ACK! I Need Directions!
Where Am I?!
Do you ever leave a conversation and several minutes later think, "What were we just talking about? What did she say? What was it that she wanted my input on?"
Do you ever leave a time with family or friends only to realize later that you really didn’t contribute much to the conversation or whatever was going on?
Do you look back with regret on times that you know you weren’t who you know you really are or didn’t say or do what you wish you would have said or done?
What makes this happen? Why do we sometimes really bomb on what we know and want to do?
The other day I went to run an errand for my hubby. As I walked into a the store, almost immediately an older gentleman asked how I was and what I needed. He had obviously been working on something else-so obviously that I wasn’t going to ask him for help. But he completely dropped whatever he had been doing and focused on helping me. In the 5 minutes it took for him to get me back out the door, there was no question in my mind that he was totally focused on me and exactly what I needed. He wasn’t multi-tasking in his head and distracted by other things-he knew perfectly what I had asked for and redirected our trek through the store to get to the place we needed to be.
I felt respected. I felt cared for. I felt like I mattered and that my need was important to him.
But, really, in the scheme of life, a stop at the hardware isn’t that huge.
However, the way we value people and their needs, how we make them feel, the way that we honor them or discard them (OUCH!) is a big deal.
What makes the difference in how we relate with people? Why do we feel satisfaction with some exchanges and regret with others?
Sometimes I have regrets because I don’t think that I gave the correct advice or I didn’t encourage in the way I should have.
Most often though, I bomb on relationships and caring for people because of this thing-
NOT BEING PRESENT.
Not being present can be so many things.
*being here but wishing I was where I was yesterday
*being here but anticipating more where I’ll be next week
*being here but thinking about my to-do list
*being here but thinking about another conversation
*being here but focusing more on what’s happening over there
Not being present in any of these ways keeps me from living in RIGHT NOW. It keeps me being fully engaged and making the most of the opportunities that are right here, right now.
It is what makes me realize 5 minutes later that I totally missed an opportunity to engage in someone’s life and to speak love, encouragement, hope, and peace into their world.
Being present is my aim for today. It’s not my aim for tomorrow, because I don’t want to miss any of today by thinking of tomorrow.
I will be fully present.