When we are in relationship with one another it is important to be fully present.
When Andrew and Layne were small Scott and I used to think we could “fool them” that we were fully listening and we would try to multi-task throughout their excessive chatter. Basically – we’d be “half” there.
We didn’t do it all the time, certainly. But there were times that we would be in the middle of something and they would have something pressing to say. We’d totally engage at the beginning of the conversation, but then the dialogue would continue on, mainly one sided and we thought if we could say “uh huh” and “right,” etc. we would fool them into thinking we were paying attention.
It may have worked for a few years but then they became wise to our ways!
“Mommy, Daddy, you are NOT listening!”
“Yes, we are,” we’d reply.
“No – you are just pretending to listen. So I’ll just stop until you will listen.”
In our lives when so many different things compete for our attention we struggle to be fully present. We may be physically present with someone, but our minds are going a hundred different directions.
What if, to make our relationships better, we work on being fully present.
Being present is one thing necessary that allows us to attain wisdom, and in many ways it is the hardest thing to do. But what if we try to keep our heart open, our mind receptive without division and resistance, and our body where it is and at its deepest level of feeling?
Fr. Richard Rohr says that being present occurs when all three areas – heart, mind, and body are awake and receptive at the same time.
If we work at being fully present in our relationships, we will find that they experience transformation.
Let us try to be fully present today.
James 1:9
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.