In the past week, four of my friends have had deaths in their families. Three of these were young people, one 12 years old and two in their twenties, who were struck down by illness or accident. One minute they were vibrant, happy people going about their lives, and in the next moment, they were gone. They thought they had many years ahead of them, and suddenly they don’t!
Obviously, these losses are a tragedy on many levels, and they are also a reminder of how fragile we all are. How our sense of having control over our life is just an illusion that can be shattered in a second. For me, it’s a wake-up call to pay attention to how I live my life. Every moment of every day.
Consequently, this month I’m reflecting on what is really important in my life. I find I often get so caught up in minutia and become stressed over things that seem crucial. Then something life-shattering happens and everything is put into perspective. The things that seemed of great consequence, like writing more articles, reaching more people, or remodeling the house instantly fade away. What’s left are the people in my life and my relationships with them.
The reality for all of us is it’s about the people. Family, friends, colleagues and the world community are what life is about. You can have all the riches and possessions available, but if you don’t show your love and respect and give time to those around you, you have nothing.
What our friends are going through is horrible. All we can do is offer our love and support as they walk through this awful experience. However, I’d like it to serve as a wake-up call to all of us. Let it be a reminder to pay attention to what is REALLY important in our lives.
I’m wondering where you put your time and energy. Do your relationships come first, or do you assume they will always be there, and put them at the bottom of your priority list? Good relationships are developed and maintained by investing time, energy and emotion into each person you care about. You might want to ask yourself often do you do this?
From now on I know I will make sure to be gentle with the people in my life, always part on good terms, and verbalize my love and appreciation at every opportunity. They are the greatest gift, and what it is really all about.
Sandy Abell is a life and business coach, author, speaker, and Licensed Counselor. She specializes in working with professionals, entrepreneurs and people dealing with life transitions, and is the author of several books.
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