Iâ€™ve always loved the words:â€œWhen youâ€™re down, reach up. When youâ€™re up, reach down.â€ This phraseÂ reflects the factÂ that we need each other. We need each other because we all experience the mountain-top and dark-valley days of lifeâ€”and itâ€™s lonely at the top and the bottom (and in between too). We have many opportunities to be of service, to BLESS anyone who crosses our path: our kids, parents, siblings, teachers, co-workers,Â 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 youâ€™ll find dozens of Biblical references forÂ the word bless, yet what I find helpful is simply paying attention to the actions and the (most likely) good intentions of othersâ€”and then letting them know you â€œsee them,â€ to quote the popular movie Avatar.
Maybe we relate to this Naâ€™vi blessing â€œI see you,â€ because it has a double meaning. First of all, it means we literally see the personâ€”she exists in our minds; and secondly, we see deep into herÂ spirit to a point of understanding herÂ and herÂ unique place in the world.
We canâ€™t go around saying, â€œI see youâ€ to every person we meet, but we can bless them by getting specific about what we see in them. This feedback is vital because most of us donâ€™t know how we affect others, and as we all know, itâ€™s easy to get discouraged from time to time.
Here are a dozen fill-in-the-blanks (and some examples) for you to adapt to BLESS those in your world:
- â€œWhat I like about you isâ€¦â€ (you always look at the bright side of an issue).
- â€œWhat I like about you is yourâ€¦â€ (on-point analysis of my skills).
- â€œThe good thing about you isâ€¦.â€ (you listen to me before you respond).
- â€œYou always know how toâ€¦.â€ (bring humor into a tense situation).
- â€œYou always make me feel ___when youâ€¦â€ (valued when you take notes asÂ I say speak).
- â€œYou probably donâ€™t realize this but you â€¦.â€ (are the only person I trust with my secrets).
- â€œI can see that you put others ahead ofâ€¦â€ (yourself and your self-interests).
- â€œMost people would not notice this, but I seeâ€¦â€ (the way you quietly mentorÂ all of us).
- â€œIâ€™m proud of you. Youâ€¦â€ (have not always had the easiest life, but you exude joy).
- â€œYou are a good example of someone whoâ€¦â€ (knows how to forgive and move on).
- â€œWhen I see (hear/read) you/your work I knowâ€¦â€ (you care deeply about others).
- â€œKeep doing what youâ€™re doing because it isâ€¦â€ (such a great example for the rest of us).
Those are mine; now show me yours!
We have a responsibility to show up and to bless others. But who? I remember the wise words of the character Dharma, in the â€˜90s television show â€œDharma and Greg.â€ Dharma, a yoga instructor with hippy parents, was continuously trying to help others and one day Greg, her lawyer husband, spoke up. â€œDharma, you canâ€™t save everyone in the whole world.â€
â€œYes, I know, but what about the one standing right in front of you?â€
Thanks, Dharma. My promise to myself is to look around at whoâ€™s within armâ€™s reach today. Iâ€™m going to really see them, and then reach out, to affirmÂ their vital role in making this a better world.
May your self-trust build confidence,