It’s not the honors and the prizes and the fancy outsides of life which ultimately nourish our souls. It’s the knowing that we can be trusted, that we never have to fear the truth, that the bedrock of our very being is good stuff
As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has- or ever will have- something inside that is unique to all time. It’s our job to encourage each other to discover that uniqueness and to provide ways of developing its expressionFred (Mr.) Rogers
When it’s all gone, something carries on… When my blood stops, someone else’s will have not. When my head rolls off, someone else’s will turn.
You can mark my words, I’ll make changes to earth
While I’m alive, I’ll make tiny changes to earthFrightened Rabbit, “Head Rolls Off”
Audrey, Lucy, and Jack,
I’ll use this part to pass on whatever “sage” advice I’ve learned through the act of both living and also through learning to die. I am not passing these along under any guise that I was a perfect person (far from it), or that I always followed them myself. They are just more or less “truths” that I’ve arrived at that I hope that you can learn to embrace at a stage much earlier than I did.
1) Happiness and love are the two most valuable things that you will ever possess in this life. Don’t ever lean on or sacrifice those things for anything. Not to please someone. Not for money. Not for material possessions. Hold these things close to your heart. Because they are the core of life.
2) There is no other “you” in the world. So what do you have to offer it? What do your unique talents, personalities and perspective have to offer the world? Think about those things and use them to make some tiny changes to the earth while you are still alive. Make tiny changes every day. They might have a ripple effect that you never even get to see. Do them anyway. All three of you are the “tiny changes” that I am most proud of in my life. My greatest happiness in life has been to have you and to know that I am sending three authentic, amazing people out into the world for long after I am gone.
3) Purpose is vital to happiness. When you lose it you lose direction and all kinds of other bad things and dependencies swoop in to take it’s place. Always have a purpose, and if life throws you around and you lose it? Find another one.
4) Love yourself. Love your crazy. Love your loud. Love your creativity. Love your sense of Justice. I know that I already love all of those things about each of you.
5) Be your own truth, and tell the truth. But be prepared. Many people will want to squeeze the authenticity right out of you. They might punish or isolate you for refusing to conform and put on a facade. Being your truth will at times have unintended consequences. Decide what things to fight for and what things can wait another day. An added bonus to honest living- not ever having to cover, hide or lie to protect the truth.
6) Always try be a good person. All three of you already are. Please note that I didn’t say perfect (anyone claiming or projecting that is probably a fraud, btw) but do try to be good. By that, I mean always try to do the right thing by your values, and by your conscience. Nothing you can get by crossing your own sense of right and wrong will ever be worth gaining guilt or regret. Or not loving yourself as much as you deserve because of it. You will screw up time and time again. Know that when you do, tomorrow’s a new day. Tomorrow is another chance to make the right decisions toward being the best version of yourself that you can be.
7) You can only control yourself. You will meet many people in your life below your level in terms of character and means of discourse. The world will always have toxic people. Never lower yourself to try to meet them eye-to-eye. If they have proven that they can’t meet you at the higher level it’s better to limit interaction altogether than give up any of your time or happiness to them.
8) Don’t give up. Work hard for the things, people and passions that matter. But don’t sacrifice your people and passions for work that doesn’t matter.
9) Understand that there are some things beyond your control. Fix the things you can, but have the foresight that I did not have to recognize the things that you can’t. There will be horrible things that break your heart that are driven by forces beyond your control. Don’t sacrifice your health and well-being to ruminations and anger. Be angry, be sad, be hurt. Cry at the injustice. And then let it go.
10) Know that who you choose as your life partner is very important. Do not settle for anything less than you deserve. Do not settle for anyone that loves themselves more than you. Do not settle for anything less than what your Mommy and Daddy had. This will be a bigger determinant of your future happiness than you can even imagine.
I have so much more to say, but I fear that if I go any further that it will just become rambling that will dilute all of the good stuff. So I will stop again for now.
See what I’ve done? I’ve done a darn good job at putting off the hardest stuff, still. I need to write a personal message to each one of you individually. That will be the subject for a future entry, when I am well-stocked with tissues.
With love. Always,