How We Show Up for Each Other

Once, I thought showing up for someone could only be done in person.

We show up for weddings and funerals, birthdays and anniversaries, potlucks, recitals, showers, rallies.

Being physically present is important, perhaps one of the most important ways we can spend our time.

More and more, though, I’ve seen that we show up for each other in many other ways, too.

We show up in inboxes with sweet check-ins. We show up in mailboxes with love notes, apropos of nothing. We show up in “Hello!” and “Thinking of You!” texts.

We show up in remembering inflection points. “Sending you all awesome for that tough call this morning.” “You’ve got this job interview!” “I believe in you and the art you made for tonight’s opening.”

And we show up in how quickly we respond to a friend’s call for support.

Can you read my draft by Tuesday? she asks. Can you tell me how this tie looks? he texts on the eve of a date. Could you talk for a moment? her email says. It’s been a rough day.

Our presence is not only physical. Our presence is a voice on the phone, letter in the mail, words on the screen. Our presence is any gesture that communicates, "I see you. And I’m with you, my friend.”

The act of showing up is the act of reminding someone, You aren’t alone; my hand is in yours. It is one of the most important ways we can spend our time. And it need not only be in person.

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