Presence…..what is that and why should it matter? You might hear the phrase ‘be present in the moment’, which made me think further about what it means to be truly ‘present’. Think about a moment or time in your life, where you felt immersed in an experience. When have you felt truly acknowledged by someone in your life, where they were actively listening to what you had to say with their full heart and mind. You may not know how the other person felt in this moment, but being heard and listened to without judgement is a privilege and gift. When you feel loved, supported, acknowledged and cared for, there is a feeling of warmth, peace and comfort. In my own experiences with presence, I have felt a sense of safety and trust when I know that someone important to me is showing up for me, in all the good and bad that life throws my way.
Often, we can take presence for granted because we think it equates solely to physical presence, but it takes a great amount energy to be ‘fully present’ for ourselves and for others. As I began to think about my own experiences, I realized that presence extends far beyond physicality. Presence can be interpreted as a combination of physical, emotional, mental, and relational energy within a given moment. You can begin to think about presence in a broader perspective and the extensive amount of energy and soul it takes to be present.
Rather than describing presence as an action, I see it as a gift because it is luck when you can find genuine and authentic people that will bring their whole-hearted selves. Whether you are doing this for yourself or for someone else, your presence matters. Every time you show up for someone, it matters. Every time someone else shows up for you, it matters. Every time you show up for yourself, you matter.
I hope that this can encourage more people to acknowledge the individuals in their life and express gratitude for their presence that is brought each day. You may not realize it, but your time and presence that you dedicate can make all the difference for someone. When we begin to see presence as more of a physical, emotional, mental and relational energy, we will recognize the deep level of vulnerability, soul and heart that is shared. The constant growth and connection we built within ourselves and with others is truly remarkable and special, so cherish it and hold onto it. Take in every moment that you can, whether it is reflecting on yourself or in the presence of others. It is a continual journey of learning but if I can mention one important takeaway, it is that every connection we have is unique and important. When I think of presence, I think of it as a continual process that creates a place of safety, belonging and connection. It does not require perfection in any shape or form, but it requires complete trust, honesty, heart and soul. When we can be open and honest with ourselves and the people that we are present with, it becomes a genuine gift.
Presence is not required of anyone, but it is a choice that we choose to take on. For any reason behind why you give presence, it is unique to you and it can’t be taken away. Stay present for others and yourself, because the compassion that is given can go a long way. One action can make the world of a difference for someone. Let’s be kind, compassionate, and genuine.