I was sitting waiting on some friends in front of an event. A man pulls up on a van, his wife steps out to get tickets, he and the children drive off to park and wait. He whistles at her in a coquette manner as she walks into the place. She ignores him. A short time later the wife steps out and frantically starts searching for them in the parking lot. She calls him on her cell rather loudly, “Hey, where are you?” He must’ve answered, “I’m here.” She then says sarcastically, “I AM HERE! If you were here I would see you. YOUR here is not MY HERE.” She sees the little girl waving and walks towards the end of the parking lot.
I sat there thinking about relationships. How many times don’t we think to ourselves, “I am here. Where are you? Why aren’t you seeing me?” It happens with our mates, our children, our parents, and even friends. We want to be acknowledged. We want to be heard. Nothing is more relevant than knowing that our presence is honored and appreciated.
Whenever I had something important to say to my young children I would make sure they stopped whatever they were doing. I sat or stood in front of them and asked for their attention. “Look at me for a second, sweetie….” Then to make sure it was heard I would ask them to please repeat it back to me. This was necessary because otherwise they didn’t seem to comprehend. With them, I used small sentences. I made sure there were no long explanations because children need simplicity. When my mother got ill I had to use the same technique. It’s usually in those few words that the brain understands that it needs to pay attention. The tone of your voice is vital in how another person listens.
And so it is in relationships! We are often asking, “Why am I being ignored?” But the question we should be asking is, “How am I saying this? What needs to change in my presentation in order to be present and acknowledged?” Are you yelling your thoughts into chaos? Are you screaming in anger? Are you ignoring that the timing might not be right? You cannot blame another for what they are thinking when their ‘here’ is not in alignment with the way you perceive it to be.
Listening and hearing are two different animals. One requires being. The other is just noise. We have been accustomed in this society to use the art of over thinking and analyzing. We are conditioned to go-go-go until we drop. Relationships suffer because of the multitasking and technology. Allow for YOUR HERE to be another person’s presence. Be willing to provide the sacredness of listening and being in the moment. There are things that are being lost in this new age of technology: speaking, being heard, and being able to decipher the importance of union with your loved ones.
Notice how a dog behaves when you walk out of the room and return. You are in his “here.” Let’s be like dogs in our commitment to provide space for our loved ones. I see you. I feel you. I honor your existence. I love you. Have a great day.