There are moments in your life that make you think. About where you are right now, where you are headed to or where you have come from. They might be triggered by a song, by the view you happen to encounter, by a word or sentence you pick up while riding the bus or walking down a street. Sometimes these moments are gone an instant after they have occurred, sometimes these moments stay with you for hours or even days on end, not letting go.
What all of them have in common is that they transport you to your very own realm of internal processes. They remind you that there is a life to be lived. They challenge you to go beyond the ordinary everyday and ask yourself what your legacy will be.
For me, I always obsessed about the concept of leaving something behind. As a firm believer that our meat-suit is inhabited not only by our biological caretakers, trillions of cells, but also by something far beyond our grasp of understanding. One might call it soul or source energy, God. In the end they all mean the same, something else than our brain and cells moving us through this experience. With that in mind I also always wondered what the reason for this might be. If there is life- what is the essence of it, the purpose? Is it what we leave behind?
Investing much thought into this, I build myself a belief system that gave me strength and reason to strive everyday to become the best version of myself. There are days when I succeed and days when -to be frank- not so much. Nonetheless it is about not giving up, taking each day, even each hour, as a new opportunity to live up to the expectations you set for yourself. All of this, not only for my own happiness but also for the highest good of all. Since in my belief system everything is connected and every action ripples endless amounts of other actions afterwards, living your most authentic, truest and best life contributes to All.
And in effect, All inevitably also becomes your legacy.
Now, interestingly enough, legacy has not only one definition. In fact the word legacy comes with a huge amount of different meanings. Most of them related to owning, handing down or replacing things. What surprised me while researching was that the usage of the word legacy in books more than doubled since the 1960s.
Now, I am no expert, and I do not know which books Google took into their collection of data. It could be that a multitude of judicial books were published. I doubt that though, and for the purpose of this blog post, I’d say that on the rise of materialistic wealth also came the turning point of looking inwards and thinking about what is left when all our possessions are gone. What is left of us when we return from where we came from.
Regardless of what our own, very unique, belief-system tells us, we come from somewhere. We own nothing then. And we go somewhere. We own nothing then either.
Except what memories of us we leave behind.
These memories are safely kept inside the perceptions of the people we encountered. Not even in the things we created or the places we shaped. Things and places are just memorabilia of what people remember about us.
It is not the story we write. The written word could have an influence and shape a memory someone has of us. Still, it is not what we had in mind while writing. To be fair, it isn’t even what we imagined ourselves. Simply by the words we use, our created image of what we try to convey to others, changes. Everyone has a different approach to language. One word might bring up something absolutely contrasting to what we aimed to transmit.
Isn’t that just astonishingly beautiful and scary at the same time?
So, I am obsessed with what mark I will leave on this Earth, yet I do not get any say in what that mark will look like in the end. I could have been Jesus, sacrificing myself on a cross to dissolve all of past, present and future human sin- yet, along comes someone who felt maybe offended in what I did or what people perceived me to be. He might not even have known me. Certainly he could have had the power to destroy what I, as Jesus, intended to be my legacy. Love and kindness, compassion and consideration, unity in diversity.
Oh, and I am aware that Jesus would probably not have thought about his legacy at all, he just did what was right, I guess.
What then, you may ask, if you are still interested in the not so far away point I want to make, is the great purpose of us even thinking about such an abstract and far in the future thing, as legacy?
Well, nothing at all.
See, I can only write about the perception and I ideas I have. These are made up of the psychological structures I constructed in my mind. And they are based on the past, and the past only. Months ago, I still was absolutely certain that there is such a thing as a purpose and consequently a legacy we all will leave behind. I came to terms though with the simple fact that the only purpose there ever was and will be is that there is no purpose. A sense of purpose is needed when one tries to make sense of life by creating a box for themselves, a box of safety and at times even discomfort made reasonable by accusing said box to be the cause, the crux and therefore the explanation on why to keep going on within that frame of purpose. We make sense of our life by giving it a purpose, putting our self into a labelled, psychological security net that at times might even strangle us.
There has to be a reason to all of this, right? I have to have a purpose, otherwise all of this would not make sense. I have to have a role to play in the web of existence, otherwise I am not connected.
I came to a conclusion regarding my own legacy. It shall be that I have explored everything I wanted to explore. Nothing more or less than this.
Lived life itself.
Since my road to recovery from my burnout experiences (and I am still on it), all I did was due to a mindset that there is a purpose for every single individual on this Earth. There simply had to be, otherwise the pain and hurt and suffering was worth nothing, not even in the face of being able to experience the total opposite of love and beauty and grace. If there is a purpose then it will show at the end of my life through my legacy. Yet, how am I even able to determine any kind of purpose if my whole psychological structure traps me within my past experiences, therefore only creating a purpose out of my prior life experiences. Consequently the need for a purpose that ultimately leads to my life’s legacy is in and of itself a trap. Admittedly it is a fine trap, creating security and comforting walls around me. Sometimes it keeps you from being able to breath though.
All my precious energy. All of it contributed to a picture I wanted to paint by the end of my life, based on the colours and techniques I learned in the past.
Nonsense, isn’t it?
So, right now, I decide to free myself of that notion that there is a purpose for me, from the imprisonment that I can decide what my legacy will look like. Because I cannot. What I can do is live life to the fullest. And even that means something else to everyone out there. It might mean something completely different even to me in just two days’ time. But it does not matter. Living life to the fullest is a metaphor for taking it as it comes. Taking it all in. There will be days when my legacy consists of staring up and watching a seagull or an eagle soar for twenty minutes straight, someone who knows me (or whom I might get to know in the future) may watch me do this and tell this story at my funeral. One spec on my legacy, one tiny drop in the barrel that represents the essence of me. One moment where I had no power over my legacy, but one occasion when I was entranced by life itself, floating high above me.
I am free, not fully yet, I am still human, I know that. Up to know I was not really free, I had captured myself and my potential, my joys and my sorrows, within a belief-system. I labelled it purpose and filed it into legacy. I restricted my possibilities and opportunities.
No more. Change is everlasting, the only certainty within life is life itself.
I bow to change and challenge myself to walk down unknown territory. Honouring my true, authentic self. Freeing it. Letting it soar like an eagle above the ocean.
With that said, I want to thank all of you out there. Each and everyone of you has had an impact on me and my perception of life. I have had innumerable and invaluable exchanges over the past year and I feel extremely blessed to being able to connect to so many different people and mindsets. A special thanks goes out to Stewart, who has transformed from a host to a very dear friend and source of wisdom. Additionally I want to thank Andrew, one more precious human being who I am very lucky indeed to call my friend. He constantly gives me food for thought about the most profound and engraved beliefs I cultivate, which in effect brings me to go deeper and evolve more. These are the people that make you experience yourself in different lights and provoke you to go down different paths, consider aspects of life you would not have been able to see before. Thank all of you so very much.
As an additional disclaimer:
As you by now know, I am a real sucker for self-growth and self-development. To clarify though, I would not associate these attributes to the self-help section that is so often ridiculed and mocked. Self-help comes from a place where you feel powerless and try to get your power back by consuming huge amounts of other people’s life experiences. And while I am a believer in the value of sharing, the balance between imitation and making the right choices for yourself is subtle. I always take what feels beneficial from every book or video or movie or talk, I leave what does not resonate with me. When it is time, it will come into your life and you will know.
This explanation is caused by a video I wanted to attach to this article. For me, it was moving, exhilarating, infuriating and liberating- not in that order but surely in that intensity.
Therefore, please do not take this post as anything more or less than a bundled up thought process within my own limited and far from completed perception on life. I am happy to converse though, so if you have anything to add or think may be beneficial to share, feel free to do so. Also, as a quick side note, this week's Vlog #12 is dedicated to the lovely pack of dogs that I was entrusted to look after. Rock, Wisp, Freyja, Glen and Marjorie are taking a hike with me- and yes, it is more them taking me along with them than the other way around.
Thank you so very much for reading and taking time out of your busy days.
Much love, light and freedom to all of you.
From my heart to yours