My today is due to all of those who became before me - my family, my ancestors as well as those in history, here in the US and around the world. That's a lot of people!
I visited a shaman once to understand and experience dimensions that are not commonplace in my L.A. life - non-dimensional energetic spaces. It was indescribable and as in the case with many ancient practices, inexplainable from my familiar frame of reference. The shaman asked if I had a sister. I explained that my sister, Laurie, passed away before I was born, and in fact, was the reason why I'm here - to be the replacement child. He told me that she had been following my entire life, extremely proud of me. The news unnerved me because I never really thought about her. A friend's interpretation of my story was that Laurie only wanted to be remembered, not to scare me.
What I got out of this is that it's important for me to remember those who came before me. Their lives mattered by laying the foundation for so much of what I take for granted.
I used to take my existence for granted but when I think about it, without Laurie's passing, I wouldn't even be here. I also used to take for granted the liberties of my choice of employment, freedom from oppression, and modern conveniences.
From this perspective, I now appreciate my family lineage for affording me a life in the US, our founding fathers who laid the foundation for this nation, women liberation for the ability of choice to work (even on days when I wished I didn't have to!), and my African American brothers and sisters who stood up for civil equality.
I stand on the shoulders of all of these, and so many more, "ghosts" who had the courage to rise above the obstacles that they faced during their time.
It's also from this perspective that I live my life, albeit in a much more small, but no less significant, manner. To be true to myself and do all I can to serve others in alignment with my highest values. I hope to do this so that my ghost can be something that others can build a better life on.
That's the magic of all of our lives, I believe. We all do great things with our individual lives, even if we're not aware of it. Even without a declared mission, I feel that each of us simply make the future better by doing the best that we can...today. We are connected in life's Tapestry, we all matter, and we all make tomorrow better for someone.
If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton