In my younger years . . .
I spent far too much time on things that seemed important at the time although, in retrospect, I know they were not…like worrying about my hair or whether someone would like me. If someone had told me these things back then, would I have fully understood? I might have; it’s not possible to know. The passage of time and life experience has taught me these things.
What I DID learn: to leave a “Learned Legacy.”
Leaving the world a better place: passing on learned lessons and the wisdom that comes with these lessons may be far greater than the importance of any earned legacy.
Usually it is the retired person, aunts and uncles, the grandparents and parents who have a sense of urgency to leave a learned legacy. It can be someone else, however, someone with a story to tell, who triumphs over discrimination, wins happiness and contentment through hardship, recovers from addiction, or who experiences, endures and overcomes (or accepts) illness. All wonderful humane and humanly stories worth learning from.
Learned legacies comes in many forms:
- Practical information about life and living: sports, agriculture, and horticulture such as how to make fishing flies for river fishing, be a beekeeper, raise heirloom vegetables, or hens for eggs
- How sobriety and happiness can be achieved through freedom from addiction
- What I wish I would know now when I was your age
- How I dealt with cultural discrimination
- Information about the family tree and the people in it
- Career and the true “payment” learning through my work
- How things came to be, thoughts about them and what WILL be
As I developed my Learned Legacy Coaching, I found many people seek direction in:
- Articulating, clarifying or identifying their Learned Legacy
- Organizing their Learned Legacy
- Choosing who will receive their Learned Legacy (it could be specific or very broad!)
- Ways to tell others intimately, authentically yet hopefully about struggles to overcome adversities, including poverty, shyness, health challenges, abuse, alcohol or drug addiction.
- Choosing the right channels to communicate their Learned Legacy: scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, video and audio recording – there are many options.
Also, people appreciated the occasional mental, emotional and social “check-ins,” getting insight and feedback from “another set of eyes and ears, as well as bouncing ideas about while getting acknowledgement and reinforcement from their Legacy journey.
It is important not to stress over being complete with your legacy.
It is important, instead, to be gratified and satisfied with what you are passing on. Regardless of our age and state, we are all still growing and learning.
Some questions to ask while creating your Learned Legacy:
- How is the world better with my life contribution?
- What would I like to pass on to the next generations?
- If I were to die today, will I have left that learned legacy that I have imagined?
- How would I like to be remembered?
- What do I wish I would have known years ago?
Here are 5 things I wish I would have known years ago:
1. Family and friends are the most important “things” in life. As the saying goes, “The most important things in life aren’t things!”
Photo: Helen Lopes / Unsplash.com
Relationships need your nurturing and loving attention. Don’t expect people to welcome you with open arms if you haven’t been in touch. (Although some relationships are that way, be grateful!)
Do things that you love. You have gifts and talents and the world NEEDS YOU – and them – in your own unique way. If you can’t remember what inspires and excites you, think back to a time when you had passion and enthusiasm in your life. It can be rekindled.
Don’t count the things that “don’t count.” One of the most loving and simply genius ideas my husband shared with me when we started our lives together was, “We are not going to keep count!” He made that comment when I was trying to remember how many times I had loaded the dishwasher that week (yes, really!). Remember what you are given and forget what you give. When people truly care for one another, counting is not necessary.
Photo: Marya OMalley
Prayer is EXTRAORDINARILY powerful. You are a simply Divine eternal soul. Prayer keeps you present and consciously in touch with this reality and because of these “mindful moments” it is powerful. Have you ever wanted to pray even if you doubted the reality of prayer itself? I have. And there have been times when I have felt so exhausted and stressed that I the only prayer I could think of was, “Help!”. You can find out about free prayer resources here.
Now let’s begin YOUR journey. What are 5 things that you wish you would have known years ago?
Take care and may your Divine Spirit guide you today and always.