Everyone loves to get gifts. We have gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, baby showers, christmas, mother's day, father's day, valentines day and all sorts of other occasions. They are material gifts and yet we so often overlook some of the greatest gifts that we can give to others that cost nothing.
Recently I've come to understand the gift of just allowing someone to be who they are in our presence. Is it not a wonderful feeling when we are with someone that just accepts us in all of our glory exactly as we are? They have no expectations, no advice as to what we should or shouldn't do or be, they can simply appreciate who we are in the moment and enjoy that. It is such a gift, and one that I am always learning to give to others.
It is truly beautiful to be able to listen and connect with who the person before me is. I am fortunate and honored to do the work that I do as that people open up to me about who they are and how they became that way. And I give them the gift of acceptance. I don't judge as that I have not been in their position and often don't know what it must be like. I can only imagine, and that falls short of the reality.
We all learn a different set of skills to cope with life and we may be better equipped than some or less equipped than some. We do the best that we can with the skill set we have at the time that the problem arises. Many times, we are still using the coping mechanisms we learned as children. Our brain found it worked then, but doesn't realize that it doesn't work now. It's important to realize that when you are seeing or hearing what someone else is going through. We may think we have the answer for them, but we are simply telling them what works for us. They may not be in a place where they can understand or feel comfortable with what you are saying.
The next time you are with a friend, spouse, child, co worker, boss or the barista making your morning coffee, I invite you to take the time to look at them, drop your idea of who they should be, or who you think they are and give them the gift of allowing them to be who they are in your presence. Allow for them to be human and treat them with respect regardless of how they are treating you. You may be surprised by what happens......................