I was inspired to write this post by a beautiful Facebook follower. Her comment on a post sparked a memory of something that became a component of my business. It's about legacy...about one of the hidden drivers of a lot of the stuff we do everyday.
I've written about Legacy before from the perspective of getting rid of other people's legacies when they keep us from our full potential....you know the scripts that you may unwittingly perform in and makes you feel like you're on autopilot or erases your true essence?
This post isn't about that...it's about OUR chosen legacy for each of our lives.
Being human includes an unseen desire is to be remembered. A beautiful TED talk by Matthew O'Reilly called, “Am I dying?” The honest answer." touches on the distillation of truths like this when helping accident victims whose time was nearby.
And if you're thinking, "Oh, shit...could you be just a little more uplifting, Joy, than bringing up the subject about dying?" Why yes, yes I can...just stick with me...this is meant to give you a point of reflection of your every day, today, this moment from a grander level of importance. It's the every days that make up our lives, you know, and when we put, front of mind, nothing more than our soul flow, you automatically build your desired legacy....cuz truth be told, you are doing it anyway right now.
This is a reminder that your best life, the one where you're happiest, without the grit and grind to be happy, is YOUR legacy to this world.
The TED talk struck me to think how different our lives would be if we brought questions like this to the forefront of our minds while we have the capacity to live them now. So much of our activity in life is secretly motivated by this desire. Not for to be memorialized in the form of a monument or park bench with our names in it but to touch and change lives in a way that's true to our soul flow, just like the lives of those who touched is still live on in our hearts.
While I was a caregiver for 23 years for loved ones, this perspective was front of mind while sitting in the ER, ICU, nursing home, hospice as I witnessed other family members be in that place of witnessing a loved one's life book coming to a close...I saw it, too, in the eyes of those laying in their beds. I said to myself, "I see you. I know the world is a better place because of you - I feel how deeply loved you are."
I felt strongly when passing unvisited residents in nursing homes, desperately grabbing and holding my hand tightly in a death grip. They just wanted to be seen, not just as some invisible body parked in a wheelchair in the hallway. So I listened to their stories, albeit they were an emulsion of facts strung together in a non-logical, acid-hippie trip manner (they were folks with Alzheimer, you know), but the stories were beads, moments in their lives, strung together to make a beautifully unique pattern.
I admit my work is part of my legacy - It's been my soul flow for quite some time and still is even when I'm not "working the biz." It happens at the office, gas station, at the grocery store...wherever and it is to simply reflect back other people's soul flow to them, even when they can't see it by themselves, so they can live their lives fully right now in practical and simple ways.
Sometimes we have blindspots to our own beauty, you know, self deprecating them because it's not polite to own our magnificence is what society subconsciously has taught us. But when people see what their true magnificence is about, through the reflection of someone's pure neutral reflecting back to them, they're surprised to see it has nothing to do with exaggeration or the peacock feathers of the ego.
I can only describe it as the light of their north star - the part of them that brings their soul into the body - the fullness of being embodied with the essence of who they are. And their true legacy, free of other people's scripts, is really what humans want to leave in other people, not the legacy of their "baggage."
Each of us leave a little of ourselves in those around us - nonsensical beads of a life story, the deep love of your family members right at this moment, the energy you invest at work. We all stack a little of ourselves into each other so that we will be remembered. And believe me, you will be.