To Handle Others, Use Your Heart


To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s nearing the one year anniversary of my Dad’s passing away ~ and we are all grieving at different stages in our family.  It’s interesting to me how life has evolved since he died.  When I can observe our little threesome ~ Mom, my sister and me, I can view how it’s affected us all.  The tentacles of his death have wrapped around each of us in different ways ~ pulling and pushing our strengths and weaknesses ~ all the while, forcing us to grow, to be patient and to be more tolerant and understanding of eachother’s foibles.

It’s been a long year thus far and Mom’s acutely aware of the approaching date which marks one year since he passed away.  In fact, the other day, she blithely stated, “I guess he’s really not coming back,” which caught me unaware.  For you see, in my head, I am thinking, “Of course he’s not coming back Mom ~ he’s dead ~ he’s in that little urn/box at your house…you know this so what are you saying?”

But in my heart, the strings that tie me to her vulnerability, simple croak out in a soft voice, ” I know Mom.  It’s been a long time,” and we bond.  We bond because I know she is just saying what she’s thinking ~ without measuring it against what is known.  She just allows herself to voice how she feels and in that vulnerability, I find empathy, I find understanding…I listen with my heart and not my head.

Isn’t that all we want in life?  For someone to listen with their hearts to us ~ to bond heart to heart ~ even when perhaps we are not expressing the obvious, but the subtlety of how we are feeling?  Instead of being angry at her for not getting it which I know she does, I am lending her a wing until she can find a way to fly again, simply by getting the pain she’s endured since he passed away.

Because she’s been left alone ~ a broken little bird, lost without her other ‘wing.’  She’s been a trooper, living alone for a year when she’d never lived alone in her life.  She’s taken on many responsibilities that she’s never had.  As a team, my sister and I have taken on many responsibilities as well simply because we are a family ~and because we listen with our hearts.

As that little Disney Stitch character says,

“Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind.”

Today, when handling others, listen with your heart to the words spoken and unspoken.

You make a difference ~ one heart at a time.

Shine On!


P.S.  Mom I’m so proud of you! ♥

37 thoughts on “To Handle Others, Use Your Heart

  1. It really is our presence that is so healing. I feel yours way over here 🙂
    also every time you visit and leave such kind words.
    Much love to you and your family-

  2. We are now entering into the year of “firsts” since my DH (dear husband) left us. As I read your post I find I am not at that point of knowing he won’t be back, that he won’t be coming through the door with his quirky little smile and a hug to let me know he is glad to be home, then it is off to play and let the dogs attack him with wagging tails and puppy hugs and kisses. But I am reminded that I will be like your mother and get through this next year with tears and smiles and two great children who are taking care of my needs as they also struggle with their pain. I too will one day will come to terms that he is not coming back – but it is with praise to our Lord that I know one day I will go to him and we will be reunited once again. Hugs to you and your family – may you experience the blessings of God in your lives.

    • Dearest Patty, My heart goes out to you. Please know that I am thinking of you as the year of firsts is the most difficult ~ in fact the first holiday is the pits ~ and many times we were able to convince ourselves that he was just away ~ not that he was never coming back. I hold my hands out to you in friendship as always. Big hugs to you and to your family ~ and many prayers. xo Thank you for your kindnesses. ♥♥♥

    • You are right ~ she is older ~ I know it’s difficult. We just keep taking baby steps together! I call her a few times a day everyday ~ I tell her silly stories and make her laugh! Thanks for understanding. ♥

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