Each of our lives are different with various challenges and decisions. We all struggle with something or someone. We are all in search of happiness or some sense of acceptance and contentedness. But the difficult question is always: how do we achieve it? Or, how do we live the life we want to live? As your South Bay therapist, I know these are challenging and sometimes scary questions to ask ourselves. According to Maya Angelou, every person constantly asks themselves four critical, silent questions every day. These questions often go unanswered and if ever asked aloud, they may be some of the most intimate questions to ask another person. Maya’s questions include: “Do you see me? Do you care that I’m here? Am I enough for you, or do you need me to be better in some way? Can I tell that I’m special to you by the way that you look at me? (Thrive Global, Schafler 2017).”
Given that often we won’t get the answer to these questions from someone else, the more important question becomes, how would I answer them myself?
In every interaction we have, and especially with the people in our lives we care most about, we want to be able to answer these questions. Surprisingly, by doing so we can change our life for the better. So what does this mean we must do? It means taking the time to truly connect with the people around us; be fully present. While in a conversation with another, make them know you care by being fully engaging with what they are sharing with you; that means phone away and full eye contact. Show them that they are enough for you and make them feel special by truly listening and hearing what they are telling you. By doing these things, you will be not just physically, but emotionally present with the person. I recommend practicing this level of engagement with everyone in your life. It is the key to being our best selves and living our happiest lives. Who knew the answer to some of the most difficult interpersonal questions is actually quite simple, just be present.
Though it may sound easy, the reality of being fully present is much more difficult. As your South Bay therapist, I understand how challenging it can be. If you are finding it hard to be present with those around you, this may be an indication that other things in your life are acting as barriers or blocks to truly connecting. It may be fear, discomfort, overwhelm, past hurts, resentments; all areas worth uncovering and confronting. Therapy is one avenue for doing just that. Though it can be taxing and exhausting to be present with others all the time, it is worth building up the stamina and strength to do so.
Being present in your life does not require a huge sacrifice, though it does require change and self-awareness. It necessitates a conscious decision to be present with those around you. This is something I work with all of my clients to achieve. As your Hermosa Beach counselor, I encourage you to practice being present in your interactions and to notice the impact this has over time in your life. I believe you will quickly experience more depth and closeness in all of your relationships. If you wish to delve deeper into this type of exploration, please call my South Bay office today for an initial consultation. This can be the start of much greater presence both in your relationships and in your life!