13 May Portray Your Love Through Your Presence & Attention
I’M WRITING THIS early in the morning; I love the stillness of this early hour. The signs of night drift off, the birds begin their chatter, it’s the dawn of a new day.
It feels like everything moves slowly — the sounds, the light — my mind is clear and free. It’s a reminder that time is what we make of it.
We may find stillness in everything we do. No matter the weight of the moment, no matter what we feel is pressing on our heart, we may find stillness.
Especially when with others.
As it’s Mother’s Day, I’d like to share some words of gratitude.
How do we show the people we love we love them? Gifts are always nice, but perhaps more important is our attention and our presence.
Author and podcast-host Jay Shetty discusses this beautiful concept in his transformational book, Think Like a Monk.
A monk, he says, shows their love through presence and attention. What is presence? It’s more than merely physically being in a place — it’s being there mentally, genuinely listening, truly being there.
In any relationship, in any interaction, quality is more important than quantity. We might be at dinner with our parents for two hours, but are we truly present?
Think back on the memorable times from your childhood. Perhaps your parents were around all the time. But do you remember each individual moment? Were they giving you their attention, or just their time? How can you use those experiences to strengthen your own relationships?
If you only have a few hours every day or even just a few minutes to share in a meal, a passing in the hall or a ride to school with family or loved ones, how will you use that time? Will you say what needs to be said? Will you show up and give your undivided attention?
We might be checking out at the grocery store (the grocery store is like the school of life), but do we treat the grocer as a human being who deserves our attention?
It’s the quality of the time we spend with others, not the quantity.
I’m by no means perfect in these regards, but giving undivided attention and making that extra effort is something I’m working on.
If you’re lucky enough to spend time with family, friends, even just a new conversation with a stranger this weekend, I challenge you to give your undivided attention.
Portray your gratitude, your love, and your appreciation through your presence; take your time back, find stillness and use it well — and watch how your life changes.