My dad is in the hospital. Will probably be there through the weekend. Makes me nervous. Edgy. Somehow it reminds me (however that is possible, since I was a small child at the time) of my grandfather’s quick demise – at this time of year. I know it was this time of year because he died on my birthday. My fifth birthday. Every year on my birthday – a day I celebrate (and make my friends celebrate) with much gusto – sometime during the day, inevitably, I remember that this is the day my grandfather died. It’s crappy. A day that is supposed to be just about me, for me, always kind of tinged, even tainted, with sadness. With the passing years, the sadness passes quicker and quicker.
And still it is an interesting legacy he leaves me – always reminded of him on that day. It is not like I remember a lot about him. I was so young. He lived in Vancouver and I lived in Kingston, so I saw him only infrequently. One clear picture I have is of me playing with the stuffed animals on his bed. His stuffed animals. I was just being a kid, playing. He came in and in an angry tone told me to stop. As an adult looking back I can see that he was joking, being playful in his gruff grandfather way. But as a child it completely freaked me out. I was so scared of getting into trouble with him. When he died I got those stuff animals. I never, ever played with them.
I wish I had different memories of my grandfather. Loving memories, like I do of my grandmother. But I don’t. Legacy is a funny thing that way. It is based partly on what we do, and partly on what the other person, or people, remember about us, what stands out to them. In other words it isn’t necessarily something we can control. “I want my legacy to be … this.” No – it is more a compellation of all of who we are, in all the moments of our life. It is in the acts we do, but more importantly in how we do those things, what energy we bring.
And still I want to try to control it. Make a mark, in a certain way. Have a specific impact. Problem is, as already mentioned, that leads to that “trying to control” thing. Such a slippery slope for me. Makes me try harder and harder, hold tighter and tighter – thinking somehow that will help. It has me manage myself, edit myself, restrain and restrict myself. All things that are not good for me. All thing that I am NOT interested in having be my legacy. All things that take me further from my authentic self and self expression.
The very thing I love most, that I long to inspire in others, this concept of being UNLEASHED, it flies in the face of all of this controlling, managing, editing. Ironic, yes?
How do I keep honouring me, and keep letting go of what impact, what legacy I have? I am not really sure, but I am sure that I am enjoying the question, the exploration. It feels like the closest I can come to self selecting that legacy is to have an intension, a desire, and then see what happens. Hold a vision and hope for the best. Be true to myself, keep honouring my truth in the moment and then hand it over (always sage advice, that hand it over piece).
So, here is holding my intension to have a legacy of unleashed… what is your intension?