Intentional + Present

Let me lay out a situation that may seem familiar. Let me also say I’m totally guilty of this situation.

Person 1: “We should definitely catch up and grab some dinner.”

Person 2: “Yeah, that sounds like a great idea.”

Days, weeks, or months go by and you run into this person again.

Person 2: “It was great to run into you. We didn’t end up getting that drink. We should do something soon.”

Person 1: “Yeah, you’re right! We should go out this week. I’ll message you later to set up a time.”

Days, weeks, or months go by…

Sound familiar?

But now let’s imagine that you did follow through and meet up with that friend. Maybe your time together looks something like this-

You and this person are talking and catching up, when all of a sudden, you reach for the closest thing to you. Your phone. Maybe something catches your eyes or ears that inevitably draws your focus; or perhaps your mind starts to wander to the project at school or work that definitely won’t finish itself. Maybe you’re worrying about an upcoming expense that you don’t have an immediate solution for. 

Chalk it up to human nature, but our attention and focus are easily divided to the things that are the most pressing and important in our lives. But what if the most important thing in our lives became the person or people that are right in front of us?

Lately, the idea of being intentional and present has been pressing on me, especially when it comes to people and relationships. I believe that there is an innate part of being human that we yearn to be known and loved. If we give the person, or people, in front of us everything we are in that present moment, we can help fulfill that desire to be known and loved; to be there 100% physically, mentally, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. 

Just the thought of being intentional with people and relationships gives me anxiety and makes me uneasy even as I’m writing this. First of all, if I intentionally want to connect with someone, that requires a level of commitment to want to be with that person and devote time to them. And if I want to be intentional with someone, that means that I would have to open up and be who I really am with them. I usually approach relationships with a preemptive wall automatically built up, but that negates the intention to want to connect and fulfill our need to be known and loved.

Once I do end up hanging out or meeting up with this person, or people, I then have a choice of how present I want to be. Just imagine how you would feel when you are with someone and you are the only thing in the world that matters to them in those moments. Their attention toward you cannot be broken, they are soaking up everything you say like a sponge, and they are reciprocating it all back. That is the only level of presentness that seems appropriate for the people that we truly love.

All of these things stopping me from becoming more intentional and present may just seem like fears manifesting or displays of affection toward some other aspects of my life. I believe in order for me to become more intentional and present with the people that are in front of me, I will need to shift the things that I value and love most. I will have to allow a love of people to trump any fears that are holding me back from being intentional and present. I must constantly be under the mindset that the person in front of me is currently the most important part of my life and that I am choosing to love them.

So for me, 2019 means that I will be getting to know some new people and maybe even loving some of the people that are in my life even deeper or more fully. I want to challenge whoever is reading this to do the same. I know this will be hard for some people and most definitely for myself, so allow me to start.

Hi, my name is Michael Suguitan and I want to get to know you.