Last weekend I visited my dad in Ohio.
He was moved recently from his home of the last 40 years in Los Angeles to a live-in Alzheimer’s facility clear across the country. So far away.
And a week earlier my grandmother died.
This month has been a real exploration of the depths of feeling love can bring up. Lots of tears. Lots of gratitude. Really difficult, but worth it.
I’m treasuring every moment, and my heart is breaking into a million little pieces.
Honestly I am so exhausted I can barely write this, and all the while life goes on.
I found myself in the strange position of promoting my newest coaching program in between visits to comfort my grandfather and aunt, and flying to Ohio to spend days reminiscing with my father over old photographs.
(Photographs are like MAGIC to fill in the pieces of his life that have gone missing. I love love love going over photographs with Dad.)
Why I’m writing to you now:
I was leading my Walk Thru/Goal Setting/Q&A webinar for my new Results Accelerator clients on Monday from my hotel room in small town Ohio, getting to know my new members, and several of them told me that my email last week eulogizing my grandmother was WHY they signed up.
I was stunned.
I didn’t write about my grandmother as a marketing strategy or recruiting tool. My real agenda was to say something along the lines of: Life has many colors and feelings. Even a great life. You’re not failing when you’re hurting.
What my clients saw was I keep moving forward even when I’ve got stuff going on, and that motivated them to sign up and move forward even when they had stuff going on.
What they didn’t realize, and I’m sharing it now, is coaching clients and serving others comforts me in the deepest way. Moving forward is how I cope. Turning focus to others, caring about them, celebrating their success… has saved my life more than once. Connection, love, caring is what makes life worth living.
The price of love is the heartbreak that inevitably comes with endings. All things end. They’re supposed to.
When your heart is breaking in a million pieces, that’s when life purpose becomes your life saver.
Buddhism talks a lot about the beauty of impermanence: impermanence is what makes our moments and our lives so precious. Right now that impermanence is feeling a little more in-your-face: the Northern California fires, the hurricanes, the volcanoes, the threat of war.
Instead of trying to tune out the heartbreak for the sake of high vibrations and “Law of Attraction,” allow yourself room to feel everything, appreciate the present moment, and believe in your capacity to grow from, learn from, and ultimately benefit from whatever happens.
You may as well make friends with the pain of loss, because
1) it’s built into the system, and
2) it helps you access deeper levels of your love and appreciation.
The only thing I wouldn’t hold on to are feelings of self-doubt, shame, and self-loathing. Instead, USE those feelings to create a new “Money” Monster or “Love” Monster to catapult you into a deeper love relationship with yourself and life.
I’ll get back to more of my usual topics next week. There’s so much compelling material coming through me in my Results Accelerator program right now that I want to share with a wider audience. But this week isn’t about business. I’m writing to you with the hope of helping you give yourself more permission to honor wherever you are today, whatever’s going on for you today.
Life isn’t about being a superhero business achiever 24/7; it’s really about living, loving, and learning.
PS: there’s even an upside to my father’s Alzheimer’s. Dad has carried the weight of the world’s sorrows forever. He spent the 60’s organizing Civil Right’s marches. He’s been rescuing (and being exploited) by “friends” forever. He has lived in a semi constant state of outrage at injustice for as long as I can remember.
The weight has been lifted. He’s happier. He’s child-like. He’s safe. His heart is wide open. It’s beautiful.
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