Paying Into Your Legacy

In a recent conversation with a close friend, the discussion of leaving a legacy became the focal point.  We shared our stories of lessons learned, the high and lows of life, and the importance of building traditions and a character that will have a lasting effect on the lives of our family and our world.  We talked about how one builds a legacy that lives far beyond their life here on this earth.  I was reminded of some people that have transitioned from this earthly life.  How impactful their deeds on earth were, how their accomplishments, their character have proven significant far beyond their years on earth.  They were intentional with decisions they made.  They made a difference.  Their actions contributed to our world leaving it unalterably changed. 

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Now, I know what you may be thinking.  Really, Veronica?!?!  A Legacy?!?!  That isn’t something that anyone less than 60 should be thinking about, but you should.  No one knows the how many years they will live beyond the present.  Each and everyday is a blessing with the next one not promised.  Moreover, I am coming to realize that your daily decisions are shaping your legacy rather you want them to or not.  How you treat people, the memories you create, and your choices are creating how people will remember your earthly life.  Being mindful of the legacy you want to leave is imperative because it enables you to focus on your life’s purpose, goals you want to accomplish, and the lasting footprints you want to leave.  

 

Earlier this week, Tahlee (our resident travel guru) talked about creating a vacation fund for future adventures.  In the same way, we can think of our legacy as an account that we are building.  With each decision, each relationship created, each goal set and accomplished (or lack thereof), we are paying into our legacy.  As I continue to build my legacy reserves, here are some things I am pondering and working towards:

 

Reflect.  How do I want to be remembered?  Thinking about this question can seem a bit morbid, but it is a great way to think about and be more mindful of goals you want to accomplish during your earthly life.  It will manifest itself in how you treat people (most times…everyone is allowed some “off” moments) and decisions you make.  Great and impactful legacies are created from lives filled with self-reflection and a driven purpose.

 

Pay it forward.  Support the people and causes that are important to you.  Showing up and being present in the lives of others is an awesome way to create a life that will be remembered as impactful and meaningful.  Service is an attribute that changes lives, and inspires others.  And what’s so awesome…it is something we can ALL do!  Finding opportunities to pour into someone else in some small way each day is what great legacies are made of.

 

Mentor.  In the light of paying it forward, mentorship allows you to impart your wisdom and lessons learned in the life of someone else.  In my own life, I can recall those that advised me professionally and personally.  Their commitment to helping shape my life, changed my life for the better.  It also etched them forever in my memory.  It is their legacy to me.  We are given blessings to be a blessing, and mentoring most certainly can bless someone else and ensure that your greatness lives beyond your own life.

 

 

Go for yours.  There is nothing more uplifting than someone actively pursuing their passion.  Someone stepping out on faith to actively work towards making their dreams a reality (win, lose, or draw) is their legacy.  It allows you to pursue your purpose and destiny, and it gives others permission and encouragement to do the same.   You want to be remembered for doing something great?  DO SOMETHING GREAT! 

 

Be better.  It would be nice if we could play all our life, but legacies are created from intentional choices to be exceptional.  Commit.  Prioritize.  Be kind.  Set goals.  Crush goals. Everyday try to improve the person you were the day before…your legacy depends on it.

 

Life is like a book.  It's not the amount of chapters, but the words that fill the pages that makes for a cherished story.  How will you fill your pages?  What legacy will leave? 

 

What do you do to build your legacy?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica

Falling In Love With Me

Somewhere along the way, I forgot.  Pouring into loved ones.  Trusting the agendas of others over my own.  Accepting.  Settling for standards beneath my worth.  Little by little losing me, piece by piece.  Living in silent shame of the pain of hopes unfulfilled.  With fruitless dreams and a broken spirit, here I am…an empty vessel. Scarred. Dejected. Hopeless.  

Somewhere along the way, I forgot. 

I forgot to practice what I preach.  I am, where I am, for a divine purpose.  And even in my brokenness, I am enough.  My gifts and glitches don’t need to be shifted or hidden to fit the needs of someone else.  I am the perfect blend of greatness in the making.  Someone else’s lack of seeing my treasures is their problem, not mine.  Recognizing my bright light and letting it shine everyday is my responsibility, not anyone else’s.  I forgot I am enough. 

I forgot the power of forgiveness…forgiving myself.  Forgiving myself for putting others needs before my own.  Forgiving myself for silencing my voice, my needs.  Releasing myself from the pain of things that fell apart.  I forgot that nothing will change the way things panned out.  Not even wallowing in the pool of regrets and shame.  I forgot to forgive.

I forgot that my journey will have bumps and turns that will knock me down, but I choose how I react.  Failure sparks a change, and (in some cases) the change is necessary.  I can choose to use the lessons learned in failing to propel me to a place that reflects my worth and joy.  I forgot, in failure, I can choose to fight.

 

Autumn is a beautiful season of change.  All of nature screams transition.  From the crisp shift in the air’s temperature, to the beautiful color changes in leaves as they fall from the trees making them open, bare, and vulnerable.  It’s the perfect time to allow bad habits to die, and learn some valuable and humbling lessons.  It’s the perfect time to fall for the most important person…ME! 

 

So, what now? In this brief time, I have learned some things as I begin this journey of loving me. 

 

You matter.  So often, in times of trouble, we don’t seek help.  We say nothing.  We wallow in our own pain and shame.  I am finding that people are waiting and wanting to pour into you all the love and encouragement needed to get through the difficult times.  Let them.  I spend a good chunck of my time building my reserves.  Pouring my gifts into the people that matter to me.  During this season of emptiness, they are drenching me with love and good energy, and I am very grateful. 

 

Be selfish.  Its odd even typing this, but falling in love with me means I’ve got to get to know me, again.  Take time to spend time with you...as much time as you need.  Don’t look at it as saying ‘no’ to others, but saying ‘yes’ to yourself.  It may take some time for others to adjust, but they will and they will love you still.

 

Get busy living.  Plan some dates…some solo dates.  Get all dolled up in your fall’s finest, of course, and enjoy an evening out.  (You could also stay in.)  Set some short and long term goals.  Get your mind actively thinking about your next season because it is surely coming.  Write them down, and post them where you can see them often. Say “thank you” for breath in your body everyday (after all, things could be worse).  Find reasons to laugh, songs that fill you with hope, blessings in nature.  Believe in new life, or fake it til’ you make it.  

 

Even in pain, there is hope.  Even in sadness, you can choose joy.  I choose happiness.  I choose redemption.  I choose my own needs and desires. 

 

I choose me….one day at a time. 

 

Do you have stories of self-redemption?  I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below.

 

Love Without Fear,

Veronica