What will be your legacy? After you are gone what is left?
As someone who has struggled with infertility, there have been moments in my life that I have worried when I am no longer here, there will be nothing left. True, we are each the legacy of those who come before us but our legacy is more that a genetic code that is passed down.
I have been a counselor for most of my social work career. I have sat with hundreds of men, women and children who have been brave enough to share their stories of trauma, pain and sadness. On more than one occasion, I have had a client come into my office and state, “You were sitting on my shoulder.” or “I heard your voice.” One family even joked with me that they would look at each other and state, “What would Sheryl say?”
I am always humbled when a client thanks me for what I have done. I quickly remind them that they are the one who has done the work. I’ve provided the support.
The honor of being a counselor is that you have the front row privilege of assisting someone in changing their life. As I sometimes worry about my legacy, I realize I have touched lives that I may not even be aware of I have helped a woman work through the grief of losing her mother and reevaluate her life. I have helped a young mother through her postpartum depression and become more present to her son. I have helped a woman accept that her family of origin was not healthy and she was not the one to blame. This enabled her to let go of years of pain and finally live her own life.
I do not say these things to brag but in acknowledgment each of us touch lives in ways we do not realize. For me, I need to realize that providing inspiration and hope to others is significant.
Our legacy can be the work we do daily or the hours we volunteer or it could be the richness of friendship that we make.
Our legacies are what we pass along to others.
Today I encourage you to think about what are you passing along. Take time to make sure you are leaving the legacy that you want to leave.
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