Impact of Verbal Abuse Quote

People having bad reactions, psychologically, mentally, and emotionally is 7 times greater with verbal abuse than it is even with sexual abuse. They are at greater risk for mental illness and dysfunction later in life from verbal abuse than from almost any other kind of abuse. ~Dr. Phil McGraw

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September 11th

In Memory of September 11, 2001

May we never forget the beautiful souls who tragically died that day in a senseless tragedy on American soil.

May we always be diligent in protecting our country from those who so desperately want to harm us, and stand united against them.

May we insure that this never again occurs in the land of the free.

May every American citizen feel safe on their own land, and be free from those with evil intentions.

May we always be blessed, protected, and loved.

May we send prayers to the families who lost their loved ones that day and pray for all the souls who passed.

MAY WE ALL PRAY FOR PEACE.

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septembereleventhMore on September Eleventh: http://randigfine.com/remembering-september-eleventh/

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In Remembrance of September Eleventh Seventeen Years Later

Remembering September 11, 2001 Seventeen Years Later

Article by Randi G. Fine

Most of us remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard about a plane crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Eighteen minutes later, before we could process what had just happened, we watched in horror as it happened again to the South Tower. Then only thirty-seven minutes later another plane crashed into the Pentagon, twenty-two minutes after that the South Tower collapsed, and four minutes later a plane a crash landed in a Pennsylvania field. Twenty-five minutes after that the North Tower collapsed. The incomprehensible, horrific catastrophe took just 102 minutes (one hour and forty-two minutes). Seventeen years later, many still live the nightmare.

CNN.com reports as of July 2018, that according to the medical examiner’s office 1,642 (or 60%) of 2,753 WTC victims’ remains have been positively identified. Ten-thousand others were injured, several critically. The death toll continues to rise among first responders who died from inhaling the toxic smoke and ash at Ground Zero.

I am devoting two shows on A Fine Time for Healing to the commemoration of all who were lost or injured on September 11, 2001 and their families. These shows will focus on turning tragedy and loss into something positive, and how to get your life back after experiencing life altering traumas. Both guests are inspiring women who were directly impacted by the 9/11 tragedy, but in very different ways.

You can either tune in live at 11am ET or listen to the recorded versions any time after they air by clicking on the links provided below. I do hope you will take the time to hear what these amazing ladies have to say.

September 11, 2018 – Grieving Losses with 9/11 Ground Zero Therapist Edy Nathan

Today is September 11th. Seventeen years after the 9/11 tragedy that impacted the lives of every American in some way, it’s important to realize that thousands who were directly affected by this darkest of days are still carrying an unimaginable burden of grief day after day. Today’s special guest, world renowned grief psychotherapist Edy Nathan, LCSWR, was one of the only women therapists at ground zero where she was called upon to apply all of her skills to negotiate the ocean of hopelessness, loss and destruction. According to Nathan, everyone’s experience of trauma, abuse, or the loss of a loved one is as unique as a fingerprint, and in truth, you never really get over the resulting grief but learn to integrate it into your life. In Edy Nathan’s newly published book  It’s Grief: The Dance of Self-Discovery Through Trauma and Loss she says grief, trauma and loss can strike in a moment, today, or from a long past memory retrieved—and disrupt the norms in every part of your life.  Her practical insights can help you get your life back.

September 13, 2018 – The Light in 9/11 with September Eleventh Widow Lisa Luckett

Entrepreneur, mother, and 9/11 widow Lisa Luckett was one of thousands whose life was forever-altered that fateful day. With the clarity that only comes with time and distance, Luckett discovered the resiliency and beauty of the human spirit and vowed to not allow her husband’s death to be in vain by making something positive rise from the ashes of this tragic nightmare. With a warrior’s will, Lisa Luckett took the opportunity to reframe her struggle and pain into a fast track for personal growth and positive change for herself and for her young family. As a 9/11 widow and breast cancer survivor, Luckett knows the value of life’s struggles and sees the silver lining in every situation and wants to show others how to fight for emotional stability and mental health. From her enlightened understanding, Luckett is living her life head-on, displaying her now mantra, “Choose Courage.” For the past 15 years, Lisa Luckett has extensively studied and analyzed the human condition from macro to micro, local to global, personal to cultural. She brings her vast life experience and the wisdom gained from delving in and dissecting personal traumas, events, and life-situations to better understand her world and the people in it. Luckett is the Founder of Cozmeena Enlightened Living – a brand of kindness. Cozmeena is a lifestyle brand and social movement based on the foundational elements of warmth, comfort, care, consideration, grace, and decency. The Light in 9/11: Shocked by Kindness, Healed by Love is her first book.

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Power of Love

 The “Religion” of Love

Originally posted on 11:11 Awakening Code

It has no fabric, only understanding.

It has no membership, save those who know they belong.

It has no rivals, because it is non-competitive.

It has no ambition it seeks only to serve.

It knows no boundaries for nationalisms are unloving.

It is not of itself because it seeks to enrich all groups and religions.

It acknowledges all great Teachers of all the ages
who have shown the truth of Love.

Those who participate, practice the Truth of Love in all their beings.

There is no walk of life or nationality that is a barrier.

It seeks not to teach but to be and by being, enrich.

It recognizes that the way we are may be the way of those around us because we are that way.

It recognizes the whole planet as a Being of which we are a part.

It recognizes that the time has come for the supreme transmutation, the ultimate alchemical act of conscious change of the ego into a voluntary return to the whole.

It does not proclaim itself with a loud voice but in the subtle realms of loving.

It salutes all those in the past who have blazoned the path
but have paid the price.

It admits no hierarchy or structure, for no one is greater than another.

Its members shall know each other by their deeds and being and
by their eyes and by no other outward sign save the fraternal embrace.

Each one will dedicate their life to the silent loving of their neighbor
and environment and the planet, whilst carrying out their task,
however exalted or humble.

It recognizes the supremacy of the great idea which may only be
accomplished if the human race practices the supremacy of Love.

It has no reward to offer either here or in the hereafter, save that of the infallible joy of being and loving.

Each shall seek to advance the cause of understanding, doing good by stealth and teaching only by example.

They shall heal their neighbor, their community and our Planet.

They shall know no fear and feel no shame and their witness shall prevail over all odds.

It has no secret, no arcanum, no initiation save that of true understanding of the power of Love and that, if we want it to be so, the world will change but only if we change ourselves first.

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The Addictive Personality Part Three

Addictive Personalities

Conclusion of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

Deep down inside people with addictions know that what they are doing is wrong. They know that their behaviors, choices, and actions are hurting them and their loved ones. But the need to feed their addiction supersedes everything else in their life.

To perpetuate their addiction they must deny that the substance, compulsion, or habit has anything to do with what is going wrong around them. That is why they become very defensive when confronted with their behavior. There are a variety of defense mechanisms used by those with active addictions.

Denial

Denial is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true. The ability to deny that he or she has such a strong emotional attachment to his or her addiction of choice is largely what enables an addict to continue the addiction despite overwhelming evidence. The more severe the problem, the more denial there usually is.

Repression

Repression is the conscious mechanism those with addictions use to completely tune out the fact that they have a problem. They simply stop acknowledging the addiction to themselves and others.

Minimizing

With minimizing, those with addictions will acknowledge that something is wrong but not want to make a big deal out of it. When confronted by others they rationalize that others are placing too much emphasis on the problem; that it’s not nearly as bad as others are making it out to be.

Toxic Shame

Toxic shame is used by those with addictions to avoid taking responsibility for their problem. They see themselves as flawed and never measuring up; like their whole life has been a mistake. They believe they are victims of their past. Because they feel defective, they seek something that will make them feel better, but it is a hole they can never fill.

Blaming and Shifting Blame

Blaming is similar to toxic shame in that those with addictions avoid taking responsibility for the problem. They may accept some of the responsibility for their problem but believe that others are more to blame for it. They may act like victims, shifting the blame for their addiction onto the situation they are in or the people they are with. They don’t look at how they contribute to the problem. This gives them a sense of entitlement to use their substance since they are not to blame for doing it.

Rationalizing

Rationalization is used to explain away the consequences of their addictive behavior or choices. They rationalize that whatever happened would have happened regardless of their addiction. For example: The factors that led to the car accident would have caused it to happen whether he or she was intoxicated or not.

Deflection

When confronted about their addiction addicts may use deflection to take the focus off of themselves. They do this by bringing up the other person’s shortcomings, similar activities that the person may partake in, or behavior the person may have exhibited in the past. For example, alcoholics might remind people that they have no room to criticize their drinking because they drink too.

Normalizing

Wanting to feel normal, since they feel so shameful for their behavior, they surround themselves with others who abuse the same substance and have the same level of addiction.

 Grandiosity

Most people with addictions suffer from low-self-esteem. Aware and shameful that they are messing up their lives, they use “Grandiosity,” the unrealistic inflation of their sense of self, as a defense mechanism to hide their feelings of vulnerability and low of self-worth. They may have low self-esteem yet still believe they are better than other people.

Compartmentalizing

By compartmentalizing their addiction they are able to display the behaviors expected of them for windows of time. This fools them and others into thinking that they have control over their lives.

Controlling

Those with addictions try to control everything and everyone around them, believing it will get them what they want. When others don’t cooperate they become even more controlling. It is delusional; they believe that what they are doing is going to work even though it rarely does.

Undoing

People with addictions will demonstrate destructive behavior and then try to “undo” it by apologizing, offering gifts, or promising that they’ll never do it again. They do this to distract others from the real problem; from the fact that they have an addiction.

If you recognize signs of an addictive personality in yourself there are steps you can take to prevent it from spiraling out of control.

  1. You must admit that there is a problem. Take responsibility for your thoughts and actions. Be honest and objective in your assessment of it. Surround yourself with a good support system.
  2. Learn to face your feelings whether good or bad. Don’t put them on the back burner, stuff them inside, ignore them, or medicate them. Allow yourself to experience whatever emotions come up.
  3. Arm yourself with knowledge; research your problem so you will not have to fear it.
  4. If you can discontinue the addictive behavior without needing medical intervention, begin weaning yourself off of it. Cigarette smoking and overeating both fall into this category. If you are addicted to a substance such as drugs or alcohol, get professional help immediately. You cannot stop these habits without medical supervision.
  5. Join a support group with people who share your particular addiction. It helps to know that you are not the only one dealing with it. If you would like to try attending a twelve-step meeting, find out where and when they meet in your area. There are 12-step support groups for every kind of addiction imaginable. To find one search “List of Twelve Step Programs.”

Be kind to yourself. Replace negative or destructive behaviors with positive ones. Set goals and reward yourself for reaching them. Find healthy ways to be happy whatever they may be. Take a class in a hobby or something that interests you. Surround yourself with positive people; weed toxic people out of your life. Learn how to reduce stress in your life in ways that are beneficial to your overall well-being. Learn how to meditate. Take long relaxing baths. Take a yoga class or learn how to practice it on your own. Take walks. Go to the gym.

If you want to head in the right direction, all you have to do is keep walking forward.

The Addictive Personality Part One

The Addictive Personality Part Two

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The Addictive Personality Part Two


Addictive Personalities

Part Two of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

Much has been written about genetic predisposition and its relationship to addictive personalities. Having an addict in the family does not guarantee that everyone in the family will become addicts. But many believe that hereditary factors can raise a person’s level of vulnerability to substance abuse or other addictions. That may explain why some gamble in moderation and others compulsively—why some can drink for enjoyment and others become alcoholics.

It does seem as if those with the genetic predisposition will engage in some type of excessive behavior but will not necessary choose the same stimuli they have been exposed to. Adult children of alcoholics may never drink but they may become addicted to gambling. Children of drug addicts may exercise excessively or be workaholics.

There is no single gene that determines a person’s susceptibility to addiction. Studies comparing identical and fraternal twins estimate that genetic factors account for 40 to 60 percent of the occurrence of the gene variation.

Researchers have discovered a number of genes that link to addiction through DNA testing. One gene causes dizziness and nausea from smoking and is more present in non-smokers than smokers. Alcoholism is rare in those who have two copies of the ALDH2 gene. Other genes have been linked to narcotic dependency.

Variants in certain genes have been shown to suppress dopamine signals in the brain. Those with these blunted receptors have the need to seek higher levels of stimulation to reach the same level of pleasure as those who don’t have the variants. DNA testing can offer vital clues in battling addiction but the use of it is very controversial. The concern is that some may use this information for discrimination purposes.

It comes down to the nature versus nurture argument. Environment and upbringing are believed to be equally important in shaping the personality. Our life circumstances and emotional experiences may have more influence than our genetic make-up does. Under this theory no matter our chemical make-up, we still have the ability to choose and control our actions.

There are factors that may indicate a higher risk of developing a serious addiction. People who have difficulty thinking about the long term consequences of their actions are more susceptible to developing an addiction. So are those who do everything in excess and/or to extremes, and those who habitually substitute one compulsion for another. For example, stressed out workaholics may come home at the end of the day and start drinking to help them relax. They may use cybersex because they don’t have time for real relationships. They may stress-eat.

Those with addictive personalities are most vulnerable during periods of heightened stress such as adolescence and times of transition. People who suffer from mental illnesses, emotional disorders, and personality disorders are highly prone to addiction as well. Without being aware that they have a condition, they may self-medicate to manage emotions using substances or behaviors to relieve whatever discomfort they may feel.

Nonconformists, non-achievers, and those with deviant personalities are also prime candidates for addiction. Many adult addicts report having been subjected to deprivation or overindulgence in their childhoods. Others report that they were negatively impacted by their parents’ constant, unpredictable fluctuation between over-praise and over-criticism.

Addictions are unmanageable, excessive, and repetitive. The addiction activity begins harmlessly with a pleasurable experience, but over time more and more of the activity is needed to achieve the same effect. People become dependent on the high they get and find it difficult to stop the behavior. If deprived of their fix they will find a substitute. If forced to stop the behavior they will suffer physical or psychological symptoms of withdrawal that compel them to resume the addiction. Over time they lose the ability to cope with life without the addictive stimuli.

People with addictions will deny that what they’re doing is detrimentally affecting them while work, family, and social relationships suffer and their health declines. Their desperation often lead them to take extremes in getting the fix, which ultimately creates financial and legal issues.

Addictions can be classified as hard or soft. Hard addictions, also known as substance addiction, are categorized by the rapid affect they have on many aspects of the person’s behavior as well as the effect they have on everyone around him or her. Abuse of alcohol, barbiturates, and narcotics are usually the source of this type of addiction. This is different than substance abusers who use from time to time. Substance addicts spend every waking moment finding ways to buy and use drugs or alcohol.

With soft addictions the abuser uses activities that are harmless to most people. The consequences of those behaviors are not immediately felt. Cigarette smoking and coffee drinking are two commonly known examples of soft addictions. It is much easier to hide soft addictions and cover up the behaviors that result from them. But soft-addictions have the propensity to lead to more serious addictions down the road.

Gambling is another common example of a soft addiction. Gamblers with addictive personalities go through three stages. In the first phase, also known as the winning phase, the person has control over his or her behavior. The second stage is known as the losing phase. In this phase the person begins gambling alone, gambling large sums of money, and borrowing cash to pay off mounting debt. The third phase is called the desperation phase. In this phase the gambler engages in more risky, sometimes illegal behavior. In desperation he or she may borrow money from non conventional sources.  Depression and attempted suicide are common in the third phase of gambling.

Other examples of soft addictions are eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and compulsive over-eating. Though there are other factors that contribute to this type of behavior, it can develop into pathological behavior that is very similar to addiction. The anorexic fixates on the goal of losing weight. Once the person begins dieting he or she finds it very hard to stop. Those with bulimia are after the same goal as those who are anorexic , but the mode of operation is different. Instead of limiting their diet they binge on large amounts of food and then purge it before their bodies have the chance to digest it. Compulsive eaters are not concerned with weight loss or weight gain, though the disorder often results in obesity. They have a compulsive urge to eat, whether hungry or not.

Something as beneficial as exercising can become a preoccupation or addiction to those who are predisposed to having one. Running is the most prevalent; runners are known to get a runner’s high and can become dependent on it. This is attributed to mood-enhancing chemicals called endorphins that are released during exercise. An addiction occurs when the exercise activity is used as an escape or a coping mechanism. It’s a problem when it becomes so excessive that the body suffers injury, and when it negatively impacts relationships.

Compulsive buying falls under the category of soft addictions. Those who do it are addicted to the buzz it gives them. It has nothing to do with what they are buying, it is simply their drug. They buy only for the sake of buying without ever intending to use it. Those with this disorder often suffer from other disorders such as depression, mood swings, and anxiety. Buying gives them temporary relief, but after they do it they feel heightened anxiety and intense guilt. One study showed that twenty percent of compulsive buyers suffer from an eating disorder as well.

The two newest additions to the soft-addiction category are Internet abuse and cell phone abuse. They are more prevalent in younger generations, though there is a significant number of older people who develop these addictions as well.

Those who have an Internet addiction, also known as pathological Internet use, find they cannot control their usage of it. They may be drawn to online games, social networking sites, or other online sites, and will spend an excessive amount of time there. The use becomes an addiction when withdrawal symptoms such as mood changes are suffered when they are away from it.

Some people become addicted to cyber relationships. A problem occurs when these relationships are used to avoid face to face, interpersonal interactions. This addiction can lead to social, psychological, and work or school problems.

A recent study shows that those who are addicted to cell phone use display behaviors very similar to those with addictive personalities—low self-esteem, approval seeking, insecurity. Cell phones have become indispensable in our lives, but they can reinforce the tendency of over-attachment for those with addictive personalities.

The Addictive Personality Part One

The Addictive Personality Part Three

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The Addictive Personality, Part One

Addictive Personalities

Part One of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

How do you envision someone with an addictive personality? Do you picture an alcoholic, someone strung out on drugs, a chain smoker, or a gambler down on his luck?

Addictive behaviors are commonly thought of as behaviors that impair a person’s ability to function. Often they do but not all addictive behaviors have that effect. Some addictive behaviors do not negatively influence or impact the person’s life.

Many people are unaware that they even have the tendency because their behavior doesn’t fit the image they have in their mind of those who do. Someone with an addictive personality can turn a positive activity, such as exercising, into an obsession. As one mental health expert put it, healthy people plan exercise around their life. Addicts plan their life around exercise.

Those with addictive personalities have urges other people don’t have that can impede their ability to make good decisions. They have the tendency to do things that are fine in moderation, things that those without addictive personalities do with no problem, and become addicted to them. They are prone to becoming dependent on substances, activities, and other people—just about anything. And they are especially at high at risk of becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, pornography, exercise, work, and codependency.

It is theorized that 15% of American people have a predisposition to addiction. Doctors and clinicians still debate whether or not the addictive personality exists. The National Institute on Drug Abuse calls it a brain disease. Though addictive personality has not been classified as a personality disorder by the American Psychological Association, there are common traits that those with the tendency have—certain characteristics that make them more susceptible to physical or psychological dependencies that may negatively impact their quality of life. Not everyone demonstrating these characteristic will develop an addiction.

A common characteristic of the addictive personality is poor stress management skills. Without the benefit of healthy coping skills they are prone to using substances, activities, or other people as a way to manage their emotional discomfort and alleviate stress. They have the tendency to self-medicate, believing they are only using it symptomatically, but in fact are using it as a way to cope with life. Some have social anxiety or have trouble letting their guard down.  Substances help them let go and have fun.

Many with addictive personalities suffer from insecurity or are excessive approval seekers. They may use substances such as drugs and alcohol to provide a temporary sense of worth, a pseudo-identity. Though they are aware that the sense of worth achieved that way is false, they like the way it feels and crave it more and more. They may turn to addictive substances in order to deal with insecurity, or they may ultimately feel powerless to stop an addiction once it starts.

Another marker of the addictive personality is the lack of ability to get in touch with feelings. The feelings are there but they may be too painful to look at. Feeling makes them feel vulnerable and out of control. This causes someone to focus outward, searching for anything that makes them feel good inside and comforts them.

Those with addictive personalities often have the need for instant gratification. They crave the quick, powerful feeling that makes them feel good in ways nothing else can. The euphoric feeling is short lived so they are constantly seeking more. This sometimes occurs with those who have obsessive or compulsive personalities, and those who are perfectionists.

The inability to form emotional attachments with other people is another characteristic of those with addictive personalities. Many of these people are unable to make relationship commitments. Some alienate themselves from others believing that trusting relationships are unattainable. Some have brief, superficial relationships filled with emotional turmoil, and often with those who also have addictive personalities or are abusive. Substances such as drugs or alcohol become substitutes for the bond they lack with others.

The Addictive Personality Part Two

The Addictive Personality Part Three

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Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part Three

 You Are Living Your Life But Are You Living Your Legacy?

Conclusion of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

You may not realize it but your life has been influenced by or benefited from the lives of those who have gone before you; your parents, grandparents, great grandparents. They have brought you to this station in your life.

Everything that happens to us trickles down in some way and affects the lives of our descendants. Each of us is a byproduct of all the ancestors that preceded us. They have left us the reality we currently live in. Their values and achievements affect our lives in ways we may not even realize.

If your life is not written down or recorded in some way, the memory of who you are will fade with the years. You do not have to write a book to document your life. Many people are not motivated or are unable to do that. But everyone can keep a diary or journal. We can all video or audio record aspects of ourselves that we want to share and live on. How exciting would it be to suddenly discover the diary of a long-deceased relative? Wouldn’t it be fascinating to hear how life was in those days?

We want to be remembered for how we lived, not how we died. We want to share the gifts we have with others while our eyes are open. We want to leave this Earth with no grudges or regrets. We must live every day as if it is our last, because it very well could be.

In the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Author Stephen Covey gives an exercise that involves writing our own eulogy. He says when planning our legacies we should think about our lives with the end in mind, not out of morbidity but to give us a clear focus of how we want our lives to turn out. The eulogy is to be written from the perspective of four speakers; a family member, a co-worker, a member of your house of worship, and a friend. We are to ask ourselves what these people would say about us if we died today.

These eulogies become mission statements that help us define the legacy we hope to leave. They help us determine where we are now and where we need to go to reach our destination. Covey says that our mind creates a thought first and then a physical action follows. So thinking about the end helps us to manifest the things we want.

There are no guarantees that your legacy will live on exactly as you hope it will. Some people feel more comfortable prearranging a plan of action for the legacy they want to leave. That method will boost the probability that their wishes will be fulfilled. If there is money, property, custody issues, or other assets involved that is advisable. But you do not have to have material assets or even a plan to leave a legacy.

Be the kind of person you want others to remember. Be a giver not a taker. Keep your outlook on the brighter side of life. Be grateful for everything that comes to you. Take the good with the bad. Be honest and true in all your dealings. Be courageous and faithful. Be kind and understanding. Inspire others with the way you live your life.

Love your family enough to plan ahead for the day when you will no longer be here. Tie up all your loose ends so your family is not left with a complicated mess to clean up after you are gone. If you have children or close relatives and don’t have a will it is wise to have one drawn up. Make your wishes known. Families divide and fall apart when there is a death and the deceased did not make his or her wishes clear.

Evaluate the way you live your life and the memories you hope to leave behind. Touch as many lives as you can. Leave an imprint you can be proud of. Be aware, live consciously, and act deliberately. Make it a priority to begin living your legacy today. Tomorrow cannot wait—it may never come.

Author Shannon Alder summed this all up perfectly when she wrote, “Regrets are the last words you speak to your loved ones when you die and the one thing we all fear when we live. I’d rather regret the things I’ve done and said than regret the things I haven’t done or said. It is all the experiences and people you missed out on in life that you will feel the most regretful for in the end. God will forgive you of your mistakes, but there is nothing to forgive if you have never even tried, done or said anything that made a difference in your life or others.”

Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part One

Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part Two

 

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Living the Legacy You Hope To Leave Behind Part Two

You Are Living Your Life But Are You Living Your Legacy?

Part Two of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

A life lived virtuously and consciously ripples and reverberates eternal. That is the legacy of unsung heroes.

That is one of the legacies I hope to leave behind and try to live every aspect of my life with that goal in mind. There is a part of me, the ego part I suppose, that wants to see the difference I am making. I also know that there is so much I cannot see that profoundly affects my life, the lives of others, the universe, and the spiritual world. I don’t necessarily have to see the total impact my life is making to know that I am making one.

Those of us who have children will certainly leave a legacy for them. If we love our children, the legacy we leave should be a positive one.

My goal in raising my children was to break the dysfunctional patterns of my heritage, the problematic legacy that had been left for me. It took most of my life to break the debilitating cycle I inherited but through tenacity I succeeded. I got professional help for myself and made conscious choices in raising my children. I refused to subject them to a life of emotional uphill climbing; to emotionally saddle them with the problems of my past.

They have been fortunate to not have to back-pedal through life as I did. They are both living wonderful, successful, progressive, and happy lives. They are making healthy choices. That is the legacy I will leave them and the generations that come after them. If I accomplish nothing else in life, I will leave this Earth fulfilled.

Everyone has a different perspective so not everyone will see things from my point of view. My perspective works for me and I hope to inspire others with it. But there are many ways that we can impact the future and leave our mark on it, many ways we can leave a legacy that will stand the test of time.

Step outside of yourself for a minute and view yourself from the outside looking in. How do others see you? Evaluate your morals, values, and beliefs. Would you be proud for others to follow in your footsteps? Assess what areas you can improve on and then take action immediately.

As long as you live and breathe you can change what is not working in your life. The problem is we never know when we will stop living and breathing. That is why we should never hesitate to make positive changes as soon as we realize they need to be made.

A legacy is a reflection of your uniqueness and self-expression. What personality traits or innate gifts do you possess that seem to have the most impact on others? Is it your morals and character, your generous heart, your ability to inspire others, or your peaceful nature? Is it your talents, your sense of humor, your idiosyncrasies, or your intellect?

Now think about the interests and issues that arouse your enthusiasm. Do you want to make a difference in causes such as child abuse, animal abuse, homelessness, health issues, or better education for our children? Are you civic minded and strive for changes in your community or country? Are you passionate about making global changes such as world peace, saving the environment, world hunger, or stopping the spread of disease?

Next think about the largess of your impact. Do you want to leave a legacy for your children and grandchildren? Will you be happy with a legacy that stays within the family tree for generations to come? Would you like to make a difference in someone’s life through vehicles such as adoption, foster care, or volunteering? Do you want to impact the survivors of a cause? Are you hoping to be famous? Do you want to leave your indelible mark on mankind?

Once you have narrowed down the area or areas you would like to focus on you may need a plan to help you implement it. Your plan should include short-term and long-term strategies. Be flexible and understand that you cannot achieve everything at once. Life is a series of processes. Life is continuously unfolding. Everything shifts and changes over time. Your reality today may not be your reality tomorrow, next month, or next year.

Evaluate where you are now in your life and then think about the direction you want your legacy to take you. How will you implement moving towards your goal? Perhaps you have gifts that you have not shared with others and would like to; assets you believe others would benefit from. Maybe you have regrets about something you have done to someone in the past and have not yet made amends for, but hope to. Maybe you have been longing to document your life in a journal or write a book.

Planning the legacy you want to leave for the generations who follow after you is a loving act. None of us will live forever but we should all leave behind a positive part of us that will.

Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part One

Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part Three

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Living the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part One

You Are Living Your Life But Are You Living Your Legacy?

Part One of a Three Part Article Written by Randi G. Fine

Have you ever asked yourself what your ultimate purpose is; what you are supposed to add to this world and what imprint you will leave on it? Are you living the legacy you hope to leave behind?

Author Ray Bradbury wrote in his book Fahrenheit 451, “Everyone must leave something behind when he dies. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die. It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”

Each of us will leave a legacy behind after we pass on; that is a given. It doesn’t matter how young or old we are; we never know when our days are up. Would you be proud of the legacy you left behind if your life ended today?

We should each aspire to live our lives every day in ways that cast a positive light on us. Furthermore our lives should set an example that others who follow after us will benefit from.

In essence, living a legacy requires consideration for tomorrow. That does not mean living for the future. To focus on our legacies we must certainly consider future outcomes.  But living our legacies means making each moment count, living each moment with intention.

An intention is a course of action, physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, that one intends to follow. It is an objective or vision that guides our thoughts, attitudes, and choices. We send our intentions out in the form of a thought but we must fulfill their destination with our deliberate actions. This is important because you are building your legacy every day, whether by intention or not.

A life that just happens does not inspire anyone. No one will remember it. So the most important question to ask ourselves when planning our legacy is, “In what light do I want to be remembered. Will others see my life as having been lived to the fullest, or will they see it as a life of someone who just got by?”

Ultimately we have no control over how others will remember us, but we certainly can influence it. To do that we must have a direction—we must identify what we want to contribute and achieve while we are here.

Whatever we achieve in life, the knowledge we acquire, and the challenges we rise above, gets passed down through the generations that follow after us. Our words and actions become ripples in the sea of time. They will impact the lives of our family, friends, and community, and continue to carry on long after we are gone. The legacy of our lives will impact the lives of those we hold dearest—our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and future generations. Our words and actions of today influence the way we will be remembered tomorrow. What stories and memories will you leave behind?

Everyone will be remembered for something. We all hope to be remembered in a positive light. That memory is influenced by the way we live our day to day life, by our attitudes, outlooks, values, and convictions. It is better to be remembered as an optimistic person than a pessimistic person. It is better to be remembered for our inner strength than for our weakness. It is better to be remembered as a faithful person than one who is faithless. And it is better to be remembered as one who is kind than one who is hostile.

Are you living a life of intention or do you merely exist? Are you living the life that is best suited for you and your uniqueness or are you living the life that others want you to live? Are you following your heart or following the crowd?

What kind of legacy do you envision for yourself? Do you hope to leave a legacy of love?

If so there are many ways for you to do that. You can be a loyal, true person who supports and celebrates the successes of others. You can treat others with compassion, and kindness. You can love deeply and unconditionally. You can teach others to fight for what they believe in. You can advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. You can be charitable. You can be accepting and forgiving. You can nurture and respect all creation; the Earth, animals, and the family of mankind. You can love life. You can spread light. You can love yourself. And you can allow others to love you.

Perhaps the legacy you want to leave is one of purpose.

Leaving a legacy of purpose requires living for purposes greater than our selves. To live for purpose we must positively impact the world while we are here as well as long after we are gone. We can do that through the generosity of our time and service or through financial endowments. Some people donate money while they are alive. Some bequest their estates to charities, religious institutions, or scholarship funds after they pass on. But one does not have to have money to leave a legacy of purpose. For most people it is the work they do in life that leaves a legacy of purpose, whether for individuals, a business, a foundation, a non-profit organization, school, or religious institutions.

You may hope to leave a legacy of excellence or inspiration.

You can accomplish this by pursuing excellence in something or everything to inspire excellence in those around you. You can encourage others to raise the bar on their own standards. Strive to make a difference in whatever situation you are committed to whether through outstanding teaching, school, charitable work, parenting, the arts, or the business world. Inspire and teach others to have hope, whether through your words or messages, or by quiet example. Call on the adversity you have risen above or the difficult feats you have bravely achieved to accomplish wonderful things with your life. Your diligence and optimistic outlook is what helped you reach and exceed your goals. Others are empowered by your exemplary life, and the legacy continues.

You can also leave a legacy of encouragement.

Be someone who encourages and stands behind others cheering them on. Know how to treat people with respect. Make others feel special. Be generous with praise and gentle with criticism. Lend a helpful hand to those who are giving their best effort but may still be struggling. Be considerate of the well-being of others. Offer help to those who are striving to reach their goals. Parents, spouses, friends, teachers, and coworkers have the greatest opportunities to leave legacies of encouragement.

Leaving a legacy does not require financial wealth or notoriety. There are many unsung heroes walking or who have walked this Earth. Each of us plays an essential part in the overall puzzle of life. All our lives have meaning, influence, and purpose. Each of us has something remarkable to pass on to our descendants and to the world.

Leaving the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind  Part Two

Leaving the Legacy You Hope to Leave Behind Part Three

Posted in Compassion, Empathy, Guidance/Advice, Integrity, Life, Personal Success, Quotes | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments