Is there something in life about which you care deeply? Something that has such a strong hold on your heart that you would never think of letting go?
As a woman of deep Christian faith, I was taught that the only deeply cared about something i should have in my life is Jesus. And a personally deep relationship with Him. Everything else was a deterrent to a whole heart, mind and soul stayed on him.
Well, the loving caring well-meaning folks who taught me that may have been wrong. Wrong because it’s from that deeply committed wholehearted relationship that deep caring comes. In fact, my experience is that the deeper our faith relationship; the deeper our caring. So much so that when anything in life threatens that for which we care deeply; we become “Momma grizzlies” – determined to protect at all costs!
We rarely call it “caring” these days. instead we reference it as a “deeply held belief” – or something about which we are “passionate”. And along with deeply held beliefs and passion is a large dose of empathy. The ability to feel with another as opposed to sympathy.
Business has always been about just that – business. Caring, deeply held beliefs, passion and empathy have been reserved for our personal lives with special emphasis on family and close friends. Business thought of as coldly rational – caring, passion and empathy the opposite. Most of all, having nothing to do with attracting a clientele, building a business and achieving success.
Times – and people – have changed. Perhaps it’s the advent of the internet and social networking. Whatever it is, it’s now fashionable to “care deeply“. We talk about finding our passion when it comes to building a successful business.
Leadership expert John Maxwell says people don’t care until they know how much we care. Networking experts tell us folks do business with others they’ve come to know, like and trust. Well we’re not going to know, like and trust someone who remains at a distance and never shares anything with us except the benefit of the latest gadget and how little it costs in comparison to it’s value.
I hate to even broach this aspect of caring deeply, but I must. From my own experience, and that of others with whom I’m close; we come to the point of deep caring with age. Frankly, the more ‘vintage’ we become, the more likely we are to be care deeply about many things in life.
And it’s less about the gadgets in our businesses and much more about principles, values and the things of life upon which we can’t definitively put a finger or point to in a shop window! They are those things we might call “deeply held beliefs”. A passion that motivates us, urges us to take risks, and speak our own minds.
Give up the pretense of youth for the unmasked raw glory of elder stateswoman. Define that which are our true core values – speak them without apology and let the chips fall.
The 1st thought we give at this point in life is not “what will people think of me” but “I hold these truths to be self-evident as my very own!” Secondly, there is no gasp of disbelief when expressing my truth; but an experience of freedom born upon wings of honesty, integrity – and a considerable sense of relief.
To care deeply is what we’re called to! And we won’t reach that moment until we’ve passed through many seasons in our lives. It’s just a fact of life that facing a diabolically tough world without masks of clay is not something for the whims of youth or the brutal honesty of midlife.
It is for those moments when attempting to flee from the light of truth, that our pretenses are torn from our faces – and our souls!
To care deeply demands the revelation of the serious side of our human nature. It demands we put aside the frivolousness of our youth, take off the painted faces of falsehood and stand up for what really holds sway in our hearts (emotions, will, etc.). It takes amazing courage to do so.
For as we part the curtains on ‘vintage life’ and assert our truth and reality; we’ll lose folks. They’ll not want to sit under our tree of honesty and integrity. They’ll turn and find others with whom to play the games of life so many are fond of playing – fond of because to do otherwise is to risk more than they are willing to do!
My dear sisters, this post is a bit on the melancholic side. Yet it’s facts of life we cannot – and must not – hide. As women of faith, for whom the divine relationship is the bedrock of life; we dare not hide from the truth that to care deeply is the rock upon which we stand as we look out over the horizons of our lives.
For it is in caring deeply – about anything and everything – that will ultimately define us regardless of how we spent our youth or managed the angst of middle age.
I invite you – no, I urge you to discover that for which you care deeply. That about which you are truly passionate. Then take the risk of sharing it with others. Share it in ways that calls them to do the same.
When we do, we become women whose deep care invokes the honesty and integrity of others. That is after all, who we are called to be. . .
P.S. Some Thoughts on Unmasking ~ Coming Soon!
Linda S. Fitzgerald, CEO & Visionary Partner
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