Several things in my life recently have reminded me of the power of presence.
I have had times in my life when a difficult relationship or a miserable office situation simply ground me down. I needed to have close family and friends who would listen me (and love me) through it. I didn't necessarily want nor need advice. I wanted to be validated for what I felt, and I wanted to be heard. In short, I wanted the power of presence—the presence of those in my close inner circle.
Have you experienced that, too? And have you ever had a time when you described a difficult situation to a close friend and that friend had all sorts of advice on what you should and shouldn't do? And it was absolutely the wrong thing, even if the intent was nothing but good? Most often, you and I aren't looking for advice or solutions when we share experiences and our feelings about them. If we do want advice or ideas, you and I know how to ask for that. If we don't ask, chances are pretty great we simply want to be heard. So it's good for us to remember that when others come to us with their tales of woe. Listen, listen, listen. Remember, just being present to your friend or family member is a gift. Validating their experience and feelings is a huge gift. Often that's all it takes for any of us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and start all over again!
And remember: The words "listen" and "silent" have the exact same letters. To really listen to someone else requires us to be silent. And to be silent means to listen with our ears—and our hearts.
The power of presence—it's an amazing gift.