It’s all about presence.
Yours, your company, the closest people to you, the closest people to your closest people.
All of the answers to “where” is defined by your presence. Physical presence, yes. But further than that, the emotional and intangible presence. That’s what matters most.
When I say presence is purpose, it’s pretty self explanatory. What purpose are you serving in people’s lives? & vice versa? What purpose are you serving overall? This answers the “what”..
This is asking yourself.. Where are you? What are you doing?
Sometimes, you have to realize where you show up & how people show up with you. The company we keep are choices.. They directly influence the direction of our future, or hinder the vision of the paths we are supposed to take. The people you choose to be a part of your life should be challenging you to better yourself as you get older. They should let you know when you’ve done wrong. They should support you with your decisions, regardless of judgment, opinion, outside voices, or opposition.
Showing up goes beyond the obvious – graduations, birthdays, reaching milestones, break ups, or when you reach rock bottom. The people you choose should be present throughout those times – it’s like telling your parents you cleaned your room, or washed the dishes while you were growing up. Those are things you’re supposed to do.
But when else do they show up? Opportunities to slander your name will come up. Confrontation will come up. Misunderstandings will come up. Outside voices seeming louder than anything else will come up. Loyalty, as if it were even an option, will come up…
Where are your people showing up?
Presence has an endless component to it. No matter how long you’ve known someone doesn’t determine their presence. Time permits growth. & sometimes growth means change.
Sometimes the people around you change due to change happening in their lives. We can’t blame them to an extent, but we can pay attention to their presence.
When certain levels of status, fame, or money is reached, that can cause people to change. Where are they present? Or.. Where are they absent? Note differences in treatment, attention, care, conversation.. These things can make people crave & yearn for things they’ve never had before, changing their values. Pay attention.
Just as things may have changed for them, things may change for you as well. Growth is different for everyone. Some grow together. Some grow apart. Your growth may call for you to pay attention to the true presence your people have. It also may call for a smaller capacity – and that’s okay.
More importantly, where are you? Your presence in people’s lives is just as valuable. Your friends, your brothers, your sisters, your parents, your extended family, your spouse.. Challenge them. Tell them when they are wrong. Wipe their tears. Support their dreams. Better them. Let them know what’s holding them back from them reaching their potential. Come up with action plans to get there. & when opposition or conflict arises, disagree in support. Speak highly of them when they aren’t around. Fight for them. Pray with them. Show up.
How are you showing up with yourself? Your presence needs to be fed by everything around you.
Feed your thoughts with solving problems and dilemmas. Read books that make you look at life differently. Try a new hobby. Switch up your daily routine.
Feed your senses of sound with something other than the music you listen to. Degrading and explicit music is never good to listen to on a consistent basis. Turn on something that speaks to your soul. Something that attaches you to a different emotion. Play something with no lyrics. & just listen..
Feed your eyesight with something other than social media. Instead of searching for funny memes or an attractive stranger, go to a local opening event. Get outside and look for new scenery. Once you’re there, pay attention to the endless horizon in front of you, and not on Snapchatting where you are.
Feed your body with things that will allow you to enjoy your life. Eat well. Lift. Hike. Grab your friends and do a quick yoga session. Rest. Exfoliate. Throw a face & hair mask on. You are only given one body. Take good care of it.
Feed your spirit by strengthening your faith. Allow Christ into your heart, and watch your life change right before your eyes. Get your daily dose of Him. Keep Him your focal point, and put your faith to the test with every aspect of your life.
Feed your life by applying yourself properly in every situation. Exercise your gifts. Practice what you preach. Set goals, and go get them. Don’t limit yourself to your preconceived notions or opinions from the voices around you.
Just as one should speak with purpose, presence is purpose as well. Determine what presence you expect the people in your corner to have, then pay close attention to how they show up. Then, ask yourself.. Where are you? What are you doing?
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another. If you want to light others, light yourself.” -James Keller/Thomas Monson
Photo: Emílio Jímenez