Approximately two weeks into the New Year, and already, being present (my word for 2017), not surprisingly, has surfaced as quite the challenge; as much as I presumed it would. Yet through the frustration, like trying to peer through a dark and foggy window, a gentle swipe of the hand reminds me...we are not here nor placed on this earth to be flawless or textbook-following human beings. Nope. We are sweetly imperfect my friends; fueled by our boisterous minds and continuous efforts to be who God made us to be.
His beloved children.
His beloved children.
So while being present might appear to be a lofty and haughty pursuit, I am content with my innate inability to hit the mark 100% of the time.
For me, present in the year ahead means shedding light on these treasured and frequently neglected areas...
Present – in prayer. This tops my list of importance. Too often in prayer I am distracted and decide to give up altogether, but after much trial and error, I’ve come to discover that I must enter into prayer in the same way I sit down to read a good book; surrounded by a veil of complete silence. The silence allows me to focus in a way that the noise does not. As a result, prayer comes floating to the surface. (And all the people said amen.)
Present – to myself. This is second in line in terms of significance. I felt some initial hesitation at placing my needs in such close proximity to my relationship with God, but the older I’ve gotten, the more strongly I've been able to make the correlation between attending to my inner-self and being able to attend to others. This means listening intuitively to how I’m really feeling, rather than immediately sweeping my emotions under the rug, never to be seen or heard from again. It means spending copious amounts of time alone to build back up the strength I need to move forward. After all, we must remember to feed our own souls first before we can ever think to feed another’s.
Present – to relationships. I chose “relationships” in general because I’m certain that all of my relationships could benefit from being present. From work relationships, to home, to friendships, and everyone in between, no one should be left behind. I’ve been on the receiving end of many one-sided conversations, where I am clutching at straws for someone to stop and listen to what I have to say, and it’s exhausting and discouraging. Yet still, I am meek and humble enough to accept that I, too, have made people to feel this way by my unwillingness to be truly present among them. Conversations are referred to as conversations because there are two or more people sharing their thoughts. It’s time we give each other an equal share.
Now you might be thinking that these are well-intentioned goals, but how in the world will I go about putting this into action? Well, so far, I’ve been (divinely) guided to two ways that seem to be working well for me.
…and I’ll be sharing those ways with you next week on the blog.
In the meantime, tell me...how are you putting your word into action so far this year?