Do You Want To Be Here?

Facing the mirror - do you want to be here?“Do you want to be here?” If you’ve ever heard these words, whether on a date, at work, etc., you’ll think about one thing a different way. The saying “Showing up is the important part” isn’t true. It’s a compromise. It’s a game we play with ourselves to feel better about not finishing things.

Pretending showing up is the most important part is for a parent that’s missed 10 of his or her kid’s recitals and finally makes it to one, but is on their phone checking work emails half the time. “But at least I was there, and I saw it,” they’d probably say. You were there, but you weren’t really present.

What good is showing up?

‘Being there’ is only a physical proximity. You can go the motions and try to look the part, but it’s not the same as really being involved. If you’re asked if you want to be there on a date for example, you’re probably not paying attention and are rather poor company. Showing up doesn’t do anything for your date except create expectations that, in this example, won’t be fulfilled.

In our evolving digital age where it seems like everyone is competing for your attention, it’s one of the most valuable things you have to give. Any attention you give is saying “I enjoy this,” or “This caught my interest,” or even “This is worth it.” We have a finite amount of attention we can give in any day, so where we choose to spend it is very telling. In a way, the question “Do you want to be here?” highlights the disparity of things we’re expected to do and what we invest in. When we become aware of things we’ve only been showing up for but not really participating in, we really only have two options. We can decide to try harder and become meaningfully involved or we can decide there’s a reason we’ve been disengaged and abandon it.

That may sound obvious, but the mile-a-minute lifestyle so many have these days is indicative that it’s not so obvious. We try to do so many things, and whether we do them well or not sayings that tell us to ‘show up’ convince us we’ve done enough. Do we really want to be here? Because if not, even showing up is a waste of our time.

One Response to Do You Want To Be Here?

  1. Marty April 19, 2014 at 6:37 am #

    It is very true, being there and paying attention is the important thing. To be there and not even know hat is going on is just a waste of time.
    Your article makes me think of those who have jobs that are so important that even when they are on vacation, they have to work. To me that’s not a vacation, that is working remotely.
    I can understand if one is not getting vacation pay and the only way they can afford to go is to work while on vacation, but I work with lots of people who go on vacation, but are constantly checking in work, answering emails etc.
    And then there are those who are constantly on their smart phones, just to see what everyone else is doing, where they are. I find that hard to believe people feel a strong need to be so nosy, but then, I’m old school. I find that knowing how others are vacationing all the time, spending money like it will never end just makes me feel worse about myself and my situation. Between that and dealing with people, makes me want to go hide in a hole.
    Like Buz Learman said in his song, wear sunscreen…”don’t look at beauty magazines, they will only make you feel worse about yourself.”

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