I can’t guarantee that today we’ll meet the right people at the right time.
Or that we’ll be greeted by warm smiles and welcoming hugs everywhere we go. There’s a very good chance that our friendliness may be met with resistance, that we’ll get cut off in traffic, and maybe even ignored, interrupted, or scoffed at.
But what I can guarantee is that irrespective of our circumstances, how people treat us, and how the day unfolds, today will be a good day.
How? Because I’ve found four simple sentences that function as a mantra of sorts for me. When said from the heart, this bundle of sentiments can change your life.
I see you.
I hear you.
I love you.
This is my mantra. I start my morning with it and offer it silently to my students, clients, family, and friends. I repeat it silently as I pass people on my morning bike ride, again as I’m sitting in traffic, waiting in the elevator, and even as I’m being stared up and down while waiting in line for coffee.
I silently offer this mantra to myself, to people I love, to strangers, and even, if not especially, to people whom I sense harbor tension that may or may not be directed toward me.
Why? Because outside of our personal stories and differences, we as human beings all want the same thing: to feel loved and have our existence validated.
By beginning the day with, “I see you. I hear you. Thank you. I love you” directed toward ourselves, we fill our heart with fuel and satiate our own basic, intrinsic needs. With our needs acknowledged and satisfied, we then have the energetic and emotional strength to offer this same sense of loving kindness to others.
What I love most about this mantra is that it requires almost no effort. Words do not even need to be spoken. The mantra works at the level of thought, and these thoughts are charged with high vibrations—vibrations that are contagious, if not infectious. We can experience this feeling simply by stating, thinking, or sharing the mantra.
These words are most effective when expressed abundantly and without discrimination. Preferences and exceptions have no place here. Everyone can benefit from being the giver and recipient of these words.
I chose these words for a reason. Here’s why they work:
“I see you.”
We all want to be seen. We live in a fast-moving world that’s polluted with distractions. We’re constantly looking down at our phones, our eyes bolting from one sensory stimulant to the next. It’s soothing to slow down and look around, to make eye contact and embrace the humanness of that moment. It’s even more soothing to be suspended in the present moment with a conscious or subconscious knowing that our presence has been appreciated by another human being.
“I hear you.”
We all want to be understood. So often we speak, but we may feel like we’re not being heard—as though the other person is not even listening. We don’t have to necessarily agree with everything we hear, but slowing down, opening our ears, and listening with attentiveness is energetically nourishing. We don’t even need to use speech to communicate, or ears to listen. We can “hear” someone simply by being attentive to their body language, facial expressions, and the energy they emanate. Hearing is more about a willingness to receive someone’s energy, than it is to just agree with someone’s message. Hearing is being receptive.
We all want to be appreciated. Yes, we make mistakes, we drop the ball from time to time, and no one is perfect, but for the most part, we’re all doing our best. It’s nice to feel that our efforts are appreciated. Extending and receiving gratitude might be one of the most potent ways to instantly elevate our mood, performance, and energy. Gratitude is free. We can all afford to be generous in this regard.
“I love you.”
Loving and being loved just might be the core reason we’re here. The school of life’s main curriculum is centered around mastering the ability to give and receive love—and offering love to ourselves, the people in our lives, and most importantly to people with whom we may disagree is like becoming the teacher’s pet. Love has the capacity to dissolve suffering, and the power to absolve fear. Love is the single strongest force on the planet; so if we have the agency to spread love, why wouldn’t we? Sharing love is not only a healthy option, but a vital responsibility.
So yes, today may not go completely according to plan. Not everyone we meet may offer us kindness and praise.
We do not get to choose how other people treat us, but what we can choose is how we strengthen our own spirit, treat other people, and experience the day. And these four simple sentences—“I see you. I hear you. Thank you. I love you.”—give us a launchpad to set the tone for the best possible day.