“I wanted to tell you how much your words meant to me that day.” He said this to me 15 years after that tragic day.
It was early morning and I was slowly putting on my Sunday-best pants and shoes when the phone rang. I answered and heard Don’s solemn, low voice inform me his dad had been killed in an accident. He ended the call by saying, “I just thought you would want to know.”
I found my teenage-self standing in the den looking at my mom. Upon telling her of the call she burst into tears and said, “Go to him, now! He needs you!” I grabbed my keys and took off.
I arrived at his house and rang the doorbell. Don answered the door, saw me, and fell into my arms. I helped him up to his room, and there we sat together for what I remember being about 3 hours.
The point of this story is in Don’s words of gratitude 15 years later. He was grateful for my words that day, expressions he must have surely felt in his grieving spirit. But here’s the thing, in those 3 hours, when Don talked of his dad and recounted stories, I never said a word; not one word.
I did what I did–nothing–precisely guided by the wisdom of my mother when she said, He needs you!” I did the only thing I know to do from deep within, to be with my friend.
In a society of doers, being (and being with) is a mystery. The mystery is only in part explained by our need to separate being from doing.
The mystery of being itself is darkened when we refuse to hold the creative tension that is being and doing. If you can come to understand that we are made from love, and of love, you begin to stand more firmly on the ground of being. It is about standing firm, holding and releasing being into the present without condition. It takes the full flow of feel, hear, and see, to grasp love as source and energy.
This mysterious flow is even more elusive when our story is vulgarized by the forced belief of doing as all-important, a higher point of priority over being. With that said, it takes our early experience with doing to prepare us for the mystery that is the paradoxical tension of being/doing.
Being Begets Being
There was a point in my daughter’s early years where I must have shared this story about Don, his father’s death, and our time that day. One afternoon she came home and shared about the sudden death in the night of her good friend’s brother. Her friend’s house was just down the street. Immediately her mother and I simply said, Go.
When she returned, after about 3 hours, she said to me, “Dad, I did exactly what you told me.” Having no idea what she was talking about, I asked for clarity. She replied, “You know, Don’s story and what you did the day his dad died.” As you might imagine, my heart warmed in profound satisfaction knowing she had trusted being with her friend.
In my upcoming book, The Rhythm of Trueness, I write about the poetic journey of the leader within each of us. The leader inside is about who we are in truth, a reality since the beginning. Trueness is our energy in the respectful space of creative tension, where being and doing find flow, and together, conscious resonance.
The poetic verse of your being flows in the reality of presence as you consciously open to the moments unfolding. No doubt such presence requires trust. How slow the process, it seems, as I look back. What I’m actually seeing is my regretful reality of not learning to trust sooner. The trusting includes loosening one’s grip on certain ways of thinking and stepping into a flow of no need to control.
Where presence and voice blend, there is Trueness.
This beautiful merger of presence and voice opens you to a way of being and doing; with the reality of what is unfolding before you and around you.
Grounded in Respect
As a child, respectful
with you I can be,
only as first, I
can be with me.
Love honors being.
From the chambers
voice moves you.
Love honors doing.
From the chambers
voice moves others.
may withhold resonance.
Released, respectful energy
in a world needy.
cannot say enough.
However, an amplifier
for voice it can be.
To be unconsciously present
too much the norm,
walking through moments
too conscious of self.
The full flow
of voice it takes
to feel, hear, and see
as source and energy.
In the beginning
nothing it cost
to just be.
Trust was easy
from a center
clear and free.
In the moments, loving tension
at our disposal, always.
Being, resting in respectful trust.
Doing, lovingly grounded in trustful respect.