Here is the test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you’re alive, it isn’t.
— Richard Bach
I’m going through a time when family is calling for my full attention.
Over the last several months my husband and I have supported our family through a challenging time that culminated in the death of my mother-in-law this past Tuesday at age 88.
Times like these are full of lessons. Wanted to share with you a few things that my mother-in-law’s profound life — and death — have taught me. I hope these have value for you, as well:
1. People underestimate their impact. As I sat down to write some words to share at the service, I discovered that the most difficult parts of my relationship with my mother-in-law had led to some profound shifts in my life for which I am incredibly grateful. Upon reflection I find this is true of the difficult relationships I’ve experienced in business, as well.
2. Tough times and tough people make us stronger. The challenges we face force us to get clear about who we are and what we believe in. People who push us in both positive and negative ways are our teachers. They give us the opportunity to stand firmly in our beliefs and learn to have a relationship even when we disagree.
3. Everything comes to go. Nothing lasts forever and although painful, that’s exactly as it should be. Impermanence is the way of life and in many ways what gives everything its value. Whether in family or business, expecting and embracing and trusting change makes for a completely different experience of life than fighting, hating and resisting it.
4. Honor the process. There is a tremendous amount of wisdom out there from people who have trodden these paths before us. We can learn so much from other’s experience and from spiritual practices that relate to loss and mourning and returning to life, whether we are talking about the tremendous loss of a loved one or the more mundane yet still impactful losses we experience daily in business and life. Sometimes the best thing we can do is look for guidance and go with the flow.
I hope you’ll let someone know the impact they’ve had on you, take a moment to appreciate what you’ve got, and make the most of the next couple of weeks until we connect again.