Interesting question, right? I was asked this question recently, and I have to admit that it kind of took me off guard. My immediate thought was “Uhhh, hmmm, well, it’s supposed to be my children, right? But I don’t have any?” Yes, it poked at me a little, but fortunately it quickly passed. My second thought was, “I want my legacy to be that I was a good person, that I helped people and that I lived my life.”
It was kind of strange to think about what I would want my legacy to be. My husband and I also discussed it briefly. Part of what stumped him was who would we leave our possessions to. I guess we really haven’t thought about it much since we don’t have children.
I believe it is an important conversation to have; it helps you think about what you want to leave behind, how you want to be remembered. Yes, part of our legacy includes our possessions, but I want to focus more on the values of my legacy. Here are some more details about what I would like my legacy to consist of:
To be a good person. I believe this starts with me being a good person to myself. It means that I take care of myself, that I love myself, that I accept myself exactly how I am and exactly where I am in life. If I can be a good person to myself, then I can be a good person to those around me. It doesn’t mean I am reaching for perfection. It means I am doing my best.
I want to help people. Now I know that sounds very broad, but to me helping people can occur in very simple ways. For example, a smile, saying hello, listening, reaching out to family/friends with a simple call, a text, a card, or email for no reason other than to let them know I love them and am thinking about them. I want the people in my life to know they matter. Now this one can be a double-edged sword. If I am not careful I can get into ‘fix it’ mode and try to help when the person is not ready or did not ask for my help. Part of my desire to help people is also in line with the work that I am doing, which is helping women find their path to peace, freedom and beyond. I want to help women find their voice so they can also live their best life, free from self-judgment, self-doubt, comparison. I want women to let go of the need to please everyone around them so they can reconnect to what their true desires are.
I want to live my life. More accurately, I want to consciously live my life. I felt there were many years in my life where I was unconsciously living my life. I felt like I was just going through the motions, and checking things off a list, a list that I did not consciously create. Since I was not consciously creating my life, I got stuck when I couldn’t complete an item on the list (have a child). When the fog lifted, I realized I no longer wanted to look outside of myself when living my life. Now I am more selective about how I spend my time and who I spend my time with. I am choosing what feels good to me, not what I feel obligated to do. I am listening to myself, trusting myself and this has helped me create a much more rich, abundant, free life.
Have you thought about what would you like your legacy to be?
Here are some questions to get you started:
What do you want your life to stand for?
How do you want to be remembered by your family and friends?
How will the world be a better place because you were in it?
Whose lives will you have touched?
What do you want to leave behind?
How can you serve?
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” —Shannon L. Alder