Leaving a Legacy

It isn’t too hard to figure out that I have struggled throughout my life, take a walk through some of our past posts to see where I have come from. Those experiences led to the creation of Military Spouses of Strength, and honestly there are days that I have really struggled with leaving a legacy of people only knowing me as “depressed Liz,” or “suicidal Liz.” There is so much more to me than just those two attributes, attributes that I have openly shared; hoping that by doing so my life, my struggle, and my subsequent stories of perseverance and strength has helped others… But time and time again, I question how I will one day be remembered. Because I don’t want to be remembered for my failures.

I don’t have a ton of money in the bank, a huge house, or many of the latest gadgets; the ways that we are judged as to whether or not we are successful. I do have many relationships; relationships both intimate and superficial. I am coming to realize that these relationships and my behavioral characteristics are my legacy. They are what will remain behind long after I have left this world.

I hope to be remembered as one who:

1) Forgives- we are all human, we are not holier than any other… We each have our own faults. I hope that one of the attributes that I am recognized for is forgiveness, both forgiveness of myself and of others. I can acknowledge that I lack qualities, and that I have qualities that can be easily seen as flaws. I often come across as crass when speaking to others, recently I apologized to a former friend for something, and the words that I used just further divided us. Since that conversation I have realized that the meaning of each word we speak is not on the lips of the speaker but on the ears of the listener. Our relationship divide was largely my fault, but I have forgiven myself for that breakdown; because from it I have been able to learn. I am thankful for my flaws, because it means I have room to grow. I learn from my flaws, so I can understand how I need to grow, and am forgiving of my flaws so that personal growth is allowed.

2) Hear- Hear what others have to say; through their voice, their actions, and their heart. Often our voices allow us to say what we think others want to hear, our actions silently speak what we hope others may miss, and our hearts are silent to all of those but us. Truly hearing others means being able to listen in many different ways.

3) Live Recklessly- Living recklessly doesn’t mean that I am suggesting that we become the ultimate risk taker, or completely alter our personality. However, living recklessly does mean that we pursue what brings us to life through reckless abandonment.

4) Love Compassionately- The Latin word for having compassion is “compatrior,” it’s meaning is “to suffer with one.” Loving compassionately doesn’t require you to forget yourself; rather it means knowing yourself so well that you can feel personally what another is going through.

Ours is an “Upside-Down,” world. We place value on tangibles, when in actuality it is the intangibles that will be our legacy. What attributes do you carry, or hope to carry that will remain as pieces of your legacy?

Liz Snell
Military Spouses of Strength Founder & CEO

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