I Am So Sorry You Are Going Through This

A few years ago it became a big recommendation for women to stop apologizing so much, that we lose credibility or grounding by being sorry- but today as I look at how COVID is impacting your life, no other words feel truer: I am really sorry you are going through this time in history.

I have dedicated my life to helping people help each other. The first and most important step in helping another person is to authentically and openly see them.

When I look around and observe the people around me, from my 17-year old daughter, my fellow entrepreneurs who are not ‘open for business,’ to my mentee whose five roommates were all furloughed, parents juggling childcare and work from home, and corporate executives who pivoted and lead through the chaos. I see pain, insecurities, stress, broken dreams, arguing nights, loneliness, frozen fears, confusion, and, importantly, special moments of warrior spirits, love, enlightenment, and support in the midst of everything else. Nobody deserves this, and truly, I am sorry you are going through this.

But I also have some wishes for you.

I wish you compassion for yourself in particular. I wish you self compassion over self-criticism, Hope over hunger. Vision over broken dreams. Faith over fear… and love.

I wish you compassion for others around you, regardless of whether people are home for 60, 85 days and counting, or racing out to hit the gym that just opened or sharp-tongued with their siblings. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been profoundly impacted by COVID (I call it COVID non-grata). Cut yourself some slack, there is no way that 3-months ago you or they would have known or understood our hair would be turning greyer, our hospitals would be fuller, in some ways Costco + Zoom would be winners, and The Cheesecake Factory, Southwest Airlines, Uber and hundreds of thousands of others are on the losing side of this battle. Nobody could have predicted that our friends would be furloughed and loved ones lost.

I wish you learning and growth because this is something we all must learn something from: it doesn’t matter whether that comes from the inner recesses of your brain or Youtube, Coursera, a mentoring conversation on FaceTime or Google Chat. They all have value. I hope you find the words and concepts that comfort you and give you the strength to push through another day and another week. I think we grow the most when we are in pain, not when things are easy in life. The great moment of building our resiliency muscle has arrived.

My brother once told me that if I am standing strong, then others can lean on me. If I am not okay and others lean on me, well, we will both fall and tumble over.

For many of us, it is in our nature to support others through a crisis, to lose precious sleep, and let our own needs fall on the back burner. This is natural, but let’s ask ourselves: how can we support others if we aren’t okay? I hope you care for yourself without guilt. I hope you make a new relationship with you and find incredible human connection with others cause this too shall pass and you will find yourself and how you grasped these moments on the other side of this pandemic.

I was speaking to a client and she said ‘G-d wants us to reboot’- that really got me thinking and gave me a new perspective. What will our reboot look like? Self-compassion? New learning on what we need to have serenity and stand strong? A new hobby or career? And, hopefully, the ability to truly see one another and the unique hardships we each endure. To help ourselves and each other.

Now, for my own personal daily recharge. I’m off to Amy Appel’s amazing online Yoga class—to strengthen my spine and spiritual grounding as she discusses this week the word impermanence.


Julie Kantor
Julie Kantor
“The people who mentor at your company are the people who drive retention and a sense of belonging at your company," says Julie Kantor, a serial entrepreneur + workforce development veteran with a deep passion for standing up sustainable mentoring initiatives for corporations, associations, and universities. Whether in a boardroom with executives or working with collaborative teams, Julie instills excitement, inspires commitment, & demonstrates an unwavering drive to succeed. She has provided dynamic mentoring-in-a-box services to world-class companies in many sectors and organizations like Verizon Wireless, Anthem Insurance, NYU Office of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Marriott International, SHRM, MITRE, ASAE and more. As a sought-after keynote speaker, trainer & connector, Julie is well networked to the national community of top business, academic, non-profit, & government leaders. Julie served as 20 year Executive Director of Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), led the formation of Million Women Mentors, Co-Chaired Leadership Greater Washington's Signature Program, and sits on the national Board of Directors of Active Minds and Women's Business Collaborative Leadership Council. Honored by The Obama White House for her 20-year career in entrepreneurship education, Julie was recognized by SmartCEO ("15 Leaders We Admire"). Julie has been featured on, Washington Post, Washington Bus. Journal, Chronicle of Philanthropy,, and AT&T Women Who Inspire. Julie is also the author of "I Said Yes: Youth Entrepreneurship in America’s Schools" (Gazelles Publishing), The Mentor Roadtrip™ Action Guide, and has her next feature book on the business case for mentoring being published in 2020. She lives in Boca Raton, FL with her husband Marc, daughter, and 10-lb Havanese Naomi. She loves strong coffee, karaoke, global travel, and spending time with her girlfriends and extended family.

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  1. Thank you so much for all that you have wished for all of us in this essay, Julie. Sometimes when we are in the midst of challenge it can be difficult to see exactly all the ways the challenges are shaping us. Because I lived so very many challenges prior to the pandemic, I definitely learned the value-how essential self-care is for the body, heart, mind, and soul. All the daily practices I began in August of 2014 including exercise (usually running or dancing, some yoga-now belly dancing), expressing gratitude, and meditation/mindfulness, news fast continue to be the foundation from which I can be resilient, adapt, and respond to all that has happened. The internal shift to greater peace, compassion, and enduring empathy for other human beings keeps the heart open always. Knowing the lived experience of more faith and less fear, self-compassion and way less judgment, more curiosity and creativity rather than deep-seated shame can free us to live each day with greater clarity about what will we do with this “one precious and wild life.” (Mary Oliver) Thank you so much!! And WELCOME to BizCatalyst360!!!