Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Why You Should Read Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook Post

Sheryl Sandberg's Facebook post

Resilience by Alan Levine via Flickr CC

Amid the excitement of my daughter finishing her first year of high school, and a pending visit to Syracuse to visit my parents, it has been an interesting week. I’ve been in a good writing groove, patching some holes in the early middle of the book. And in Mussar, I’ve been practicing Loving Kindness, which led me to read Sherryl Sandberg’s Facebook post about the grieving process for her husband, who died of a freak accident at the age of 46.

 

It is heavy and moving. If you have ever experienced grief, you’ll know what she is talking about. If you haven’t, you’ll learn that grief is not what we see in the movies. Grief is an adult woman who is held by her mother every night as she cries herself to sleep.

 

Sandberg taught me a lot about Loving Kindness. Loving Kindness is doing something for someone else, with no thought of a reward, even if they don’t deserve it. Loving Kindness goes beyond being nice. It is one of the three elements that the world is built on, and thus acts of Loving Kindness also have an element of sustaining other people.

 

Sandberg’s openness of her pain is a gift to the world. She teaches us what to say and what not to say to someone in grief, and she offers community to those who are suffering grief around the world. She also shares how she has opened a space to talk about it with her uncomfortable colleagues. We are given an opportunity to practice Loving Kindness by reading her words, and sharing her pain in silent fellowship.

 

This may seem scary or unappetizing. Life is stressful, and who needs to take on someone else’s grief? We all do. Last night I was meditating on Loving Kindness, and I had an image of a brick with a smiley face on it. Then there was a second brick, then another and another, and before long a huge wall was built that stretched up to the heavens and in all directions. The world is built on Loving Kindness.

 

Someday we will be the one in grief. Someday we will encounter someone who has lost the person they love the most in the world. I guarantee you, when that day comes, you’ll be happy that you read the post because it will teach you how to act.

 

Now, we can saver that Today Is Not That Day. We can celebrate and be thankful for all that we have. If you haven’t read Sheryl Sandberg’s Facebook post, read it now, and then do an act of Loving Kindness.