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Being With Each Other

Being with is not the same as being around, or being next to, or even being close. Being

with is a commitment. It is the commitment of being more than present. It is being invested. It is interacting with your whole self.

If you want to reach someone, how do you go about it? Engage them in conversation.

Listen with your heart. Hear their feelings. Recognize their sensitivities. Define their feelings. Feel their feelings. Ask questions. A good practice is to ask more than you tell.

Let them know that you are being with them. How? Share your empathy. Match the main points of their stories – their feelings – with your similar stories and your own feelings. Make your stories brief but to the point and give examples of how your experiences and your feelings are alike.

Focus on what they don’t say as much as what they do. Often the words not said are guidelines to the emotions. Emotion is most often the essence of communication.

Hear what they see. See what they say. Allow your heart to be with them. The heart sees better than the eye and hears better than the ear.

Brian Tracy, a writer of business books and a teacher in business seminars has said, “If you can see Joe Jones through Joe Jones’ eyes, you can sell Joe Jones what Joe Jones buys.” This tool can be employed in much more important endeavors than active commerce.

It can create greater avenues of understanding in each other. It can build relationships. It can lead us to friendship, affection, compassion. These connections are of mind, body, and spirit. Of these three, the one to be most truly valued is the spirit. An old Spanish maxim written by Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra who wrote Don Quixote and is known to be a great novelist as well as being thought of as being the greatest writer in the Spanish language has immense value: “He who loses wealth loses much; he who loses friends loses more; he who loses his spirit loses all”.

I maintain that being with others gladdens our spirit and leaves it with a healthy glow. Love and friendship are the spices woven into our lives that otherwise would be bland.

From time to time, I read the writings of those with far more wisdom than I shall ever possess. One resident of this category is Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.”

What are your prime examples of friendship, of love, of caring? How did they come about? What were the results? What did you learn? Do you feel that whatever you learned are life lessons?


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