See People as Who They Are For You

It is very likely that we get to see our significant other, our children, people who live with us, and close friends pretty frequently (except some who may be far away during the pandemic).

Do we really see them though? Do we take them for granted since we have known them for a long time? Is our spouse of 10, 20, and 30 years seem normal and indifferent except on some special days?

What if we look at them and really see them for who they are in our lives? What do they mean to us?

That is what I am noticing I do more in the last few years. I do not just look at these amazing people in my life; I see them differently. What if you see your significant other of 30 years as someone who wants to make you happy, or who wants to provide for you no matter what, or who wants to support you in your journey, or who knows the differences you have yet sees it as a learning opportunity, or who decided to unite his strengths with you to raise a human being? What if we see them for what they mean to us every time we run into them even in the same house? Your heart fills up. It really does. He or she is not just a life partner that is taken for granted but someone you deeply love. You get presence.

Or your child. Some unique human being that came to this earth through you, taking your guidance but making sure he/she finds his/her own voice. What if you see your children for what they bring to life? What do you learn from them? All the love they have for you no matter what? What if you see them just like the first day you took them in your arms? See how precious they are?

What about your dear friends? What if you see the deep connection you have for them each and every time? What they mean to you and what they bring to your life? All the experiences you had with them? The memories you built together that mean a lot to your heart?

All of this brings more presence to the moment; you don’t live life on automatic pilot. You have so much more appreciation.

I will not lie, I like celebrating special days (at least some as birthdays) since it gives us a chance to stop and take the time to remember important people in our lives. The gifts are not important, how we make them feel is what counts the most. What if we live like that every day though? What if we make those people feel special every day? So that they know what they mean to us? If we could do that, special days would not be necessary.

People who are the happiest are the ones who are showered with love.

It is sad that we realize how important someone is when they die. We do not only get sad because they are gone and we cannot touch them but because of all the things we did not tell them. So let’s tell our feelings to everyone we care any chance we get; let’s show them how much they mean to us. During my childhood, parents would usually not express their love and feelings; with the belief that it will spoil you. We now know the opposite is true. People who are the happiest are the ones who are showered with love. (Enabling children to think they can have anything is very different than showing them, unconditional love.)

The more I get to practice mindfulness and pay attention to every moment instead of being busy with stuff that needs to get done, my heart gets filled up with the love I have for people around me. I always felt a deep sense of gratefulness to have these special relationships in my life. This feels like a different level in my heart and soul though, since I am more present to who they are for me every time I see them.  It makes my connection and appreciation even deeper.  (The only downside I see is that you get more emotional and you shed a tear more often because your heart feels full.)

What if we lived a life where everyone we love and care about knows exactly how we feel about them as if it was our last day together? What if we can stay that mindful and present to every moment we spend with them? What if we never delay showing them how much we love and appreciate them? What if we start by noticing a few moments with them and do more every day?


Brooke O. Erol
Brooke O. Erol
Brooke O. Erol started her career at IBM following the traditional path she was given to be "successful". She quit her "great job" on paper after 11 years, feeling she is not aligned with it. She started her journey to find her purpose in life. She started her first business in 2003; Your Best Life to help professionals who don’t like their jobs and want to find more meaning at work. After being around so many unhappy people at work as her clients, she decided to help the organizations and leaders who employed them. She started her second business; Purposeful Business to help leaders catch up with our times and grow their businesses without sacrificing the well-being of their people; where profit becomes a by-product rather than the main goal. She believes life is too precious to live only for weekends and retirement. She is the author of Create a Life You Love. She is also the co-author of "From Hierarchy to High Performance: Unleashing the Hidden Superpowers of Ordinary People to Realize Extraordinary Results" that became an International Best Seller in 2018. She speaks and writes about Leadership, Purpose-Driven Life and Organizations, Future of Work in the US, and abroad.

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    • Thank you so much Cynthia! Sorry in my late reply since I was on a writers retreat…. I am sure your voice will emerge as you keep listening to yourself spending time alone meditation and paying attention to what moves and inspires you! Lots of goodness will come out of it.

  1. Thank you, Brooke, for sharing an article with such rich content. Yes, when we “pay attention” our lives, and the lives of those with whom we interact, become so much fuller. That richness is here for all of us; we need only devote some time each day to geting out of our busy mind and into the glorious wonder of the present moment. Your article reminded us to do just that. 🙏

    • Thank you Art. It is no coincidence that this poured out of me when I took a break from being busy myself. We all know we need those times to see and live what matters the most but our lives take over sometimes. Thank you for your kind comment. It means a lot.

  2. Brooke: What a heartfelt, wonderful, and inspiring post. Truly. As I read it, I was reminded of several things: Sad feelings at not being able to love & cherish my first wife; the tragedy of parents disowning their LGBTQ children; the way we all take for granted that people we love will be there tomorrow. Thank you so much for writing this, you’re very brave, and a wonderful writer as well.


    • Byron this comment touched my soul. Thank you so much. Yes we all have some sad stories from the past but we can all play a part in our future and people around us. Thank you for noticing the difference this can make and commenting on it. Have a wonderful day. Sorry for responding late! I was away on a break to write some more :)))