Reach Out To Bless

Dear Heart,

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 the mountain-top and dark-valley days of life—and it’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, 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, yet what I find helpful is simply paying attention to the actions and the (most likely) good intentions of others—and then letting them know you “see them,†to quote the popular movie Avatar.

Maybe we relate to this Na’vi blessing “I see you,†because it has a double meaning. First of all, it means we literally see the person—she exists in our minds; and secondly, we see deep into her spirit to a point of understanding her and her unique place in the world.

We can’t go around saying, “I see you†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 don’t know how we affect others, and as we all know, it’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:

  • “What I like about you is…†(you always look at the bright side of an issue).
  • “What I like about you is your…†(on-point analysis of my skills).
  • “The good thing about you is….†(you listen to me before you respond).
  • “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 say speak).
  • “You probably don’t realize this but you ….†(are the only person I trust with my secrets).
  • “I can see that you put others ahead of…†(yourself and your self-interests).
  • “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 are a good example of someone who…†(knows how to forgive and move on).
  • “When I see (hear/read) you/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).

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 ‘90s television show “Dharma and Greg.†Dharma, a yoga instructor with hippy parents, was continuously trying to help others and one day Greg, her lawyer husband, spoke up. “Dharma, you can’t save everyone in the whole world.â€

“Yes, 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 who’s within arm’s reach today. I’m going to really see them, and then reach out, to affirm their vital role in making this a better world.

May your self-trust build confidence,


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