As I visit the Assisted Living facility where my father lives each morning, I witness many things. Most mornings, I have the pleasure of seeing several employees as I walk in as well as some residents who are just beginning their day. This morning was no different. I was greeted by several residents; some in wheelchairs, some with a walker, all with smiles on their faces.
As I made my way to my Dad’s apartment and entered, I enjoyed the smell of coffee brewing from the hallway. I love the ritual we’ve created together each morning: we recall the events of the evening before, we discuss any upcoming events of the new day and then talk about whatever comes to mind while he brings me my first cup of coffee. We have created such a beautiful “flow” in the short time he has been in Ohio. I’ve come to love this time. It is our time.
But this morning contained a minor interruption. As Dad and I were chatting, the door slowly opened. I assumed it was a staff member, but eventually a woman emerged and I could see it was a resident. My Dad greeted her by her first name and wished her a good morning.
Now, many individuals might consider an uninvited guest an interruption to their morning or might judge it inappropriate to stop a conversation in mid sentence…but not my Dad. Instead, he asked her how he could help. You see, this is his God-given gift: he has the natural ability to help others; and not just help, but help with TRUE JOY.
She seemed a little bit confused and asked if there was a place she could lay down and relax. My father graciously asked if her own apartment might work okay. She thought that sounded wonderful, but then asked “Can you help me find my apartment?”
“Of course,” replied my Dad; and out the door they went. I heard them in the hallway; for a split second thought to myself, ‘Does he really know where to take her’? A few moments later, he returned through his own apartment door and settled back into our conversation as if nothing happened.
I was in awe: 4 weeks ago, this was a man who wasn’t certain how to get to the elevator 20 feet down the hallway…and here he was helping another resident find her apartment.
Over the course of my life, I have learned many things, but this morning was a vivid reminder of one of the most important concepts I’ve learned:
- Our gifts are God-given
- Our gifts are diverse
- All gifts are important
- Everyone has different gifts
…and no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to let go of, lessen or lose the gifts that God has given you. They are part of your DNA, they exist within and flow from your essential self.
…and the more you allow and acknowledge your essential self to navigate your life, the more pronounced your gifts will become; they will manifest themselves in beautiful ways. When you give your gifts from the heart, they almost seem like joyful, effortless acts of love.
Even after a 3 week detoxification in the hospital, over 20 days in a Rehab Center and a 1300 mile transition to an Assisted Living facility in the middle of Ohio, my father’s gifts are emerging seamlessly because he is remaining true to his essential self.
He knows what feels right, he knows what feels true…and he is listening.
If you want to learn more about allowing your essential self to emerge joyfully and effortlessly, contact me today for a complimentary “Reclaim Your Heart” strategy session.