We’re knee deep in the chaos of the holidays, so it’s really easy to get caught up in the errands, the shopping, and the parties and neglect making a real connection with those around us.

Sure, you have a good time finding the best buys and eat up a half dozen holiday cookies at the party, but when was the last time you looked, I mean REALLY looked, at someone?

We all have a story. We all have that inner critic. The seeds of doubt. The fears. The need to be loved. Dreams and hopes and desires.

Ultimately we all want to be seen.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. – Henry David Thoreau

Earlier this year, I did an adventure race with disabled veterans. Each time I am around them, I am filled with the very best of the human spirit.

They have to overcome so many obstacles on a daily basis, but they continually have to tap into their drive and determination. If we all did this daily, we would be unstoppable!

I’ve also come to see the more humorous side that they see. Able-bodied people stumble all over themselves to help the disabled at these events. While they do appreciate the helping hand like anyone would, they also want to be seen as a person.

(Yes, the guy in the wheelchair DOES want to be a gentleman and hold the door open for you!)

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts. – Albert Einstein

You’ve probably heard of “namaste” due to the yoga craze right now. It’s an ancient Sanskrit word that means “I bow to you”. There are other variations of meaning too, but my favorite is

The light in me sees the light in you

The person next to you in line at the store has a story.

Maybe they are shopping for their aunt who is dying of cancer. Maybe they are shopping for themselves because they are alone this holiday. Maybe they are filled with love as they buy that special something for their one true love.

Look at them, smile, and think to yourself “I see you”. You will then feel the holiday spirit!

Your Best Gift to Give

When you are fully present with another human being, you are giving your best gift…YOU. Presents do not matter in the big scheme of things. And the best part about it…you can give all year round!

Tell me a story in the comments below of a time that you wanted to be seen or feel that you really saw someone. I love to hear about the connections between two people!

Tami McVay