The "Gift" of Presence
The other day at work an older gentleman came in and had a question. After some discussion it turned out that he had paid a bill that belonged to someone else in his community (who has the same name as him). When he came in he was frustrated by the situation. Through conversation I learned that he had paid the bill even though he doesn't subscribe to that particular service. It took some digging for me to fully understand what he was saying as well as what he was asking. When I finally understood the situation I decided to use humor to ease the situation. I jokingly said, "Wow, how nice of you to have paid someone else's bill". This resulted in some banter back and forth, we laughed at the situation and I gave him some options of how to solve his particular problem. We talked some more and then he got up to leave. As he got up he was smiling and I could see that our dialogue had an impact. There were tears welling up in his eyes.
He took a deep breath turned back to me and said "Thank You" and took my hand and shook it. I don't remember exactly what he said next but it made me realize that our brief dialogue had a real impact. I could feel the energy of the situation and tears welled up in my eyes as well. It was one of those beautiful moments that takes you by surprise. Unexpected magic.
This interaction has crossed my mind several times since it happened. In going back and guessing what I may have done or offered this man, I believe it was my presence. I was in a good mood that day, nothing on my mind, no distractions. I was not triggered or frustrated by his situation or his questions. I listened without judgement and we laughed together at the situation. This situation reminded me of the impact we can have on each other without even realizing it. Presence, led to connection and an energetic shift occurred. I am reminded that we all have an intrinsic need to be seen and heard.
I experience fulfillment and joy when I have this kind of interaction. It is such a good reminder to me of my need for meaningful exchange and connection. There is so much happening in our everyday life that we miss opportunities for connection. By focusing on what we are doing and the tasks at hand. We miss the opportunity to "BE" with the people right in front of us. Opportunities for connecting are all around us, all the time, if we create the space and awareness.