Friday, December 23, 2016

Give the gift of curious attention

Are you celebrating a holiday that involves the giving of presents?  If you're not, you're still surrounded by the decorations and the advertising and the events.  It's a good time to think about what it takes to give a good gift.

Is a good gift the thing you that someone asks you to give, the thing that they want but won't ask you to give, the surprise they might not know they want until you give it?

Photo Credit: Asenat29, Flickr

Here's the gift that grows all the other good gifts, the gift that changes a hit-and-miss process into a sure thing. It's the gift of curious attention. Giving a present begins in being present. This should be automatic, but we often go a very long time without being curious about the people we love.  We make a lot of assumptions based on how things have always been.

This year, be present to someone and be curious about what they feel and how they think and what matters to them. Think of a time you first met someone who later became a friend or lover. Remember how interesting it was to find out how they saw the world? Hold that feeling while you're talking to an old friend or a parent or child. Wonder about them. Let your curiosity guide them to memories they love but haven't visited for a long time.

Being present to someone in a way that makes them feel strong and interesting and loved is the best present of all.


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