compassionate, difficult, immeasurably gifted person who navigated life in her own way, whether we liked it or not. We mostly did not see her for the complex, layered, and fascinating person that she was. For most of our lives we only saw her as we wanted her to be for us. We believed she would be happier as someone different, not appreciating that she was always enough, a perfectly self-contained universe. At the deepest level Mom was angered by waiting for the world around her to figure it out rather than judging her for not meeting their needs. She, too, was hiding in plain sight, waiting to be found. She is still in plain sight in all three of us, who each carry the light and dark aspects of her.

We are each waiting for others to discover our shadows and our treasures. We are waiting to be fully seen and known and understood and appreciated for who we are, just as we are. We want the world to hear our soul song, to drink in our value and purpose, to discover our uncharted territories of talent, and to love us without reason for exactly who we are.

Lately, Spirit, the universe, life, and my soul have been demonstrating this to me. I have found items that were so plainly in full view that on finding them I had to laugh. I have found old friends and new friends who were always waiting for my present attention. Those things I thought I had lost – people, career, family, animal companions, places, memories, money, dreams, and life goals – these were never lost at all. They are all where they are supposed to be, in Divine Order according to Divine Intelligence. I have found pieces of myself that I believed were lost or that I didn’t realize had floated away, just waiting for me to reach out and reclaim. But most of all I have been reminded that Spirit was never gone or lost or misplaced, always waiting for me, a willing hand reaching out with unconditional love and support. We have never been lost to each other. Spirit has always seen me hiding in plain sight, my flaws and virtues on full display, and loves me without reason or judgment.

Knowing this I also remember that I need not be more, or less, than exactly who I am.

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