“The only legacy we truly leave is what is in the hearts of those who are left behind.”
I remember a number of years ago I was asked by my sister (#3) how I would want to be remembered after my death. My answer was typical for me, “I don’t really care. I’ll be dead.” She had been taking a psychology class and this topic had come up for discussion as they were studying a particular book that had that question in it. When I answered her, she looked at me, totally shocked. “What?” I asked.
“That’s it,” she said.
“What’s it?” I asked.
“That’s it. That’s IT. You answered exactly how a balanced person is supposed to answer!” Great. Now I am normal. But she assured me that this was indeed NOT normal. In surveys and studies most people would go into sentimental and nostalgic answers…things like “I would like to be remembered for all the good work I did for charity” or “I would love to be remembered for my musical talents” and so on. Apparently these types of answers are an indication of a co-dependent personality structure that will make one’s life quite miserable as they try to get noticed for one thing or another. Those who really don’t care about what happens after they are gone, apparently, tend to be the ones who actually do things for the right reasons, have much more compassion for the struggles of others, and will step up to right the wrongs they see even in the face of certain death.
Ok. So the thing about those who don’t care is that they (we) actually give a crap about the world and will do things to make a difference. So we care more because we don’t care. Cool. That is because we don’t care what others think about us; we will simply do what is needed, even if it is unpopular. Excellent. I have always been that way. This is how I wish others would be, but have been disappointed in that hope so often that I no longer trust that others will be that way. In fact, I have learned to trust that others will be EXACTLY who they have been all along, just like me. That is why I rarely attach too deeply with others until they are in my inner circle.
When I DO attach, it is spectacular! I am ALL IN. Unfortunately, sometimes others are not. So I learn my lesson about them and move them to the outer circle just beyond my inner circle. And if they continue to prove themselves unworthy of my energy or enthusiasm, they get bumped even further away from that inner circle. I will place people exactly where they show themselves to be most comfortable in my circles of trust and friendship. Some people want to be on the far outer reaches of my circles of trust. At least I know where they are. Some want to be in my inner circle, but have not given any indication of why that would be. So they stay wherever they are on the circle system. And no, I cannot be bribed on that. Have you ever noticed those who lavish you with gifts and compliments because they want to get closer to you? Nope. Not happening here. Prove yourself to be trustworthy…then we’ll talk. And if that trust gets broken…BUMP!
And yes, I hold myself to the same standards.
Those who ARE in my inner circle will find that I am attentive, loyal, caring, generous and protective. They will find that I have deep compassion for them, but also for the world…it is just that they get to actually consciously receive that compassion, whereas the rest of the world does not necessarily understand where I am coming from and so does not comprehend the compassion that is given. I look ahead. I see where things can go very right…or very wrong. I see what is inconsequential and what is of tantamount importance in how people act in the world and therefore in what they bring on for themselves in life. This makes me quite a valuable ally. But it also makes me the biggest pain.
You see, I will not stand by and watch as someone forms a habit that will ruin their relationships later in life…whether “later” is 1 week later or 5 years. I will become someone who picks at them about whatever that habit is until they actually address it and make changes. I would expect nothing less from them as a friend when it comes to anything I may be personally blinded to about myself. I figure that the best of friends are the ones who will kick your kiester when it is required. And they wont play games about it. They also won’t do things like accuse you of something that you did not do and then refuse to talk about it when you let them know how wrong they were. Bump! There ya go. Right back to the outer circle. They will not try to manipulate or con you into doing anything that is not congruent to who you are as a human being. Bump! They will not name drop your name in hopes of impressing others. Bump! But they WILL call me on my stuff and make sure that I look at the ugly as much as the pretty.
In doing so we form a very deep bond with each other. And through that bond we can experience the deepest of love and respect for one another. THAT is what they would remember about me. That is what I would remember about them. That is the true legacy.