Friday, January 25, 2013

"The Legacy We Leave Behind"

Legacy is defined by Merriam Webster’s Dictionary as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past.”  In this journey of life, we are recipients of legacies passed on to us from others and we all leave a legacy behind when our time here on Earth has ended.  The power and influence of the legacies we receive and the ones that we give is often underestimated.  As I reflect on this concept, I am reminded of those legacies that have influenced my life.  Most have been very good, and others not so much.  Positive or negative they all combine to form the legacy that I will pass on to others.  I am not sure that many of us fully understand the power of a legacy as it can be something to honor or to overcome. 

For those who receive legacies of faith, hope, compassion, mercy, unconditional love, acceptance, and wisdom, there is a strong likelihood that the lives of these recipients will be balanced well-adjusted and blessed with enough resilience to live a life that is emotionally and spiritually healthy and well-balanced.  When the legacy is one of abuse, constant criticism, conditional acceptance, condemnation, unforgiveness, lack of or intolerance for emotional expression, and negativity, the person on the receiving end is likely to pass on that negative legacy and to have a much more difficult life.  The abused as a child is more likely to become an abuser as an adult.  The child raised in a loving and compassionate environment is more likely to become an adult who is compassionate and loving. 

Most of us have a mix of the two extremes from which we form our own legacy.  We are not necessarily doomed to failure if our previous experiences were largely negative and we are not guaranteed success in life if we were blessed with a positive experience in the past.  Nothing is perfect in this life and outcomes are never guaranteed.  However, we do have choices about our actions and attitudes that have power to influence and overcome.  We also have a Heavenly Father who will (if we just ask) come into our lives to take the bad and use it for good and add it to what is already good to make it better.  Our legacy is something we leave behind that is the foundation for our children and future generations to build their lives and future.  Leave a legacy of your best self and God’s love in your life.  Your children and future generations will reap the benefits and continue that great work that God began in your life.  Imagine the possibilities! 

Blessings -- Winnie

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