Recently I found myself in court with a client. As we walked in, those words were written on the wall behind the judge. His case was one of many that were to be decided today so I had the opportunity to reflect on those words as we waited.
To show up implies that I am completely there (mind, soul and body). We occasionally take our granddaughters to a nearby park. I’m always disappointed with parents who are there physically but glued to their phones while their kids are running and playing and developing right before their downcast eyes. Those in the courtroom that day were completely present during their case. I’m sure the fact that some might not be leaving played a large part in their complete attention. As we waited, I thought about all the times I had been physically present but mentally far away. Why should it take a looming jail sentence to force us to be completely there wherever we find ourselves? I came away with a renewed commitment that I will be completely present at all times. No more checking out and being ok with simply blessing those in my life with merely my presence.
As the cases proceeded, I saw the wisdom in the second part of the statement. Others were there for similar crimes. They and their lawyers spoke eloquently about how they were truly repentant for their crime and that they were changed. The prosecutors would then present facts that showed that their words were not true. That their conduct from arrest till today was not in keeping with someone who had changed their behavior. The judge would hand down her decision. Sometimes leaning toward the harsher end of the scale based on the apparent disconnect between the words and actions. I thought about how many times are my words and actions not in alignment with each other. I left that courthouse that afternoon with a renewed commitment to change both until they complimented each other.
Eventually our case came up. The lawyer spoke, my client spoke and I got a chance to speak on his behalf as well. The change in his behavior over the last few months was apparent. His words and actions had finally met up. He spoke convincingly about this change and asked for the opportunity to continue to prove to the court this change. The judge thought and then rendered her decision. Unlike others, she leaned this time toward the minimum. My client’s family thanked both the lawyer and I profusely. Both of us pointed to the client as it was his efforts that made the outcome possible. He chose to embody Show Up; Be Honest and it worked out. I left the court that day with my renewed commitments and the assurance that if I put them into practice, everything will work out.