A lot of people do not understand the importance of showing up. Let me tell you, it is one of the most important things.
When someone close to a person dies, people just show up at their house. That day, the next day and for several weeks after (if one is lucky). Most of the people I know would not want anyone to come over to their house if a close loved one to them died. They would want to be alone. However, we, as humans, all know that person needs to be around people, so we go. We hang out at someone’s house and may not even talk to the person who just found out their entire life changed that day or week, but we are there. It is super awkward for the person grieving normally and I am sure just as weird for those who show up, but we DO IT ANYWAYS. We somehow know that is what needs done. We show up and it is helpful somehow. I can’t tell you why this is even important, I just know it is. I now look back and am extremely thankful for those who took their own time out of their schedules and showed up for me.
WAIT….Why do most people only do this when someone dies?! Must some tragedy happen for others to take time out of their schedules to show up every once in a while? Sadly, for most, this is true. We are busy. We work, have side gigs, school, kids’ activities, family obligations, and the list goes on and on. We see our schedules as too busy to simply show up to all of the things we might want to be there for in other people’s lives. I get it, trust me. I am busy too and too often I do not show up for other people when I want to. But listen…we need to do better at showing up for each other.
My kids had their very first BMX race the other day. I had texted it out to my parents and brother inviting them all without receiving a response, so I didn’t say anything to my kids about anyone coming. Guess what? They all showed up! My boys were so excited to see their family and to have them watch their new activity. My parents and my brother and his family had all come from previous obligations and left to go do more things in their lives, but they took time out of their schedules and showed up for my boys.
Today is one of my dear friend’s birthdays. We don’t talk or hang out as much as I would like at all, but I always remember her birthday. I remembered this morning as I was between bus stops and I shot her a quick “Happy Birthday” text sending love & well wishes. Unfortunately, I do have prior obligations and may not be able to go see her today, but that text was my version in this situation of showing up. It’s not always a grand gesture or physically being there. It is reaching out when you think of someone in any way, shape or form. (Happy birthday, Amber!)
Oh my goodness, now that I am thinking about this topic, I have so many things to say. Ok, here I go…
Social Media Likes Are Not Showing Up
One may think, “I like all of their Instagram posts, so I am showing up for that person.” One would be wrong in my opinion. Unless your friend has specifically told you that liking their social media posts is the best, most supportive thing you can do for them, that is NOT showing up for that person. Supportive? Maybe. Showing up? Nope. I have people on social media who “Like” my posts more often than some people I speak to every day. Social media is not real life. If you have time to comment on my picture on Facebook, then you have time to shoot me a text.
I will say, I am somewhat obsessed with social media and I do use different platforms to communicate with different friends through the messaging apps. That, I would say, is showing up. Some people never text back, but always reply to a Snapchat message or Facebook message (I don’t know how to use the Instagram one). Learning which friends use what and using these to stay in touch is amazing and helps out relationships in such a huge way. Technology isn’t 100% evil all the time.
(& Not an A**hole)
Part of showing up is being intentional with your planning. Can we please all just stop making plans we don’t intend to keep? No one wins in this situation and anxiety is had by all until it all goes down. Learn to limit yourself, covet your time, grow a backbone and say no if you do not intend to follow through. I used to be the worst at making plans and canceling at the last minute. Having kids made it so easy to commit to something and use any kid excuse in the book to get out of it if I didn’t feel like going the day of, which was every time. The amount of anxiety leading up to the event about whether I should go or wanted to coupled with the amount of guilt I felt for canceling all of the time at the last minute had me all wound up in my own head filled with negative thoughts and fears. The minute I decided not to commit to anything I knew I would not end up doing or even might not end up wanting to do, I felt so much better about my choices. Do I still commit to things and have to cancel because of last minute situations or kid things? Of course I do, but nowadays, I do not feel guilty about it because life does get in the way sometimes and I did actually want to do the event when I said yes!
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
I can tell you all day, every day, 365 days a year that you are the most important person to me, but if I never actually make an effort to hang out with you or see you, is it true? I don’t think so. Showing up via messaging and texting is fairly simple and takes little to no time. Many times, it is all you need to do to stay connected in certain relationships with people you see every once in a while. However, if a person is claiming to love you, care for you so deeply, be your best friend, etc.. and is never the one to make the effort to see you, that is not showing up. Showing up in this kind of relationship is physically showing up. Not all the time, but sometimes at least. Again, we are all busy, we work a lot, we have kids, spouses, work, clubs, church, etc.. You know what? I do too. If I can somehow manage to come visit you wherever you are, you could somehow manage to come visit me too. I often rearrange my schedule to go see people I want to see. Mind you, I am a planner, so I plan to do these things days in advance, but even if I weren’t, I could still find time in my day for those that are important to me. Everyone does. Whatever you spend your free time doing, whether it is in the morning, afternoon or evenings, is actually what is most important to you. Whether it is playing Candy Crush, building a business, reading a bible or being with those you love, whether you want to admit it or not, that is what you value most. If you show up physically for those you love, even if only for a few minutes, they will appreciate it. I promise you. And Voirols never break promises.
Most Importantly – SHOW UP FOR YOURSELF
Emily Aries, author of the book, Bossed Up, said it best when she said, “Showing up is what you do when you really love someone, so give yourself & your vision the same courtesy.” You cannot pour from an empty cup. If you make an appointment with a doctor, potential employee or club member, you, most likely, always show up. Promise to have a McDonald’s date with your kid? You are there. What about the last thing you promised yourself you would do? Did you show up for that?
Did you promise yourself you would get up today and exercise for a half hour? Did you keep that promise? What about that diet you were going to start last week? Have you been eating healthier? I would be wrong to put so much emphasis on showing up for others if I did not point out that you need to show up for yourself. Maybe that does look like playing Candy Crush for 30 minutes every day or watching Netflix or reading a book or simply waking up every morning 2 minutes earlier to write down things you are thankful for (<<<This will drastically change your life for the better). Whatever it means for you to show up for yourself to give yourself time to chill and relax, you need to make sure you SHOW UP AND DO IT! The happier and healthier you are with yourself and in your life, the more love and good you can spread to the world. I believe we are on this earth, in large part, to be there for one another. For the human connection. You need to also be in connection and at peace with your soul and the universe in order to best contribute to the world. And let’s face it, you’re freaking amazing, so the world needs you!
Long story, not so short, be there physically, mindfully, intentionally, don’t be an a**hole & show up for yourself and others.
Make Good Choices.
~Love & Light, Sarah