Bless you

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I want you to know that when I say “Bless you” I mean just that.

In those two words and in that precise moment I am wishing, hoping, praying and intending blessings upon you.

These might come from a deity you follow; a spirit you hold sacred or a being you hold dear.

They might be a moment in the future; of joy or pleasure or acceptance or understanding that you truly need.

They might be the gift of a smile, a hug, a kiss, an invitation; some kindness coming your way.

They might be a heart, a time, a space or a person that can hold and hear all you need to say and be… when you need to say and be it.

I want you to know, that when I say “Bless you” I am not being patronising.

I am not saying it because I can’t think of anything else to say.

I am not saying it because I secretly want you to shut up, get over it or change the subject.

I am not saying it because I feel helpless or powerless to aid you.

I am not saying it because it’s what you’re ‘supposed to’ say at a time like this.

In that moment, in those two words, I am actively offering you a gift:

the gift of my hope for you, for your life, for your situation.

I do not bless you for karma or to fulfil expectation.

I do not bless you to win points or to provoke reciprocation.

When I bless you I am doing so out of love,

Freely.

And that should not – and will not – ever be given lightly.

Keli, May 2014

*

The Mindful Mornings I ran earlier this month really got me thinking about the words I use and things I say; particularly to people who don’t know me very well. I’m confident that those closest to me are able to read the intentions beneath my words, even when I’m not at my most articulate (which is rather a lot lately!), and I trust that this unspoken understanding will sometimes (not always) be enough to sustain their faith in me and in what I say.

However when I’m interacting with work colleagues,  acquaintances or new people I meet, I become very aware that they are not tuned in to this emotional undercurrent. Sometimes this is necessary – I don’t always want my heart exposed on my sleeve – but it can also make it difficult to foster a genuine sense of connection.

 One of my biggest bug bears in my early twenties was the “How are you?”/”Alright, how are you?” duologue, that seemed to preface every conversation I ever had, ever. It felt like wasted breath; asking another person how they are – right then, in that moment, how does it feel to be you? – without offering the right space or intention to hold a real, true answer. It also felt insulting, to both parties; a lazy, poorly considered façade of a real conversation.

So as I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to be better at using my words with intention and although I am still guilty of using flippant talk more than I would like, it is less now than ever before. I benefit from it greatly: it brings me alive in the moment and offers me an opportunity to check in with my own responses as much as the other person’s. My relationships have benefited from it too; I know more about the people I meet and like to hope that people feel held and heard when I’m speaking with them.

“Bless you” is a term I struggled against when I was a teen as it inspired all sorts of religious connotations that I wasn’t ready or willing to accept at the time. Now the concept of a blessing is much broader and more encompassing in my eyes; they are unique to every individual, they are the fulfilment of something we need either in that moment or in the grander scheme of things.

blessings

Life itself is a blessing, all its component parts are blessings and being blessed is something we can all be, if we are mindful of what is offered to us.

Giving blessing is also something we can all do, by adopting a mindful presence and offering deep, clear, compassionate intention in everything we do.

So, blessed be.

(and I hope you are)

Blessing-For-You-

Picture credits:
1) google.com
2) the pioneerwoman.com
3) imgion.com

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. southernmyst
    Jun 01, 2014 @ 11:49:59

    Regarding “How are you?”/”Alright, how are you?” — yes, quite. Couldn’t agree more, and it still irritates me. I’m glad at Walk the Wheel we tend to stay away from that and more often ask it wanting – and receiving – a genuine answer. It’s one of the things I love about the group – thank you for helping to create such a space where conversations can have proper meat!

    As for “Bless You,” I’m intrigued about when you’re “supposed to” say it. Aside from after someone sneezes, I can’t think of any! But yes, there are so many of these phrases which mean one thing to one person and something completely unrelated to someone else … tis good to clarify.

    Blessed be. 🙂

    Reply

    • kelitomlin
      Jun 09, 2014 @ 10:59:07

      I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me before that my perception of “Bless you” is probably well coloured by my Yorkshire/Northern dialect/upbringing. There, ‘Bless you’ has more that just the sneeze meaning! It is often used as a shorthand way to say “poor you” or “I’m sorry” or “that sounds awful/horrible/scary”.

      But like many shorthands it quickly becomes a bit of a ‘sticking plaster’; one of those phrases that is thrown out when the person responding doesn’t know how or doesn’t want to respond with anything more explicit or more ‘real’.

      It is very easy to say and sometimes, if not all times, easy is not always the most respectful nor mindful way to respond.

      I am glad you find Walk The Wheel a space that maintains that mindful approach to words 🙂

      Reply

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All written materials and images, unless otherwise stated, are property of Kelly Tomlin 2016.

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We gather together to Walk the Wheel; to share with one another and be inspired.