Everyone’s life is busy. And when you add our illusion of control to our to do list, we begin to think our tasks are monumentally important. And it’s clear, says one over her head in tasks, that sometimes tasks require an immense amount of attention.
However, in the midst of that busyness, we are often asked by friends or even strangers to show up. Every instinct screams that we don’t have time… sometimes that’s right, but we need to be sure.
Because often the very most important thing we can do is to do less than our stellar best on a task and make time for a relaxed, human encounter. My parents drilled this into me. They were at a friend’s house once. The friend was dying. They’d gone for a visit. “Stay,” he said. “Tasks,” they said. He died that week. “Never do that,” they said to us. “Never.”
We need to prioritize Friendship. We need to prioritize Love. We need to prioritize Life’s Sacred Passages and show up for them. Houses may be messy, grass un-mown, but cups of tea and glasses of beer or wine will be had, shoulders will be cried on. Funerals will be attended, conversations will be frank, people will get the ride they need to the doctors appointment or the medicine from the drug store. Doing good work and good works is the most important work. Stepping up can be hard work, yet, in doing that, simple presence will be offered and life will be transformed.
Extending our hands beyond our normal circles of caring begins to build great possibilities, and starts us down the road toward a Peace that is bigger than we are. All because we rearrange our time and our priorities. It’s sometimes messy and frustrating and inconvenient, but Peace and Caring? as the ad says… Priceless.