Inquiry: I should have a legacy

I should have a legacy. (I saw the title of the last America’s Evolutionary Evangelists podcast – Evolutionary Legacy – and that thought came up.)

  1. True?
    Hm. There was a hint of a feeling that it is true, and a quiet story coming up saying the same. And I am sure I can find people thinking the same. (Most recently, someone very accomplished telling it to me in a dream.)
  2. Sure it is true?
    No. It is just an opinion.
  3. What happens when I have that belief?
    • I feel I should have a legacy as well. I compare myself to MD and CB, who dedicate their lives to skillfully and with passion spread the message of the Epic of Evolution. What I do hardly compares. I can find lots of others who leave an important legacy – in my eyes – in different ways. And few ways I do.
    • I feel my life is not worth very much. I have made unfortunate choices in the past. I missed opportunities. I got on a wrong track. I am not where I should be. I am not where many others – including many I know – are. I haven’t used my opportunities, skills and talents very well. (As someone in real life told me not very long ago. She agrees.)
    • As I go into those stories, I feel more hopeless. Weak. Sapped of energy. I think of simple things I can do to feel better (sleep, go out and get wood for the wood stove, listen to a podcast – although not that one!)
    • When did I first have that thought? Probably in high school or middle school. When I think back, I can find a fear around it. Fear of not doing well enough. Fear of not living my life well enough. Feeling trapped between the should and the what if.
  4. Who would I be without it?
    • Appreciating and feeling joy over the legacy of MD and CB. Gratitude. Seeing how I benefit from it. Appreciation for what so many people do in the world today. All the rich lives being lived.
    • Able to see the ways, however small, my life has been of benefit to myself and perhaps others. Exited to do more. Curious about the possibilities. Engaged.
  5. Turnarounds.
    • I shouldn’t have a legacy
      • Well, life plays itself out as it does. If there is no legacy, that is how it plays itself out.
      • I don’t want the desire for a legacy to be a driving force in my life. I want my own passion, curiosity, and interest to lead me. And if there is legacy, as a byproduct, then that’s fine. That is icing on the cake.
    • My thinking should have a legacy
      • Well, it does in my life. And it does impact others, even if it is in small ways – through my life. Who knows what it leads to. It is ripples in a pond, and I only know about a tiny fraction of those ripples.
    • My thinking should not have a legacy
      • Yes, that feels good. I want it to come from some wisdom and kindness, and yet be so ordinary that it is hardly noticed. If someone finds anything of value there, I would like them to see it as their own thoughts and ideas – which it is. A reminder of what they already know.

Also, turnarounds for related thoughts:

  • I don’t have a legacy
    • I do have a legacy
      • Yes, that is true. I spent several years helping others live a more meaningful life, aligned with their deepest values, and it was quite successful. It touched thousands of lives directly, and many more indirectly.
      • Also, I have met people who had their lives changed in a positive way from something I said or did, and I had no idea. It was only a coincidence that I heard about it.
      • I have a legacy through my work in the sustainability and simplicity world, working locally with an amazing group of people, and with a solution oriented and partnership focus. That work touched many lives when I did it. And I left an organization that was in good shape, and now – several years later – is still going strong. I have helped many people through free bodywork and very inexpensive classes. And who know, maybe this blog has sparked something in people as well – either as a mirror for what people already know, or through people disagreeing and clarifying their own insights and values.
  • I haven’t made well use of my opportunities
    • I have made well use of my opportunities
      • Hm. Maybe true as well. I have worked with some sincerity on my life, even if it externally didn’t quite go the way I had thought, expected and planned. I can imagine having done less. As above, I did quite well in the sustainability work. I have helped many through the bodywork. I have worked on myself. Not too bad.

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