Helping Nonprofit Leaders Transform Conflict

Leadership Coach and Mediator

Let me talk about death. Not because it is my favorite topic, but because it was why I was in the Netherlands after all.

My aunt died 76. Seems a reasonable age, not too young, not too old, and yet I startle. That would only be 26 years away from where I am now.

Image thanks to ShutterstockMy goodness, only 26. That’s the same time from here back to the end of my University life, a period I most vividly remember. What happened in these 26 years, what did I accomplish? Not much. Nothing that will gain me an award, a prize, a television interview.

I know, I shouldn’t be attached to these signs of public recognition. I should be satisfied with a life of service, grounded in understanding of our interdependence and impermanence. I should not be afraid of death either, for that matter. With all my Buddhist practice and trust in G*d, I should be beyond that.

I am not. The truth is that I am desperately seeking for ways to earn love, belonging, acceptance. I find it hard to imagine I am worthy of love for my own sake, that I matter just because I am me. I think I have to contribute and make a difference to belong. Gosh, after all those years, that didn’t change.

The good thing is that I had an interaction with an uncle, which highlighted with extreme precision how strong this habit energy is. It was most liberating. I have an automatic reflex to help, whether I am asked or not, whether I have the relationship or not, even whether it is helpful, or not. “Here, let me help you, I so much need to know that you love and accept me, and I think helping is the best way to get that.”

Hum. Not too bad for a two minute interaction. Quite an insight. Enough to reflect on for the next 26 years. Quite an invitation to better understand my intentions, and to free myself from patterns that are no longer helpful.

Maybe I will die at peace, accepting whom I was after all. Sounds good enough to me. No prizes necessary. Just honesty and love.


You want help to free yourself from habitual patterns? Contact me 512-589-0482. I would be honored to help.

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