I had dinner with a friend of mine earlier this week and she had some words of wisdom that I want to share with you. Here’s what she said:
- We’re all flawed.
- We’ve all made mistakes.
- We’re all going to die.
And then she asked me, given these three irrefutable truths about life,
really how important is whatever you’re worried about right now? How important is the question you wanted to ask me?
None of us are perfect. We make mistakes. We will die. Do we want to spend our time worrying about all the things that don’t matter, or spend our time on what really matters?
I don’t know about you, but for me, what matters most is staying connected to the people who mean the most to me.
Sure, we all have troubles. We experience financial, professional or health setbacks. The furnace fails and our child refuses to do homework. These are the things we end up focused on. That’s okay up to a point – the point where we no longer can keep today’s troubles in perspective given the three irrefutable truths.
It’s too easy to put far too much emphasis on the problems in front of us, when what we should be focused on are the relationships that are in front of us.
In light of the three irrefutable truths that we are flawed, we make mistakes, we will die, I want to view what troubles me in perspective to the things that matter most. Do I feel love and show love to my partner? My children? Am I close to my family? Do I have time for my friends? Am I respectful to those I work with and live near?
We focus on our relationships:
- Through listening to what others say, even when, or perhaps especially when, we disagree.
- By being open to what others have to say when what they say is hard for us to hear.
- By being as honest as is humanly possible in what we say and do.
- By trusting that those who are closest to us have our interests in mind, even when we think the evidence in front of us might mean otherwise.
- Through being true to ourselves – by speaking our truths, our realities – and by being alert when others want to alter our reality, deny our reality or in some way show that they do not have our best interests in mind.
That’s what I want for you. I want you to set aside those things that don’t matter and keep the everyday troubles in perspective with the things that matter most.
If you don’t know what matters most to you, spend some time this week thinking about what your life would be like if you were suddenly separated from all the people you know. Because it a way, that’s what happens when our life ends – we’re separated from all the people we care about. All that we have left for them at that point is the memories we’ve built with them. So ask yourself, will those memories be enough?
Life Is Honest, Open and True: It’s easy enough to get caught up in the day-to-day worries of life and lose sight of what is most important – our relationships. When we focus on our relationships, everything else falls into its proper place.