What will your legacy be? (Part 2)

October 21, 2007 at 11:26 pm | Posted in Legacy | 2 Comments
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happy-boys_000004399705small.jpgThe struggles in our lives can be viewed as obstacles that prevent us from being all we’re created to be . . . or they can be seen as a springboard for our discovery of new meaning and fulfillment. Perhaps, you’re already in the second camp. If not, you may want to consider changing your perception, as I did.

The desire to change generally takes hold in a serious way when you become sick and tired enough of some repetitive event or feeling, i.e., continually getting your heart broken . . . feeling as though you’re a miserable failure because you’re not “perfect” . . . never having a moment to yourself . . . being desperately afraid that your kids will end up with the same issues you have.

That last one — fear that my legacy for my son and daughter would be primarily sorrow — was the motivation I needed 15 years ago to seek a new approach to life.

My transformational process was lengthy and complex, as it is for most people, and involved supportive friends and professionals, experiential learning, journaling, and some important reading. In fact, my change process actually began when I read “Kids Who Carry Our Pain: Breaking the Cycle of Codependency for the Next Generation” by Robert Hemfelt and Paul Warren. This book helped me realize how vital it was to address my lifelong relational hang-ups so I could minimize damage to my children.

This is when I recognized, with the encouragement of others I trusted, that I could let the brokenness of my past inspire me to embrace wholeness and hope instead. It wasn’t an easy growth process, and because I’m human I sure don’t feel whole or hopeful 100% of the time. But I’m committed to ongoing development of a legacy of relational health for my kids and the others in my circle of influence. This approach makes all the difference in my life, my marriage, my parenting, and the work I’m called to do.



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  1. The first sentence is so very right. I can identify heavily with that and find myself working with that idea daily. I forget what the number is but I think it’s something like doing something different 15 times can build a new habit to replace an old one you’re looking to ditch. Maybe you know the number Ellen. And what a powerful reason to change, if not for children who become the future, than what?

  2. Thanks, Chris. I’m not sure how many repetitions of something new it takes to replace an old habit or self-perception . . . I just know it takes a lot of practiced intention over time. It’s so worth it, isn’t it?

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