absolutely unnoticed

“Have you ever been delighted in?”  a counsellor once asked me, and I knew right away that I had.  My ex girlfriend had that rare human ability to delight in another person and I felt in spades.  It was a pure, innocent, abandoned love.  I’m lucky to have felt it; it hasn’t happened since; and there’s the off chance I may feel it again some day.  But I’m not holding my breath:  as I’m sure you are aware, to be delighted in is a rare gift.

Have you ever felt invisible?  That’s an experience we can all relate to.  It’s on the opposite end of the scale from being delighted in.  Where being delighted in floods us with a sense of worth and fulfillment, being ignored empties us out and leaves us cold and isolated.  Delight inspires and being unnoticed ‘cuts us dead.’  Given the option between inspiration – life – and being cut to death, choose life:  delight in someone and in turn let yourself be delighted in.

Here is a description of what it means to be unnoticed:

No more fiendish punishment could be devised, were such a thing physically possible, than that one should be turned loose in society and remain absolutely unnoticed by all the members thereof.  If no one turned around when we entered, answered when we spoke, or minded what we did, but if every person we met ‘cut us dead,’ and acted as if we were non-existent things, a kind of rage and impotent despair would before long well up in us, from which the cruellest bodily torture would be relief.

William James, The Principles of Psychology, Boston, 1890