What Will Your Legacy Be?


Earlier this week I was reflecting on something related to challenges that arose last week. What do I want my legacy to be?
What do I want to be known for?  You may be wondering why I was focusing on such a weighty issue.  Well for 1) I have been feeling under
the weather which has caused me to need to slow down which has brought up some much needed reflection and b) I noticed that I recently responded to something/someone in a way that is not generally in line with who  I am at the core.  That behavior was knawing at me and I believe is an aspect of what creating cold like symptoms.  Prior to me getting deeper into this reflection, I also checked out the above Ted talk with Clint Smith. All of this came to a head on Tuesday where I began to reflect on how speaking one’s truth and the legacy we leave is connected.  Speaking our truth is a much I past time.  In our culture we often value people who can work an angle and wear a mask like they are playing a part in a Hollywood film. It is very rare that people who are brave enough to speak the truth are valued and held in high regard. Why is that?  What is it about truth telling that is so intimidating?
To those who have met me you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I come from a family where “calling it like it
is” is very common practice.  Although that was not me growing up.  I was far more quiet and scared.  I stayed silent a lot of the time in fear of the truth.  Lately I have been reflecting on not so much the act of being truthful but more How that plays a role in whether people have a chance at tolerating it or not. We don’t tend to embrace the truth often as a society because it means that we need to be authentic and vulnerable.  Icky right?  Who the heck wants to show that side of themselves to the world?  In order to self protect we begin creating a variety of different mask sto cover up for any possibility that people will see the vulnerabilities within.  We associate being vulnerable with being weak.  One mask that adorns many is the mask of the intellect.  Knowing more facts and figures than others is a sure fire way to keep them just intimidated enough not to scratch the surface iwth you. I know the achievement mask well; I have worn it most of my life. Another garment that is often in fashion is the steel plate of the ego. “I am better than you.  I am smarter than you.  I am righter than
you. I am cooler than you.”  All this heavy clothing begins to wear you down and make you feel like a Bostonian in February.  Believe me we are not light and airy at that point.  If wearing that armour is your thing you may not even feel that heavy, sinking feeling. Silence is such a part of how we live we don’t even know we are swallowing our words as we do so.  We are so in rush to conform and be accepted that we lose awareness that the mask is not who we really are.  The spirit begins it’s slow descent and a ma laze of unhappiness pervades. Meanwhile the person who is speaking their truth is often over compensating for others by stepping  up onto the soap box and preaching for all who will listen (and let’s be honest, if you will, there aren’t many who are.)  What legacy is this creating?  One of suffocation, dishonesty, disconnection, anger, resentment which all stems from fear. Fear is what kills the truth.  Fear that people will find out who you are.  Fear that people may not like who you really are or what you have to say.  Fear that you will then no longer be accepted in the mainstream and may be on the side lines by yourself.  No wonder we wear this heavy clothing in times when it’s sweltering as well as when times when it’s bone chilling cold.
Speaking one’s truth and living authentically is so important but if it means that you do so at the cost of others…well is that really what you want to do or who you want to be?  Authentic relationships are born not just from truth telling but from compassion and love. This is essential if we are to ever have a chance at inner peace and happiness.  When we act in ways that are not connected to our core values and instead in service of our ego then we slowly begin to lose sight of who we really are at the core.  If you don’t know who you are and what you value, how will others know?  Not being silent and instead standing in your truth with love and dignity whether your ego wants to or not is in service of creating a loving core within.  From that loving place, only more love can come towards you even if it doesn’t come from the source right in front of you.  You may not get back what you put out from the specific person or situation but you can bet at some point the Universe will send. it back to you from someone or somewhere. This is related to the concept that people often term “karma.” For this discussion though I like to think that the process is more related to the legacy we want to leave behind about who we are rather than trying to gain something from the positive action we are making.  On Tuesday I did something that my made my ego shrill but also made my heart sing  I chose an act that was in service of leaving behind a legacy that is more in line with my soul’s desires rather than whether I was right or not. That felt good, plain and simple.  What have you done lately lately that is in service of both speaking your truth AND leaving behind a legacy you are proud of? What will be YOUR legacy?  I end this week prouder of my actions than I did last and that is a gift second to none.

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