This is a philosophical post, intended to spark thinking and examining.
Attention, care, empathy, and connection is one of the most generous gifts one can give to another.
All we truly have in life is our time, our listening, and our presence. To give them willingly to another is an act of love. To sit and be with another is an act of love.
One of the most amazing moments in my life was eating a very quiet dinner with two of my very tired friends, with their newborn sleeping in a corner of the room. They were exhausted after some trying times. The meal was leftover thanksgiving dinner from a mutual friend.
We sat and ate in silence and were open in being with each other’s company. That’s it. It was a profound experience.
Sometimes when we’re in a downward spiral, that spiral makes us feel bad for “wasting” that precious time that others give to us. If our spiral has been so long we don’t even recognize it as a spiral anymore, we may feel so low that we say “Sorry I’m such a spaz,” or “Sorry I’m a downer,” or “Sorry I suck.”
I’ve been there too. It’s profound in a different way.
In those moments we miss that we’re being given a gift, a gift that is willingly and chosen-ly being given to us.
Accidentally, we miss and dismiss the love being shown.
What we can say is, “Thank you for being here with me.”
And when we’re sharing our passions excitedly to a committed listener, it’s equally a gift. We can say “Thank you for listening.”
There’s something to be had, I’d put forth, in acknowledging and celebrating when we’ve been given a gift, this gift, whether by a friend, a family, or, and perhaps even more so, by a stranger.
One human being to another.
Thank you, that you that is sitting in your underwear right now. Thank you personally for reading my words and for your engagement with me.
Thank you for your gift.