From August 3 to August 14, 2020, FFI ran a social media campaign in which we asked our community to answer the question, in their own words, “what does it mean to see me in my full frame?”
The full prompt reads:
Have you ever been in conversation with a family member and shared with them about an activity you enjoy doing only to hear them comment, “That doesn’t sound like anything you’d be interested in.” Or, maybe you’ve had the experience of running into a former classmate from high school who greets you with “I remember that time you were suspended for having alcohol in your locker.” In either of these situations, you might have said or wanted to say, “You really don’t know me; I am so much more than that!”
At FFI, we know it is most powerful and important when people tell their own story – how they want to be identified and known, not just what other people think they are or should be.
We need your help.
We would like you to help us share examples of people in the full frame of their lives – highlighting the spaces and places where you are fully seen, understood in all of your identity. We would also like you to share a space or place quite the opposite – where others either ignore or do not see you in your full self.
We invite you to take the #MyFullFrame Challenge! What does it mean to you to be seen in the full frame of your life and where do you wish people could see you for who you truly are? Demonstrate the power and importance of telling your own story — how you want to be identified and known, not just what other people think you are or should be.
At the Full Frame Initiative, we know “each of us is more than the worst thing we’ve ever done” and that we are much more than the labels that are placed upon us. Yet too often, assumptions and stereotypes minimize who we are and limit our access to wellbeing. Help us to show what it means for people to be seen in the full frame of their lives — fully seen and understood in all of their identity — and highlight the spaces where you are and are not seen fully.
We have been inspired by the videos, written stories and comments shared by our colleagues, friends and the new connections that we’ve made during the #MyFullFrame Challenge.
We learned what is important to each respondent and we honor and appreciate their stories.
At FFI, seeing people in the full frame of their lives and listening to what, and who, they say is important to them is a critical aspect in understanding wellbeing — the set of needs and experiences essential, in balance and combination, to have health and hope.
Though the challenge has come to a close, we hope you will not only continue sharing with others what it means to be seen in your full frame, but also ask the people in your lives what it means to be seen in their full frame.
What follows are the stories and videos that we received:
I am … strong, smart, independent, brave, authentic, anxious, and fiercely loyal.
I am the one who never feels that what I do is good enough
I am the friend you never think to include because I say no so often because I’m not comfortable in my own skin
I’m the friend who remembers things about you because each true friend I make is one I treasure
Being seen in #myfullframe feels like being understood and seen for who I fully am. I’m not just one thing or another, but made up of all the parts of my life and history. I feel seen in #myfullframe when my friends, family, and colleagues want to learn about all the parts of my life instead of expecting me to perform in just one narrow way.
Colleagues & friends see me in #MyFullFrame when they realize I am both my lived experience AND my extensive professional/theoretical expertise, & more! I’m a sensitive friend, partner, parent, creative, nerdy, silly, goofball who loves dancing & bad karaoke.
Also, things that are FAR more interesting about me than my survivorship or job:
– I once danced The Twist onstage with Chubby Checker
– I lived briefly in a convent
– I once crochet a coaster out of 2 ply yarn I spun from cotton I pulled from a twig
– I had an HBAC with twins
The Full Frame Initiative – FFI To see me in #MyFullFrame is to see me as a sister, lover of country music, Black, queer, aunt, equity and social justice warrior, friend, youth advocate, daughter, Boston sports fan…There are so many sides to me and identities and those who see me in my full frame don’t ignore, minimize or question parts of me they don’t understand or agree with. Seeing me in my full frame is about not trying to put me in your box about who you think I am or should be but being curious about all the things that make me uniquely me.
I am a survivor of more than most people my age. I persevere through losses and struggles and hope that others know they can do the same. I’m an advocate for my clients, a loyal friend and a wife. But, I’m also an overthinker, need reassurance and make mistakes everyday. One day at a time, I try and be better and do better for the people around me.
I am seen – not just looked at…listened to – not just heard when:
I’m praying, praising, singing, meditating/reflecting on the awesomeness of God Who is Love.
I’m laughing, talking, crying, being with, caring for and being cared for by my sisters – the only three people on earth who come from the same gene pool that manifests in us.
I’m hugging, cuddling nestled up with, loving-on any of my nieces and nephews and “greats” – because they are precious to me.
I’m with my mentor-friend who “lives” time with me. No hurry. No fuss. No pretense. Easy.
I’m sharing space and time, talking with, writing to, reading words written by my dear friend who through his love, generosity and kindness teaches me lessons of the heart.
These are my people – when I’m at my best and worst; when I’m forgiving and when I need forgiveness; during mountaintop moments and deep valleys; in times of celebration and mourning. All. The. Time.
I am not seen…and would just like to be listened to when:
I seek medical treatment from any professional other than my personal physician. Other healthcare providers don’t know, or even care to ask about my family, my lifestyle, my work, my strong preference to consider a pharmaceutical or intrusive intervention only as a last resort. So, I have to assert myself to tell them what they don’t ask – and remind them that “we” – not “he/she/they” – need to decide on a plan together to prevent me from being unwell.
I was pulled over by a police vehicle for making a u-turn at a corner where I’ve made the driving move dozens of times. Discovered there was a new sign put up days before banning the u-turn. Shaken – even before I was approached by the officer – because I am Black and because of recent tragedies involving law enforcement. To my relief, he saw my clean driving record and just gave me a warning. I am still holding “what if?”
To see me in #MyFullFrame is to see that I am both outgoing and incredibly shy. I am a spouse, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a warrior when I want to be, and also a survivor. I love travel and exploring new places, even if it’s just a street I’ve never gone down before. I feel at home in the woods and I enjoy the sound of silence. I wish I had more time to both ponder and create art. I’m data nerd — I actually enjoy spreadsheets. I love history, sci-fi, hiking and a good brewery. I feel deeply and care deeply about the wellbeing of others; This is often relayed to me as a negative: I’m too sensitive. I fiercely love my home and my community and I want everyone to feel as comfortable and welcome as I do here. If you’re curious, you’ll see that I am all of this and so much more.
I sure wish I was fully seen at the doctor’s office, where medical professionals rarely take the time to really listen and often make false assumptions and judgments, and with my family, where I am sometimes put into the box of an old version of myself that is not who I am today.