Blessings and St. Patrick’s Day go together like Guinness and blackcurrant—especially this year when we have the health and wellbeing of our family and friends top-of-mind.
It’s a grand time to share one of the chapters in my latest book: Well Seasoned: The Beauty of Age because it includes 10 great prompts for telling loved ones WHY and HOW they have value for us. Don’t wait. Do it now.
REACH OUT TO BLESS
I’ve always loved the words: “When you’re down, reach up; when you’re up, reach down.” This phrase reflects the fact that we need each other. We need each other because we all experience both the mountain-top and dark-valley days of life—and it can be lonely at the top and the bottom (and in between too).
We have many opportunities to be of service, to BLESS those who cross our path: our kids, parents, siblings, teachers, co-workers, neighbors, the clerk at the post office, the parking lot attendant. But as busy as life is, how do we squeeze one more thing into the schedule?
Blessing others can mean many things and you’ll find dozens of Biblical references for the word bless. To bless means to simply pay attention to the actions and the good intentions of others—and then let them know you “see them,” to quote a line in the movie Avatar.
In this movie, the Na’vi blessing “I see you,” is relatable because of its double meaning. First of all, it means that my eyes physically see you —you exist in my mind. Secondly, I connect with you, thank you and appreciate the role you play in the world.
We can’t go around saying, “I see you” to every person we meet (although when the movie came out, some people did), but we can bless others by getting specific about what we see in them. This feedback is vital because most of us don’t know how we affect others, and as we all know, it’s easy to get discouraged from the bumps and disappointments of everyday life.
Here are a few fill-in-the-blanks (and some examples) for you to adapt to BLESS those in your world:
• “What I like about you is…” (you always look at the bright side of a problem).
• “What I like about you is your…” (on-point analysis of my report).
• “You always know how to….” (bring humor into a tense situation).
• “You always make me feel ___when you…” (valued when you take notes as I speak).
• You probably don’t realize this but you ….” (are the only person I trust with my secrets).
• “Most people would not notice this, but I see…” (the way you quietly mentor all of us).
• “I’m proud of you. You…” (have not always had the easiest life, but you exude joy).
• “You’re a good example of someone who…” (knows how to forgive and move on).
• “When I see (hear/read) your work I know…” (you care deeply about others).
• “Keep doing what you’re doing because it is…” (such a great example for the rest of us).
We have a responsibility to show up and to bless others. But who? I remember the words of the character Dharma, in the 90s television comedy show Dharma and Greg. In the show Dharma, a freedom loving yoga instructor who grew up with hippy parents, was continuously trying to help others. One day Greg, her somewhat-stuffy lawyer husband, spoke up. “Dharma, you can’t save everyone in the whole world.”
“Yes, I know,” she answered, “but what about the one standing right in front of me?”
Thanks, Dharma. Let’s promise to look around at who is in front of us today. My intension is to see them, and reach out to affirm their dignity and worth.
P.S. If you want your very own copy of Well Seasoned: The Beauty of Age, that can be arranged faster than you can say Jonathan Swift. Write me at email@example.com or call 623.466.5067.