The past two weeks have been challenging, not so much for me personally, but for my loved ones. Two who received devastating diagnosis news about a parent, and several who have been in the throes of the fear and anxiety that just being alive can bring. I was in the middle of a blogging challenge, and feeling deep disappointment within myself for simply not being able to create the extra time to BLOG, while being present for my loved ones, investing time into the women’s organization that I lead, and accomplishing the daily responsibilities of my full time career! In the midst of my wallowing in self-pity for “just not being enough” to get it all done, I felt like I was jolted awake by this thought,
While it’s nice, maybe even “noble” to have a desire to inspire people I don’t know through my writing, it is a part of my DIVINE PURPOSE to care about, encourage, uplift, pray for, listen to, and BE PRESENT for those who are right in front of my face!
I realized immediately that this reality check, or “Read,” as they say, had come to me directly from above. It was God putting me in my place, and forcing me to keep what truly matters in the proper perspective. As I continued to reflect, I started thinking about the power of being PRESENT.
In our culture, we spend so much of our time tending to our “virtual social platform” lives that we often neglect our real ones! Driven by nice, but often superficial, “Likes”, “Loves,” and “Shares” we post and post and respond to comments, and we make the mistake of thinking that virtual life and REAL LIFE are one in the same. But they are not.
This addiction to the instant, yet temporary, gratification that we receive from virtual interactions is getting out of control. Something that began as a SUPPLEMENT to help keep us connected to our loved ones, mainly those far away, is becoming our main means of relationship and connection with other humans, and I am concerned. I am concerned that we are no longer investing time and effort into intimate One-on-One connection and communication. I am concerned that we are not present. I wonder will the generations behind me even know how to form deep and meaningful personal connections with people around them.
I wonder do we even know the value of our own Presence anymore? I wonder if we are giving up on the depth of genuine heart-to-heart connection because it takes too long to develop, and it will cost us vulnerability, authenticity, and transparency.
So many of us are falling into the trap of busyness, which causes us to isolate ourselves away from people. We’re so busy building “brands,” networking, and putting ourselves out “there” (wherever there is), that we are assigning value to the wrong things, not realizing that, most of the time, the things that we busy ourselves with can never satisfy the deep longing we have within us to be connected to others. We were divinely created for connection. This is why social media is booming because it gives us a sense of that connection. But it is insufficient in truly satisfying this longing. It’s like we’re “itching” for connection, and social media gets at the itch, but it never really scratches it. We have to get back to using these platforms for what they were initially intended for – to SUPPLEMENT our relationships. The word supplement is defined as,
Something that enhances something else when added to it.
Let’s get back to using our virtual social platforms as a means to enhance our relationships, not to SUSTAIN them. We are paying a great price when we allow virtual means of connecting to be the lifeline of our relationships because they were never meant to be that, they were only meant to supplement. The virtual social platforms should be “add-ons,” meaning optional, and when taken away, the relationships should still THRIVE.
How many genuine relationships do you have that can be sustained without virtual social platforms? Selah – (Think about it)……
The past two weeks, I have been where I was supposed to be. I have been Present. I have been available for my loved ones, locking arms with them, assuring them that they were not facing their life-battles alone. I have spent hours loving on them by gifting them my most valuable, and yet limited resource – my time. In doing so, my passion for my purpose has been reignited. I am understanding the value of proximity. I am divinely connected to the women in differing cities across the country who are a part of Kingdom Daughters United. I have been divinely placed in the city that I live in, I am supposed to be here at this time in my life. I have been divinely placed in the office that I work in, with the people that I am privileged to be surrounded by and connect with daily. Deeper still, I have been divinely placed into my family. All of these are gifts that I have been given. Everything that I have been gifted from God is in need of my presence in some way. My presence is the gift that I have to give in exchange for what I’ve been entrusted with, and it is priceless. I have to be intentional about showing up for these relationships, and I am yet learning how to steward my presence well.
While I am thankful for the advancements in technology that allow me to make connections with people, literally, all over the world, I don’t want to be so busy connecting on platforms that I neglect the people that are within my reach.
What about you? Do you know the value of your Presence? As we swiftly transition into the Christmas season, I have started to hear people say some variation of this phrase, “What do you get someone who has everything?,” in reference to the difficulty he or she is having with deciding on a gift to purchase a loved one. With this thought of “presence” in mind, when I hear someone say that I think to myself, “Do they have YOU?” In most cases people will eventually decide on a tangible gift to purchase for each person on their list, but the real question is,
Do the people whom you love, and who you faithfully purchase gifts for have YOU?
Are you showing up in your relationships? Do you know that you are MORE valuable than any material gift that you can purchase someone, no matter how expensive it may be?
You are the gift. The gift is YOU! Your presence is the gift. Don’t be afraid to allow people to experience the essence of you. BE PRESENT! Let’s grow together in learning how to be great stewards of our presence in the lives of those we have been gifted.
If this resonates with you, please feel free to share it with others, and I would LOVE to hear your thoughts in the comments below, or you can email me directly by clicking the link, EMAIL D
Well, that’s all for now, until next time, you must keep your HOPE ignited and ALIVE!!