The other day I went to the grocery store. As I was wheeling my basket of groceries to my car, I realized that I had just exchanged pleasantries with the clerk who checked my groceries, and she had responded to me in kind; but neither one of us had even made eye contact. We just went through the motions. We may as well have been in completely different rooms for all of the “genuine connection” that had just taken place.
It made me reflect on a phrase I told myself years ago that I would live by, “Wherever you are ~ be there!” When had I drifted into this place of going through the motions without even being present? I was physically present, but not emotionally there.
It made me wonder, have I done the same thing with the people who mean the most to me, like my spouse? I decided then and there that I was going to commit to being more intentional about being both physically and emotionally present whenever I interact with my spouse. I came up with 6 ways I will be more intentional:
- Whenever we come together after being apart, I am going to stop whatever I am doing to greet my spouse in a loving way.
- When we are talking with each other, I am going to look into my spouse’s eyes.
- I am going to listen attentively to what my spouse is saying, without thinking ahead of how I want to respond.
- I am going to wait 2 seconds after my spouse finishes a thought before responding so that I can make sure my partner has finished fully sharing the thought being made.
- I am going to smile at my spouse more often.
- I am going to gently touch my spouse and hold my love’s hand when we are quietly sitting together or driving together in the car.
Will you join me in being more intentional about “being there” for your spouse? What are some other ways we can be more fully present for our spouses?