“Being there” – What it actually means?
There was this one time when I was leaving my place for my meditation class and my friend calls me. We exchange pleasantries and I enter the elevator to get onto the 18th floor where my class is. The call gets disconnected since there’s not much network in the elevator. I was like 15 mins early for my class so I was just walking in the hallway, we reconnected the call and I was listening.
Suddenly the conversation gets much serious. I could sense my friend’s voice breaking over the call as my friend spoke to me about something quite personal and sort of heartbreaking. There was a conflict between two people amidst which my friend was caught up. Now, I can’t offer solutions or help – I was just listening. It is time for my class but the conversation is going in such a flow that I can’t just ask to hang up. So I think, it’s okay THIS is more important for now. I’m walking and listening over the call. It is over half an hour that I was in the hallway. I thought it was super weird, hence I wanted to head out of the building and continue the call.
NOW – I could just take the elevator and make my way out. BUT, if I do so, the call will get disconnected due to the poor network and we’d lose/ break the conversation which had got pretty intense and emotional at that time. At that time it was like I am listening 95% with occasional “hmmm”, “okay then?” kind of talks. So I really didn’t want to just cut off the talk.
Hence, I took the stairs down – 18+2 (Mez + parking) = 20 floors. 😛 By the time I reached down, my legs were semi shivering. It was so funny as at some floors I was almost out of breath when I’d talk and my voice would sort of echo as the staircase is like a closed area. Finally, I exited the building and just walked around a park close by and we continued the call. I think it was like 1.5 hours or more.
Suddenly my friend is like “hey sorry I thought you had class, you missed it?” and I just said, “No its fine, me listening to you right now was more important.” For the next 2 days, my legs were terribly aching – but I knew that I’d done the right thing!
There have been times where I have been consoled by a friend after a terrible day and times where I’ve cried over the phone for over an hour. Friends who’ve stood by me when I’ve felt lost. Who’s gotten me dinner at my home when I was sick. Who checks up on me “just because”. Friends who’ve driven 100 miles/ flew 400 miles to a different city, just to come and pick me up or drop me back!
These gestures are the most precious memories and the building blocks to beautiful lifelong friendships that grow deeper roots over the years.“BEING THERE” is just sometimes giving the gift of your time and attention, listening, supporting, and understanding.
You need not do big things! Just do the small things with great love ❤