Focusing on Others
Do I love and give enough to the person in front of me? Am I fully present for others? That is on my heart tonight. I started my morning reading the Word and then a blog post of Stacey Pardoe. I love reading her posts each week. Today’s post had me searching my heart and asking some questions. You can read her post here.
After reading her post about the importance of truly focusing on people, which translates to loving well, my mind went to my childhood.
I was raised in a family of workaholics. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for my strong work ethic. But as my mind filled with “overwhelm” the last 10 years, I realize maybe I have been wrong about work.
My grandmother used to say, “Natalie, you are doing too much.” I always laughed but never thought I was doing too much.
Maybe getting the job done was not as important as looking the person across from me in the eyes and focusing on what they were saying. Have I genuinely focused on the other person? I do not know.
I do know that I spent the last 10 years running around chasing my tail trying to accomplish lots of things. Did those projects and tasks have purpose and fulfillment? Was the overwhelm justified?
There is a reason the rear-view mirror is smaller than your front windshield on your car. We need to look forward. We can glance back every now and then, but I will not focus on the past, I will move forward.
As Olivia and I drove to care for my mother this afternoon, she played DJ in the car like she often does. First up on her list was Tim McGraw, Live Like You Were Dying. Well, this one fit along with my thought process today. The lyrics, “And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter” got to me. I want to love deeper and speak sweeter! When I am having a conversation with someone, what is my tone? Ok, Tim, I will work on this.
Next on her playlist was “Lean on Me,” an oldie, but goodie. I have to thank her 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hall, for introducing her to this one. A song with words of “lean on me,” “I’ll be your friend,” and “I’ll help you carry on.” I want others to lean on me. I want to be there for others. I want to be that friend. Am I currently showing up for others the way I want them to show up for me?
Then we ended up on some 90’s rap, Lose Yourself, by Eminem. She was taking this DJ stuff back to those good old days. My mind immediately focused on these lyrics: “Lose yourself in the music, the moment…this opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Hum, I need to lose myself in the moment. This moment will only come once, so I need to give what I have to what is in front of me. I need to free myself of distractions and be, be in the moment. No more moving you to another task on my list.
Based on a series of songs and things I read today, I am focused on this:
I need to be that friend. The one who stops and truly hears you when you talk. The one that listens and engages in the conversation. I need to be there, for you. Time is running out and I need to take action and be there for you today. I will not move you to another slot on my list.
As the day comes to an end and I start my To-Do List for tomorrow, I think about who might need me. Is there someone I can reach out to and let them know I hear you? I am here for you. Maybe, that is what the world needs, more of us to listen.
As I reflect on today, the music and my afternoon. I spent the afternoon not accomplishing "my list", but I spent it hanging out with my mother and daughter. I spent time brushing my mama’s hair after helping her with things she is struggling with these days. Maybe today, I was exactly where I needed to be, focusing and loving on the one in front of me.