Showing Up Matters

Photo by Zen Chung from Pexels


Why Show up? —my mind goes.

And pray, why not?

A rebuttal ensues. The mind, against itself. Questions and counter-questions playing against each other. Rather, I should say, off each other.

I always remember what my heart used to say whenever I faced challenging situations.

I was all of five years old. One fine day in June, it so happened that I was due to accompany my aunt who had come to stay with us, to visit my mom who was in the hospital. She had just given birth to a little baby and I was thoroughly confused as to how I was ever supposed to love this baby when clearly I had plenty of issues with the tiny little thing. To begin with, I was certain that this baby was going to come between me and my parents. After all, for five whole years, I was the cynosure of their eyes and now suddenly, a little bundle was claiming it’s rights over what was solely mine. I could still share dad but as far as mom was concerned, it was completely out of the question! I had no plans to accompany my aunt that day. Not one to throw tantrums, I quietly confided in her, declaring my intentions.

Suffice to say that my aunt used her prowess in convincing me and quelling all my fears and so, despite my unease, I accompanied her to the hospital. The moment I laid my eyes on the tiny bundle all wrapped up in a snow-white blanket, something strange happened. To my surprise, my heart began to thaw. I stared at the baby’s pink face, sleeping calmly by her side, while mom smiled and gently patted me on my shoulders, asking me how I felt being an elder sister. I promptly burst into tears realising that mom still loved me as much and perhaps, it all goes to that single moment that I could see my feelings slowly change from apprehension to fondness for the tiny little being who came into our lives that June morning. A change of heart turned it into a bond of a lifetime. Did my showing up that morning at the hospital matter? Of course, it did. It taught me a lesson that I’ll never forget—how to face my fears.

There are these little insignificant moments in our lives when we are stifled by doubt, fear and worries, that paralyse us into retreating into our comfort zones because it feels like the safest thing to do. And yet, all it takes is showing up, to be able to push aside our fears and go beyond the boundaries of our inabilities and our incapabilities that we’ve created and land into something we can be happy or even proud of.

Don’t we all have moments when we’ve showed up for something that we’ve been hesitant about and realised later, how baseless our fears were?

I can say that there have been so many instances when just by showing up, I’ve surprised myself. To be precise, by showing up and sticking around, even when the situations seemed to be demanding otherwise.

I’ve never let fear keep me away from of showing up even for things which, at a certain point in time, might have seemed confusing, difficult or downright outrageous. At sixteen, I took my first decision to leave home and study in another city, because a voice in me said, that I had to learn to be independent. Until that point, I had led a very sheltered life and was too naive to understand the ways of the world. Now, looking back, I think it was the best decision of my life. Perhaps, it was the implicit faith and trust that my parents had in me that led me to follow the quiet little voice that led me to “go on.” And go on, I did. Of course, I had my fair share of mistakes and erroneous decisions here and there, like everyone else but, it didn’t deter me.

The challenge is this—It’s not always easy to show up. But, there’s something to be said about one’s commitment. And when you stick to your commitment, you gain not just understanding and experience, but you also embrace growth, in ways that you perhaps could never have envisaged before you took that momentous decision.

And that’s why I think for me, it’s always been important to show up. For the family, who always comes first. But also for good friends. For everyone who matters to me. For the things that I’ve signed up for in this lifetime, no matter how challenging or difficult they might have seemed and still do.

And, now, as the years go, I’ve also realised why alongside, all of these, it’s also important to show up for ourselves, too, because we matter as much—these are the words that I now live by.  Every day. Every. Single. Day. No matter what!

That, I think, is the essence and importance of showing up—it’s about the connections that matter and how much those connections mean to us. 

Would love to know our thoughts on this. If you care to share, please leave your comments below. 



Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by Vinitha, Shilpa and yours truly.



Written as part of our #SoulfulSunday freewriting exercise—a concept ideated by Vinitha, Shilpa and yours truly.


5 thoughts

  1. What a sweet anecdote you chose to share, Esha. It illustrates the rewards of showing up so beautifully. I’m so glad we’re all connected and are trying our best to write as authentically as we can and yes, showing up!

  2. Showing up surely pays and I am grateful to you that you wrote this post. I read this post on Monday morning after which I scribbled something in my diray to develop into Monday musings post. As usual, it seemed a waste of effort to me and I decided to bunk one more Monday. However, the words ‘Showing up’ kept revolving in my head and in the evening I showed up to my laptop and my blog and wrote my Monday Musings on a completely different topic.
    I showed up that day 🙂

  3. Oh yes, showing up matters. You have given such beautiful snippets from your life to tell us how important it is to show up. And yes, we need to show up for ourselves also. Perhaps that’s the most important of all. Thank you for this beautiful reminder and a thought provoking read, Esha. 💗😊

  4. Wise words as usual. I love your musings and thoughts so much. I always viewed myself from the eyes of people around me. I don’t do that anymore. I have to be kind to myself and be there for myself first. I guess we do a lot of things in life which we later realize that those have been the best decisions. This has happened to me too , many times.

  5. Yes, I know what you mean by showing up even when it’s difficult, outrageous. I have done it and although at the time I wanted to flee, I stayed put. And, today, when I look back at all those times I showed up, I feel proud of myself. I pat my own back and thank the Universe for making me who I am.
    Times are tough. We never know what the next moment brings our way. But, showing up, no matter what, almost always helps us grow into a better person, one we are proud of.
    Beautiful post, Esha. <3

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