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"...why don’t you change to think that the best gift you give to others is simply being present?"

- I thought I’ve always been present when I’m with others but you’ve taught me how to be truly present.

- Ha. Do you usually think of what to say next when you’re talking to someone or focus on listening?

- Listening, for sure. You must have already noticed that about me, too. But I think I have quite a unique challenge when it comes to being present…

- Right, I don’t get the sense that you’re occupied thinking about what to say next, either… So what is it that you feel like you’ve been challenged with?

- I think the crux of my problem is that, in the back of my head, I always remind myself I have to be present for others—that I have to show up and pay full attention to others when they’re speaking because I want them to know that they’re seen and heard. But in return, I can end up feeling worn out because active listening is hard work and it feels like I’m burning my energy by being present for others. So while I know I’m able to make others feel heard, the reason why I go to retreats often is also because I need to recharge by being somewhere that I can just be present for myself…

- Ah, I see. So what you’re doing is like role-playing. When you make yourself present for others, it’s not you who are present—it’s you, the healer.

- Wow… I’ve never thought of it that way. Perhaps that’s right…

- That coping mechanism you’ve built for yourself probably isn’t very sustainable, is it? Instead of always thinking that you have to be present for others, why don’t you change to think that the best gift you give to others is simply being present?


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