Pour on the Love
This topic reminds me of reading Stephen R. Covey’s “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” years ago. There is an exercise in the book, which asks you to imagine going to the funeral of a loved one three years from now. You see the nice flowers hear the soft music, and as you look inside the casket you suddenly realize it’s yourself you’re seeing. In the program of the service, you see that there will be four speakers, each from different parts of your life: a member of your family, a friend, someone from work and a person of the church or community organization you’ve been involved with. Then you are to imagine what they will say about you.
It might seem like a harsh thing to think about, but I really liked where this was headed. It made me think about what is important in my life, what my values are that I want to live by and what I want to be remembered for. It made me ponder what I want my legacy to be!
Warmth. I want people to remember me by the warmth I brought into their lives. I hope to make people feel seen and heard and understood by interacting with them in a way that shows I care.
One of the ways I do that is by using a special talent I have: I am an amazing hugger. I can pour warmth into your heart by giving you a hug. I love that. I love sharing love that way, especially when the other person is going through a hard time and needs a little pick-me-up. It’s amazing to see their faces changed from before the hug. It’s such an easy thing for me to do, but I truly treasure it.
There is something that I learned about those hugs though: it takes two! I can be there with all my love and compassion, I can put it all in my hug, but if you are not open to receive it — if you’re unwilling to be vulnerable for a moment to let it all in — you will not be able to draw strength and comfort from this interaction.
So it is with legacy. I can do all the good in the world. Some will receive it and some won’t. That’s why different people will always see me in different ways. I cannot control that. I cannot really control what my legacy will be and that’s okay, but I can keep on doing what is important for me and what I value: having meaningful human interactions!