As I pondered this question, I instinctively searched for a quote to take me deeper into contemplation and of course the Queen of quotes Maya Angelou’s words on legacy was at the top of my search. As always Maya’s wisdom was on target. And so, my reflection began. Did I always show up in the lives of the people I encountered along the way in a positive way? The answer is a resounding hard no! The old adage “hurt people, hurt people'” is more than a clique it’s a hard truth. Don’t get me wrong I have not been a monster at least I hope not. I am proud of my legacy of love, forgiveness, the mercy I give and the grace I’ve given.
However, there are ugly truths! I didn’t always love unselfishly, I failed to forgive myself and the person that hurt me because for the most part I gave those persons permission to hurt me. The things we do when we exchange pain for love. After my senses overtook my hormones, and as many folks do, I moved forward before allowing my soul to heal and hurt the next unsuspecting soul that showed up and passed through my journey. I hope there are hearts I’ve touched on my journey in a positive way and that will be proof of my legacy of love. But no one gets off scott free the hurt we caused is still there and usually visits around 2:00 in the morning. I hold a space in my heart for those I personally hurt this is where atonement lives, confession really is good for the soul. I have regrets we all do whether we admit it or not. There are those who entered my journey during my brokenness that I may never get to say I am sorry to, so I take a page out of the many self-help books I’ve read of the years and write a letter that will only be read by me and God and try to forgive myself.
“Your legacy is every life you’ve touched.” _ Maya Angelou
“Every hurt we fail to heal before taking the next step on our journey can be a danger to those who cross our path as we move along the highway and backroads of life” B. Miller
We don’t always get the opportunity to atone for the way we made someone feel. Life moves at a fast rate of speed as fast as a person late for work on I 285. If you’ve ever been in rush hour traffic in Atlanta, you can relate. People ghost you and rightly so or move on or away or maybe even die. We get older and regret takes up residence in our heart and believe me when I say the sadness of regret is as detrimental to the heart as clogged arteries.
“The only time is now.” I learned this simple truth on a deeper level when I was caring for my mother before she transitioned. It was during these years that I learned the importance of legacy. Time after time people I had never met told me of the impact my mother’s wisdom and caring, and incredible love had on their lives. My mother was an encourager, and she always ended her phone call with my sister and I with “keep looking up” My mother became my inspiration during the love and dark days of the role reversal of parenting a parent. Caring for this incredible woman was beauty, love, and terrifying all at the same time because my sister and I always wanted to make the best possible decisions for her. Sometimes we were triumphant and sometimes not so much but through it all the love made me better, softer, stronger! Most of all it made me a better person and helped me understand the importance of legacy.
Be well my friends,
B. Miller living life less young