(an excerpt from It’s Not About the Sex, Chapter Eleven)
In my book It’s Not About the Sex, Chapter Eleven was originally developed during my coach training when I began pondering the bigger existential questions of purpose, meaning, and legacy. Here is an excerpt:
Purpose and Direction
You might feel eager to move into action before you’ve established direction or purpose. For example, you want to start dating but haven’t given yourself time and space to come up with a safe dating plan. The first step is to slow down and listen to your unique rhythm. What matters most to you about dating again? Rather than moving immediately into action, consider how you would like to go about this differently at this point in your recovery. If you have a coach, use them as a sounding board to prepare you for a thoughtful entry back into the dating world.
Life is short and unpredictable, so from this point forward, consider what you would like to leave behind. It may be a material item or a character trait, and it can be big or small. Most of us don’t think about our legacy because that requires thinking about death, and end-of-life issues are taboo in our society. But considering your and other people’s legacies can be inspiring. My grandmother lived a simple life, but the tremendous love she shared with my family lives on. Because our hearts were so closely intertwined, her legacy lives on in me. She wasn’t a woman of strong financial means, but the way she donated her time and energy to others was bountiful. Nobody can ever replace her incomparable baking, and she fed me in so many other ways too that I am forever grateful. As I stated, my grandmother and my dog were the two primary reasons I survived my chaotic childhood. They are part of my Universal Energy.
How would you like to be remembered?
Colin: As someone who mattered in people’s lives. Did I make a difference in this world? Did I touch people in a way that affected them in a loving way?
Alex: I want to be remembered as someone kind and gentle who didn’t take himself too seriously. I want to say that I was someone who lived in my heart, not in my head.
Seth: That I’m a really good dad and partner.
Mario: As an agent of serenity, reassurance, and support.
Robert: As truthful and joyful, with a sense of humor and depth.
As I ask myself this same question, it feels too big for words. My calling has been to help others be their best selves and experience love and deeper connection. But to put it another way, I believe my legacy is to give back what I’ve been given. Much love has been freely shared with me. So how would I like to be remembered? As a human who tried.
- Don’t be intimidated by spirituality. It’s whatever gives your life meaning. Using this perspective, find what spirituality means to you.
- Purpose includes love, kindness, beauty, and compassion. Be mindful of these elements in your everyday life. Track them for thirty days, and notice what happens inside of you.
- A mission statement is a spiritual compass. If your actions and values align, you’ll move forward with ease and flow. Write a mission statement that combines your values with actions and receivers.
- One of recovery’s most powerful gifts is the opportunity to give back to others. That generosity of spirit will be your legacy. Name a few recent occasions when you demonstrated other-centeredness most fully.