A few weeks ago, a dear friend of mine invited his entire friend family (close to 18 people!) to come and spend a week in California with him. In this group there were 3 generations: the grandparents, their 4 daughters and their families including ten grandkids!
I thought for sure this was going to be interesting…borderline disastrous! Turns out, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I’ve never in my life witnessed the kind of love & respect they share for each other. All the kids got along and actually enjoyed each others’ company. It didn’t matter if they got to sleep in a bed or outside in a tent. They were happy and appreciative. It didn’t matter that they were put to work in the kitchen, helping to prepare dinner for 20 or that seven girls had to share a bathroom. They just did it. Without complaining. And, with ease and, even JOY.
I was astounded. Growing up in a single-parent environment, I’d never experienced that kind of dynamic. And, I gotta tell you, it felt incredible. I wanted to be a part of their family!
There is something so contagious about unconditional love. And that’s exactly what they shared.
So, I asked the matriarch of the family about it. How did she do it? Her answer surprised me.
She told me her daily routine: She wakes up early and uses Skype to talk to her friends in Europe. She takes time each day to write letters & cards (not emails) to people. She talks to her daughters every day. She texts her grandchildren daily. She helps care for her neighbor/friend. She volunteers and teaches techniques on anti-bullying. And, of course, she joins her family for dinner when possible.
In that moment I fully realized the power of connection. To me, she viewed connection the way I would a job. Something you put effort into and then reap the rewards.
I was so struck by that.
Many people pour their energy and efforts into work and then reap the financial reward. But, what would happen if they put half that energy and effort into loving those close to them? Would they reap the reward of unconditional love?
I don’t know. But, I’m definitely inspired to try.
I haven’t been the best at keeping in touch with people. Sometimes I’d rather numb out and watch tv, than chat over the phone. And, I’m certainly more proficient at email than snail mail. BUT, I’m willing to try something different.
I want to experience extraordinary love. As often as I possibly can. I felt that when the family was visiting. I felt that on Sunday for my birthday. Now, I want to put more energy into creating it more often.
We do have a choice in where we put our energy. Sometimes in this day and age we choose technology over humanity. I’m making an adjustment to the latter and I hope you’re a little more inspired to do the same today.