We are called human beings for a reason. But if aliens from a galaxy far, far away were to look at us during the holiday season, they would probably think we should be called human doings. We get so wrapped up in doing stuff that we forget that the good times in life are about “being.” Being Human. Being present. For ourselves and for those we care about.
If you are looking for a unique and priceless gift idea for the special people in your life, here’s one that’s very expensive. How about giving them you?
I don't mean give yourself away. I mean give them your time, your focus, your attention, in a word, your presence.
Although it can be fun to give your friends and loved ones objects wrapped in pretty paper, as human beings we have more primary needs besides the ones for toys and objects. So many people feel that there is no one to just listen to them, to just be there, to be present as a friend. It’s just too easy to get so busy and to forget how nice it can be to just sit down together over a cup of tea and talk. Your presence is often the best present to make your partner feel totally loved.
We all have busy lives, and with all the activity, we have to remind ourselves there is something more fundamental, something that may have been forgotten in the shuffle. Something like just spending time with someone, doing nothing, just being together. When folks hear the term quality time, they think it means doing something. To me it means being something, that something is being present.
To be present not only means that your body is here. It means that your mind, your ears and your heart are here also. If you are with someone physically, that is a start, of course. But it means so much more if you really put your kind focus on them.
Instead of being preoccupied with what you are doing, or what you have to do next, or what you have to do tomorrow, just really look at them as if you are meeting them for the first time. Really listen to their words as if this moment you have together might be your last. I don't mean this to be morbid, but in the sense of really appreciating the magic of the moment you have together.
It is an amazing thing to really be present for another person. Not to fix them or advise them, or to do anything. Just to be there. It is amazing what happens when you do this. It fills you up and fills them up with that mysterious energy, love.
Love can only happen when a person is present, which also means aware of the other’s presence. You start by being aware of your own self. How do you do that? Pay attention to your breath, and instead of doing anything else, just simply notice that you are here. Then put your awareness on the other person’s simple presence. Not your judgments or evaluations of them, just their simple existence.
If, on the other hand, you get lost in your mind's preoccupations, it is very hard to feel love. This is why new love feels so good, because we put all our attention and awareness on the other person and the present moment together.
Without this quality of beingness, it can feel very empty being next to someone. Being in the same physical space with someone doesn’t mean you always feel connected with them. If you are in proximity, but not present for each other, you will not feel this precious experience of connection.
On the other hand, miracles happen when you are present. Even if the other person isn’t aware of this process, you can still give them your presence, and your awareness of theirs. It is the most healing thing you can do. You may amaze yourself as you see that even stagnant relationships can heal.
It doesn’t matter if you have been experiencing dysfunctional patterns for a long time. In a moment you can change the dynamic with children, parents, lovers or friends. We all like getting presents wrapped in packages, but the experience of being present with another person is the one gift we can't live without. In fact, your presence is the best present of all.
You can learn a lot about Presence from animals. Watch this wonderful video by Genie Joseph on animal-human bonding in the military: Loving Dogs Video
Go From Presence to Healthy Relationships
Go To The Gift of Appreciation
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"I love you!"
Those are the three words we most want to hear.
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