By Joe Cavanaugh III President Equip 2 Equip LLC
What do you think of when you hear the words non-anxious presence? I was first introduced to this concept in 2006, when a Pastor complemented me, very generously, by commenting that he appreciated my non-anxious presence throughout our time together. I gave a clumsy thank you, having no idea what he meant. He laughed and said, “You aren’t familiar with that term, are you?” After admitting my ignorance, he graciously explained its meaning. Ever since, I have been captivated by the power of a non-anxious presence to bless others. I admire and appreciate those who consistently exhibit this wonderful attribute, and I even devoted an entire chapter to non-anxious presence in my book The Language of Blessing.
What is non-anxious presence? It is certainly a relatively rare state of being in our over anxious world. The simplest definition of non-anxious presence is being completely and joyfully at peace within our own skin. It thrives on a foundation of self-awareness and a deep and profound childlike gratitude for who God has uniquely created and called us to be. My good friend Ty Schenzel said it like this, “God loves me best, well not really, but kind of.” A person who possesses a non-anxious presence is deeply grateful for all of the gifts, talents, intelligences, character traits, etc., that God has so richly blessed them with, knowing full well they did not deserve, earn or even ask for these wonderful gifts. Non-anxious presence exudes humility because one knows that God has been equally generous with every person we will meet. Out of the self-awareness that we are all unique, it becomes obvious that it is nonsense to try to compare ourselves to one another. Out of a non-anxious presence flows the ability to be completely mindful of others, to give our full attention to another without distraction. Non-anxious presence allows us to be fully authentic, without a desire to be something we are not or the desire to make someone else into something they are not. It is out of this authenticity that we can fully love others.
I believe a person in non-anxious presence emanates the following qualities: patience, kindness, and freedom from envy or boasting. They are not proud, nor do they dishonor others, they are not self-seeking, nor are they easily angered, and they keep no record of wrongs. They do not delight in evil, but rejoice with truth. They always protect, always trust, always hope, and always persevere. This is the Apostle Paul’s definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13, which is the true foundation of non-anxious presence: love of God and love of others as we fulfill who God has created and called us to be.
In our work at Equip 2 Equip, we desire to be in a state of non-anxious presence whenever we are with a client. And, it is one of our goals that each of our clients would experience a state of non-anxious presence in themselves, in all of their relationships, and in their work.
If you would like to know more about how you can experience a non-anxious presence, please contact a member of our team at equip2equip.com, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.