“This beautiful book, full of wisdom and warmth, teaches us how to protect and preserve our most valuable possessions—the relationships with those we love. It shows that the things that matter definitely aren’t ‘things,’ and how to empower your life in the right direction.” —Dr. Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
Four simple phrases—“Please forgive me,” “I forgive you,” “Thank you,” and “I love you”—carry enormous power to mend and nurture our relationships and inner lives. These four phrases and the sentiments they convey provide a path to emotional wellbeing, guiding us through interpersonal difficulties to life with integrity and grace.
Newly updated with stories from people who have turned to this life-altering book in their time of need, this motivational teaching about what really matters reminds us how we can honor each relationship every day.
Dr. Ira Byock, an international leader in palliative care, explains how we can practice these life-affirming words in our day-to-day lives. Too often we assume that the people we love really know that we love them. Dr. Byock demonstrates the value of “stating the obvious” and provides practical insights into the benefits of letting go of old grudges and toxic emotions. His stories help us to forgive, appreciate, love, and celebrate one another and live life more fully.
Using the Four Things in a wide range of life situations, we can experience emotional healing even in the wake of family strife, personal tragedy, divorce, or in the face of death. With practical wisdom and spiritual power, The Four Things That Matter Most gives us the language and guidance to honor and experience what really matters most in our lives every day.
Byock, a physician specializing in end-of-life care, argues that four crucial phrases--"I forgive you";"Please forgive me";"Thank you"; and"I love you"--are the key to improving important relationships. Gathering poignant and uplifting examples from his palliative care work at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Byock shows how"these four short sentences carry the core wisdom of what people who are dying have taught me about what matters most in life." (As the publicity sheet would have it, this is like"Every Day with Morrie.") Healing is always possible, Byock says, even after years of distance or rejection; he tells, for example, of a cold father who re-engaged with his family months before his death in a freak accident, and of a man dying of colon cancer whose gratitude for a good life made his passing less painful. This is important, inspirational stuff, but while Byock allows plenty of page-time for patients and their loved ones to explain the joy of reconnecting, little room is left for them to describe how they got to a place from which they could reach out. A caring counselor, or Byock himself, usually acts as the catalyst for healing in the cases described; it seems this book is designed to play the same role for readers, but there's no saying that things will go as smoothly as they seem to on the pages. Byock's enumerations on his ideas sometimes overlook the complexity of most lives:"Live each day as fully as possible" might be a tall order for someone railing against a debilitating or terminal disease. Still, few readers will be left unmoved as they ponder their own and loved ones' mortality through Byock's fervent call to reconciliation.
The Four That Matter Most
Saved a father daughter relationship that almost crumbled.
The Four Things That Matter Most
This was the last of the three books by Ira Byock that I've read. Each one is just as wonderful as the others. My late husband passed away two years ago while doing at home hospice. After reading Dr. Byock's books I can look back and see that my husband and I were practicing much of what Dr. Byock's books talk about well before reading them. There was nothing left unsaid between us when he passed. Dr. Byock has such a gentle way of talking about a very difficult subject. I've told my daughters that reading all of his books is a prerequisite before they become my caretakers if the need ever arises.