Earlier today I heard how basketball legend Kobe Bryant had died.
On hearing the news I felt a little sad and shocked. I have been a huge basketball fan my entire life. Even though I am a die hard Knicks fan, I watched hundreds of hours of Laker basketball during Kobe's heyday because they were always on national television.
During my evening walk a few moments ago I began to cry as I processed his death. I enjoyed watching a legend who reached the pinnacle of basketball but I tuned into his inspirational work ethic, mindset and pure heart even more during my entrepreneurial days.
I never met him although I did follow his game from his high school career up, discovering that spindly Philly teen with some serious game at the world famous ABCD camp in New Jersey.
He inspired me. Kobe helped me without even knowing it. He provided me with a source of hoops happiness as a kid then inspired me to face my fears and to follow my passion through hellish days as an entrepreneur. I am sad that he died. So I cried.
Allow Yourself to Cry Even if the Connection Does Not Seem to Be Deep
My mother in law bought me the Kobe jersey I used for the featured image. She knew I liked hoops but had no idea I was a Knicks fan.
My connection to Kobe was a fan to legend type deal, then, a budding entrepreneur to….well…..an inspirational icon. One part of me felt embarrassed and ashamed to cry about his death but a deeper part knows I mourn the loss of a fellow human being first, and his daughter, and of the other people on the chopper. On an even deeper level, his basketball mastery and inspirational mindset were beauties to behold.
Personal growth accelerates if you genuinely feel your fear, pain and grief no matter the trigger. I love animals deeply. During trips to developing nations I sometimes break down in tears on seeing the mass suffering of street dogs and street cats. Shedding this fear, pain and grief has helped me inspire my following which has afforded me the ability to live my dream life.
Relax. Let yourself feel your feelings. Legends of film, sports and TV tend to have a profound effect on us from childhood to later years. Be with sadness. Cry. Be with grief. Feel embarrassment, shame and other ego-induced buffers to feeling your fear and pain. Thank yourself down the road.
The world grows at a snail's pace, being anchored down by fear and pain not felt. Meanwhile, a small percentage of people who honestly feel their emotions – from fear to love to everything in between – sprint ahead of everybody else.
Crying, sobbing and grieving heals you of the fear-pain you cried and sobbed out. I observed NBA players crying on team benches tonight. Crying is a natural, cathartic process we have been blessed with to let go fear and pain fast and to sprint forward from a more peaceful, accepting energy.
Grief occurs in cycles, usually. Rarely does one crying session heal you of heartbreak but the simple act of being sad and allowing tears to flow gets you our of your head and into your heart.
Be with your feelings. Be OK with feeling your sadness. Feeling sadness accelerates your peace of mind. Feeling peaceful and accepting of life and its events helps you grow through life versus going through life.
RIP Kobe. You will be missed, Mamba.