I spent the weekend in the Pennsylvania mountains with almost 100 women, all there to be spiritually renewed and refreshed. I’m viewed as a seasoned professional in my work life. But at this gathering, I found myself well outmatched by an abundance of wisdom and life experience. This particular group of women are my teachers. They are preparing me for a lot of things to come, but especially for the hard work of supporting those around me through the painful life events that will inevitably occur more in the second half of my life. They are teaching me how to get ready for the work of holding up others.
Holding a loving space for those in pain is a job that can be prepared for, practiced and refined.
This week’s intention
As a leader and a colleague, there are many opportunities to care for the people we work with. The line between professional and personal relationships will inevitably blur if we show up to our workplaces open-hearted. During my career, I have seen my colleagues bury their parents, siblings, best friends, spouses and even children. They have had health scares, family emergencies, mental health crises and devastating divorces – and those are just the things I know about. Statistically, I am sure I worked with people dealing with domestic violence, substance abuse problems, financial hardships and a host of other things they dared not speak about at work.
My intention is to learn how to hold up the people around me when they are weak.
There will be times in our lives when we are not strong enough to hold up others. In those seasons, we pray there is someone there to hold us up. But when we have the strength to do so, supporting those people in our lives (to include our work lives) that are hurting is a calling in itself, and perhaps the most important job we will ever have. It is a job we can prepare for and practice by taking in the wisdom of the spiritually-seasoned around us.
This week, reflect on your ability and strength to care for others. Pray and journal about attracting and nurturing relationships that can prepare you for the miracle work of love and support. Consider the following:
- List the people in your life that have (or may have) wisdom to share about how to support others.
- How do you think they learned what they know?
- Are you able to spend enough time with these teachers to observe and soak in their lessons? If not, is it proximity or your priorities that are holding you back?
That’s plenty for one week. See you next week!