Today, as my wife began to tell me about her dream. My thoughts went elsewhere. They went to the subject of this blog, presence. Then I realized that I was not present to her. I reflected back to what she was saying.
As my mind continued to bounce between what she was saying and my observations about my level of presence, I wondered why I should be present. How could I be more present? What would happen if I was more or less present?
Then I realized that she felt alone. In her dream she struggled with a challenge in her life. There are many things in her life that she struggles with. She rejects any solution that I offer. I feel the rejection. This time I refrained from offering solutions. When she paused I let her know I was still listening.
As she retold her dream she saw how it mirrored a struggle in her life. In the end she saw a solution. My coaching training told me that is the best solution.
As I write this I recalled more of my thoughts than of her story. Later when she arises from her nap I wonder how she will recall our time together.
I realize that one reason I did not interrupt her was that she had earlier caught me in a “Yes, but…” statement. She had been angry about it. I did not want to repeat it, especially twice in one day.
Now, she is awake and recalls it as a pleasant exchange. I recall it as a struggle to keep my active mind on her story and not interrupt. I guess there is a lot of wisdom in the coaching method that sees the best solution as the one the client creates.
This evening we conversed about another idea. I found that she did not like my, “Yes and…” response much better. I think her idea is an excellent one that will connect many people who now find themselves disconnected
My wife went online and has sent me some resources. I think we will end up collaborating instead of competing as we often do.
I feel my struggle to be present for her helped me thrive.
How have you been present for someone else?
How has it worked out?
Has being present helped you connect and be less lonely?
With whom might you be present?
Among those you meet today, who could use your presence?
Is there anyone you wish was more present to you? Would this blog help you connect?
As All Ways, Seek Joy,
PS, “Yes, but…” statements are those where we start by affirming someone with a yes and then proceed to challenge it with the: but …”
“Yes and …” statements don’t defeat the affirmation. I found that they don’t really let others sore. If I had stopped with “Yes”, I would have affirmed my wife better.