I was reading a book ‘Before I Go – Letters to Our Children about what Really Matters’ by Peter Kreeft and I came across this quote that just struck me. It was so profound I’ve been thinking about it all day – and all those who are gone from my life but live on in my heart.
“Nothing is lost if it is loved, for if it is loved, it is remembered, and if it is remembered, it transcends time.”
It is so beautiful that I had to share it. It also make me stop and think about who I love and what I do about it during my daily life.
Cut Through The Busy Day Syndrome
It is so easy to put the people in your life that mean the most to you on the back burner … because somehow they will understand and forgive your inattention. And for our momentary lapses, this is perfectly true. If we let it become a habit, however, it can be difficult to re-establish trust and closeness.
The best way to stop our busy lives from overwhelming our relationships is by relying on the little things. Here are some “little things” to try:
⇒ At the start of each day, choose a time – any time. When this time rolls around, take two minutes and write a quick email or note to a friend or family member. It doesn’t have to be much – just let them know that you were thinking of them.
⇒For those people that you see on a regular basis make the effort to connect with them as an individual. Ask questions about their day and what is happening that is important to them. Try and be as specific as you can – so that you don’t get the ‘everything is fine’ answer.
⇒At least once a week, pick up the phone and call. The warmth in your voice – and just taking the time to call will lift the other.
For a period of time in my life – when I was overwhelmed after the death of my mom but didn’t want to lose touch with my dad – I had a sign by my phone reminding me to call him. It was a recognition for me that my day-to-day was getting in the way of what I wanted to do. So don’t be afraid or embarrassed to use prompts – it doesn’t mean you don’t care – it means you care enough to make it happen.
Try implementing a few of these – once you build a habit, it will be easier to fit in these important moments. Remember that this is for maintaining existing relationships – these little tricks can’t take the place of sitting down and spending some serious time with another person.
So make a list of the people in your life – family and friends. At the end of each day, see if you’ve touched them in some way. Have you connected with them in a way that lets them know that you love them?
While the maintenance activities are important, it is vital to go deeper into your relationships. Make a date each month, to spend some quality time with that person. It may mean going for coffee or a walk – but book it into your calendar just like you would an important business meeting or appointment. And keep it.
This is important for your spouse, your kids – but also your parents. Think about how to connect with your mom or dad in a way that is meaningful. Ask them their opinion or advice. Ask them what they would do in certain situations you may face at work or at home.
This doesn’t mean you have to take the advice – but it will give you deeper insight into how they see the world … and when they are no longer available on the other end of the phone, that legacy of knowledge and love will help you transcend time.