Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week's email finds you well and encouraged, despite all the worldly concerns and distractions.
Why Rejoice and Be Glad in it?
A little over four years ago, April of 2016 to be precise, my dear mother was admitted into hospice after having battled cancer for over fifteen years. I remember being struck by the reality of that place.
There was no place to hide.
No matter how one chooses to cope throughout their life, there comes a time when connection is all that matters. During the time she was hospitalized, I had been brought to tears several times just by encountering the kindness and caregiving of the nurses. Imagine your job every day is to take care of those who are dying. Imagine the multitude of emotions shared by the family members as they come to terms with the brutal truth of life. I am writing about this as I am traveling to see my biological father who we thought we’d lose about a week ago when he had stints put in his heart- he’s still with us. Many of you know my story and separation from him but no matter the past choices, he’s still my father.
Are you familiar with the book Good to Great by Jim Collins and how the author discovered that the Good to Great companies were the only companies willing to embrace the brutal truth of their industry and to do something about it? Maybe the call for each of us, to go from Good to Great as individuals, is to embrace more fully the brutal truth of our physical life coming to an end, and to act more intentionally with that end in mind.
My Mom has been far and away my greatest support and my greatest teacher. Even now she is showing me the way. Those last two years with her in outpatient hospice, we knew her time on earth was very limited, this kept us all the more effortful toward sharing the things with each other we thought most important.
I know it is our way as humans to act as if we will live forever and too often put off those moments of vulnerability to tomorrow. But I cannot urge you enough to not wait. If not today, put into your calendar the date and time you intend to do that which you have been putting off. As the old teaching goes, if you had a week to live, what would you do? What axes would you bury? What love would you convey? Tomorrow is promised to no one and that is what makes today so precious.
My mother taught me how to live more fully in the moment. I remember, with her strength failing, the appreciation she had simply for the sun coming through the window. She said, "Look, all I have to do is tilt my head to feel the sun on my face".
The birds outside her window were comfort enough and her favorite verse, "Today is the day the lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it".
Last week we talked about starting or adding daily to your gratitude list. Do you take the sun on your face for granted? Has it made your list yet?
I know this week’s Why Team Weekly is intensely personal, but is that not the call for all of us? To let down our guard, at times, for others? Why?
To connect, to come together, and to be more for others by doing so. I can not recommend enough to you the work of Brene Brown. Please see her Ted Talks - the first on vulnerability and the second on shame - and I highly recommend her book "Daring Greatly". It is among the most important books I have ever read. Our great deficit today, is our fear of failure, our fear of not being enough - this fear does more to separate and impoverish us than it does to bring us together and enrich us. That’s what happened to my father.
I hope through my sharing you will appreciate this new day you have received all the more. May my Mom's journey and her guidance through me serve you this day and in the days ahead.
For today is a new day to make a difference in the life of another, and no doubt in doing so, you will be all the more glad in it.
Make it a great week,