I don’t often post about personal happenings in this spot, but this week’s card (in our month-long “Colourful decks” theme) came through the perfect synchronicity of pulling cards, and it ties into something that I have been feeling today, when sad news hit and thinking about through the month. For some, December is a time of riding high in the saddle, a bounty of progress and making inroads and positive changes – and for some it represents some heart challenges on a deep level and I’m in the latter category. In a short period of time, two dear friends have passed away seemingly far too soon and it’s made me think a lot about life and the legacy that we give to others in our relatively short time on Earth.
No, this post is not supposed to be a bummer that will make you grasp for the egg nog a little early, it’s something important! Throughout these untimely losses, I’ve missed my friends (because even though the spirit and experience of someone lives on longer than physical life, the ability to ring them on the phone, or see them again in person… leaves and indelible etching in the heart) but I’ve also been thinking a lot about what we leave behind when we’re no longer in the physical world. I used to wonder “What makes us worthy? What makes us succeed in life? What’s it all about?” There were times in my life where I’ve tried to figure it out, and to apply some magic formula. Ultimately, I have decided that the real formula is so much simpler than I ever thought.
Out value of ourselves changes constantly; … from whether we have the sharpest crayons, to whether we are liked in the 2nd grade, to if we have the right clothes, to if we get in the best schools, to if we have enough money, to if we raise our children to be productive and loving members of society, to if so and so likes us…. the list goes on and on. But, throughout those changes in how we identify ourselves as successful (or failing miserably) it seems as though others have a view of us that is entirely outside what we think of ourselves and the yard-stick we measure our lives by. In spite of our efforts, they come to their experience of us in their own way and in their own time.
I think of Robin Williams again, another person who has succumbed to depression and illness in this year — how he must have sometimes felt failed by life, or that he himself failed – and yet in the days and months after his passing people remember and endless list of memories of his generosity and powerful positive impact on their lives. Both of my friends now gone similarly have a wave of brothers, daughters, friends, parents and loved ones streaming forward with the memories of a legacy of kindness, talent and loyalty. During the adventure and excitement of life, it’s a shame that we often don’t get to see the impact we’re making as we play out the game.
See that gentle, floating, apricot coloured feather? Like George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” – you’re seeing how important you are, not by Clarence the guardian angel or being on the brink, but in seeing the important impact you make on others. This week, no matter how you’re measuring yourself – whether you’re seeing how much money you have to spend on Christmas presents, or whether you’re considering your contributions to humanity, or whether you’re weighing out your value in some other ego way remember: the impact you have that MATTERS is through your kindness, your thoughtfulness in a thousand little things you do every day that you don’t even pay attention to. You matter to people you don’t think remember you, you matter to people who have barely known you, and you’re much more important than you think. Time and again, over the last month I’ve heard friends regale in tales of small turns of kindness, thoughtfulness or beauty that I KNOW my friends would be surprised to hear, “So and so remembers THAT? “ — but which stuck for years in the envelope of heart and mind. From home baked meals, arguments to the PTA, movie nights to heartfelt conversations long forgotten, everything stays in the memory of the soul.
This is a really good week to remember how kind you can be, how truly wonderful you really are. THAT is what will be remembered and make an impact on the world in your presence. At the end of the day (this day and the last) the thing that matters most is the things we do for others in kindness and love. This expands on the “compassion” card that came up last month. It doesn’t matter if you made the perfect holiday roast. It doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if you sold your house, or got that awesome job. It doesn’t matter if you got the best Disney Frozen toy on Black Friday. None of the children stepped up to the lecturn and said, “My mom got me a Barbie!” – it was the time spent with them, the kindness, the fearlessness and the personal interest that matter at the end of the day.
During this time of the year it’s easy to lose sight of things that matter as we’re in the home stretch of 2014. Keep focused on the things (kindness, being here!) that matter most.. not on the ten billion and one things that don’t. Applaud all the acts of kindness that you perform regularly and for others, and for your caring communication and thoughtfulness. You matter a LOT to someone…. a lot of someones, in fact. So keep spreading your kindness and gifts and remember those near and far who have shared those gifts with you too! (Maybe an angel somewhere is earning their apricot wings!)
About this deck: The Angel Feather Oracle Card Deck by Michelle Newton is a 44 card deck available as a deck or on Android and iPhone.
If you or a loved one suffer from depression, or a physical ailment, or overwhelm this holiday season please get help. Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)