Be Present: Show Up

 Be Present: Show Up

We convince by our presence. -Walt Whitman

There are times when someone is going through something and I wonder what can I do for them. How can I help them get through this tough time? I think of those times when someone has passed and there is obviously nothing, I can do to help with their pain or ease their emotions. In those cases and in many cases, we lose sight of the importance of our presence can be in easing someone we care about through stressful situations. 

Sometimes, many times, probably most times, it is enough to be present. It is enough to show up. Sometimes all someone needs is for us to show up and support them by just being there. I find this is especially important when your loved ones are going through a milestone and they extend an invitation for you to participate. You may not think it is a big deal, or feel you won’t be missed but your absence would be felt just as much as your presence would be noticed.  


Do not discount your ability to impact with simply your presence. Showing up is important. Show up for people and show up for ourselves. I know there are times when I check out of my own life. When I am not showing up for myself in the simplest of things or the simplest of ways. Shift that. Your presence is important for those that you love and for yourself. Show up. Be present. 


This is not to be confused with being in the moment or being aware of yourself and your surroundings and not being in the clouds or floating aimlessly through life. That sense of presence is essential to living a full and vibrant life. However, we are keeping it super basic and super simple. Just show up. 


A few years ago Dr. Daniel Siegel was promoting his latest book, The Power of Showing Up: How Parental Presence Shapes Who Our Kids Become and How Their Brains Get Wired, co-authored with Tina Payn Bryson on the Science of Psychotherapy podcast and discussed the Four S’s. According to Siegel and Bryson the four S’s are baseline needs that children should have satisfied by their parents in order to grow up and have the potential to be their well-adjusted awesome selves. The four S’s are safe, seen, soothed, and secure. 


Let’s be honest, adults need this too. According to the Siegel and Bryson parents that provide a positive presence on a consistent basis can foster:

  •  a sense of having a safe place, a safe harbor that they can always rely on

  • a sense of being seen as a person, a whole person that takes into consideration both the good and the flawed interpretation of themselves

  • Ability to provide soothing by way of increasing the ability to cope with life’s difficulties

  • feelings of security by knowing that a person can count on you to show up


I need and feel all those things when people in my life show up for me. I feel those things when I show up for myself. Be present and be a safe place where one can be seen and secure so that they can have the strength to better cope with what life throws at them, knowing we are not alone in this.


Check out Dr. Dan Siegel's website and book

Dr. Daniel Seigel talks about the poer of showing up on Sicne of Psychotherapy




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