My friend in the hospital is, by most definitions, an extraordinary patient. She’s recovering from a heart transplant, and while that’s amazing in itself, she’s an incredible person. She’s strong, tough, delightful, smart, quirky, and candid about her recovery.
Today, over social media, she shared with friends the grueling details of that recovery. The pain, the meds, the reaction of other organs, the meds, the emotional highs and lows, the side effects of the meds, the neuropathy and limb effects, and weight gain. One doesn’t get a heart transplant one day, and simply dance out of the hospital the next. It’s a long road, and the heartbreaking details of just how hard this recovery really is are quite sobering. And yet, she forges on. To know my friend, no one would expect any less. She truly has heart.
What is also extraordinary about this individual is the tribe she has created. By profession, she is a coach. Her large circle of peeps includes clients who have come to her organization for a specific purpose and ended up meeting her. Week after week she has led group meetings to help these fellow human forge ahead and be the best person they can be. And along the way, she has cultivated a devoted and strong community. She has helped them become stronger.
Throughout her transplant journey, she has been transparent and open about the process. That’s who she is, but my friend recognizes there’s an opportunity here to help others by demystifying the process, and showing what true and tender courage, and strength, really is. Not everyone can share such details, and that’s OK. But in her own unique way, she has shared some of the most intimate moments of her life that have made others more confident, stronger and better. Facing a huge life event, she has put others before herself. And there’s something to be learned from that.
When we share details about our lives–even the ones most poignant, intimate or challenging, we promote understanding, empathy and most often, love. This friend has built a tribe which has evolved into circle of love-both around her and for others. And in the end, that makes our little world so much better, stronger, and more loving. This Valentine’s Day, I encourage you to share a detail from your heart with someone that may help them, and you. Because we could all use a little more heart.