The Gift of Perspective


This past week I was a victim of fraud and it cost Willow a chunk of money. For several days I couldn’t shake how stupid and violated I felt. I had a sick feeling in my gut and lost my appetite for both food and work. 

At the same time, there was a lot of sad news around me. The mother of one close friend and the father of another died. Another friend is heartbroken because her partner left their 25-year relationship and finally, three women I’ve come to know through Willow are dying or very ill. 

There’s no perspective as powerful as our personal sense of the finite and precious nature of our lives.
tweet this

I know that any one of those people would gladly trade their grief for my lost dollars. Being there for my friends, either with emotional support or just in my heart helped me see the light. Looking at my fraud incident in relation to the preciousness of life and relationships, motivated me to clarify who and what matter most and to refocus my energy and attention.

Frank Ostaseski says it so well in his book, The Five Invitations.

“We can harness the awareness of death to appreciate the fact that we are alive … It is the impermanence of life that gives us perspective. As we come in contact with life’s precarious nature, we also come to appreciate its preciousness. Then we don’t want to waste a minute. We want to enter our lives fully and use them in a responsible way. Death is a good companion on the road to living well and dying without regret.”

What about you?

How has the preciousness or precariousness of life helped you put things into perspective?


  • Kathryn Alma-Nihte October 3, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    So sorry to hear about a fraud incident, that is such a violation, and trespass on trust. Having
    resources taken like we are not worthy undermines our survival. I hope you negotiate through this tough time quickly and access all your loving support.

    • Kathryn, you tapped right into where we’re at… accessing the loving support that is always available to us. Thank you for these words.

  • Thank you for this, Reena. Very much appreciated!

  • In “Die Wise” I read, grief and love are like twins; grieving is loving and loving is grieving.
    This morning I’m aware of the precious fragility and uncertainty of life and relationships.
    Grateful, tender.

  • Dear Reena,
    I hear your pain and I hold it closely to my heart. YOU are not alone.

    Life has it this way sometimes. It reminds me of the year and a half I spent accompanying my friend Anne-Marie during the end of her life. I was also at the beside of my nephew who had heart surgery with severe complications resulting in a ACV. He was at the hospital for months before he relearned to walk and be independently capable of caring for himself. During that same year, my husband had skin surgery for melanoma. And, we also had a new born baby in the family.

    Then when we moved out of Squamish to move to Quebec, we went to Sydney Australia to meet our 5th grandchild. Our daughter ended up having a c-sec and we nursed her, the baby and her 3 year old for the best part of three weeks. On our return, the next day my daughter was having knew surgery, we nursed her for a week. Then we travelled to Calgary to be with our other daughter and grand son to nurse him as he was getting a colonoscopy.
    Things seem to happen in clusters somehow. I wonder how that works, but it does look like there are clusters of events just like pulling a potato plant out of the soil.

    I enjoy witnessing the unfolding of your success too Reena and Michele. You are a strong example for me of perseverance and resiliency.

    • Thanks so much Marie. I appreciate the support and encouragement. Yes, things do come in batches, and I love your metaphor of the potato! Makes me think that at these times, we need to remember to “Lache pas la patate.” N’est pas? XO Reena (+ Michelle)

  • Ha Ha Ha Ha! Oui c’est en plein ça Reena, ”Lâche pas la patate!!!
    Good one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.