Many years ago when I was teaching two year olds, I would greet each child individually as he/she entered the playroom. My greeting was a short but personal comment that sent the message “I see you and value you for exactly who you are”. Children of this age are simple and transparent in their emotional reactions. Each child started the day simply “glowing” because of having been “seen” in this way. As an added bonus the children in my classroom were predisposed to get along with one another and bring out the best version of themselves. This is the payoff for children who have high self-esteem.
The image of my two year old classroom came back to me recently as I contemplated the meaning of the holiday season. This is the “season of giving”. What do I have to give, and what would I most like to be given? There is very little in the way of material goods that I actually am longing for. And…for the most part…my gifting list has shrunk these days to almost nothing.
The truth is…what I really want and what I feel is the most precious gift I can give is “Presence.” There is nothing more valuable to me than being in the presence of friends and family during this season. Don’t get me wrong…material gifting can be fun, thoughtful, and even profound at times. but it can never take the place of just being around people and sharing ourselves. Human companionship is what makes life worthwhile and meaningful for me.
Underneath it all, aren’t we all a vulnerable and unsure little two year old who longs to be noticed and appreciated for who we are? Does it not still create that inner “glow” when we are seen at the deepest core of our being?
Best of all. just being” present” is completely “free” in the monetary sense. It matters not what your bank account is if you simply take the time to be with people in your life…or maybe even to say a kind word of acknowledgement to a stranger on the street.
So this season….just try it…..Give freely of yourself and allow others to experience the “Present Of Your Presence”