“Of all footprints, that of the elephant is the deepest and most supreme. Of all contemplations, that of impermanence is the deepest and most supreme.” Buddha
My Soul was Born to Earth…as a human for a little while. And when it’s time for this soul to leave this body and go wherever it’s meant to next, my hope is that those souls still in bodies who knew me, will say…she really knew how to live for what matters. She was gentle, kind, and loved with everything she had. She was an excellent mother – present, patient, positive and peaceful – even if not perfect. She really knew how to listen and when you spoke to her you felt heard, seen and valued. She was warm, open hearted and you could feel her connection. She forgave easily and let go gracefully. She was fun and light, but had an old, deep soul. She was curious about life, loved to learn, and used her talents for good. She was brave and expressed herself clearly, honestly with confidence and compassion. The world is truly a better place because she passed through it.
Those are some mighty words to live up to and writing them has unnerved me as I think of all the ways I’ve fallen short of them just today. But even though some days are more successful than others in fulfilling these intentions, I know I haven’t failed, because everyday I really am doing my best. Just like everyone else. And today I’m awake with another chance to try again. Tomorrow might be different.
I know death isn’t a popular topic, but our mortality is a reality we will all face eventually. You will die. I will die. Rather than fearfully denying it, we can let the brevity of life inspire us to live more meaningfully, to create space for what really matters most to us, and to simplify by letting go of what doesn’t, starting now.
When I’m gone I doubt anyone will say, she really could have lost 10 pounds; she should have straightened her teeth a bit; she should have worn makeup more, painted her nails, wore better clothes, drove a nicer car; she could have cleaned her house more. (Just writing this makes me laugh.) And if they do say those things, which I can’t control, it wouldn’t be about “me”. It would be a reflection of what’s really going on with them. My hope is that they can find something more inspiring to guide their life.
So, how do you want to be remembered?
Take a few deep breaths, creating some still space to let the answers surface. Trust that what’s coming up is meant to be a guide for your meaningful life. Then as gently as you can be with yourself, try to let go of what’s not looking so important anymore. I know you’re doing the best you can in each moment, because I’m here with you, doing the best I can too. And that’s good enough.