A legacy is something passed down from the past. Usually we think of property, money, inheritances or even positions or titles but a legacy is something so much more. It is the essence of who we were during our lifetime. Usually our legacy is something we think of regarding our children and grandchildren. During this Yuletide season have you thought of what your legacy is? What you would like it to be?
Do we ever stop to think what our legacy is to our children on a daily basis? How kind were we, how compassionate were we, how well did we really listen to our children's needs, how forgiving, how loving. An act of a minutes anger can leave our children with a legacy of mistrust. Many acts of anger, whether towards our children or others in our lives, can insure that the legacy we leave behind is not a positive one.
Yes, a nice inheritance may be nice for our children but our daily actions and how we handle our lives are what is really important. Our children should know that life is meant to be joyful and fun, not overrun with heartache and misery. Others do not steer our course, only we have the ability to choose what direction we take in any given situation. We can choose joy or we can choose misery and disappointment.
The holidays can be such a stressful time for so many, but when we take the time to consider our ancestors and the legacy they gave us - in many ways they have shown us what this winter season was truly meant for. Yule is the point of rebirth and renewal. It is a time to slow down, travel less, contemplate more. What have we done over the past year? What will we do with the next year?
Are we angry a lot or in a regular state of depression? Do we blame others for what they have forced onto our life? Do we argue and fight, allow guilt and overwhelming obligations to family and friends dictate what we do in our daily lives? What does this tell our children? That life just isn't all that great. That to grow up is to feel pain and suffer. That to have anything good in our lives is selfish and not within our control. That others have the power to steer our future in any direction they choose.
This is not a legacy worth sharing. As a Witch, I can only speak to a Witches legacy. What I have learned within my life and spiritual practices. That God is seen in many faces and many forms. That my way is not the only way, nor the only true, correct way. That no one has the ability to steer my future unless I hand them my power - which I will not do. That to care for myself, to make myself my top priority is not selfish but the only way to live my true and authentic life. That life is meant to be joyful and fun. That I have infinite possibilities and it is only my inability to believe in these possibilities that holds me back. That everyone deserves the right to be happy and I have no right to demand that they should do as I say or want. That honesty with compassion, even if difficult to speak, is always the better choice. That many times it is best to stay silent and just listen. That everyone has a right to their own opinion no matter how opposite or irrational it may seem to me. That I need no one to speak for me or dictate to me how I need to see God because the source of our creation flows through me every second of every day whether I feel it or not. That every day I have a new chance to change my fate and bring absolute abundance into my life. That the laws that are enacted, the wars that are fought, the religions that preach sin and hatred of others who are different come from a place so detached from what we call God that they are not worth my attention. That every relationship we form is eternal and even if painful, it is a lesson we needed. It is a lesson to see what we really want and take the leap of faith to have it is always worth it.
These are some of the larger life lessons that I would choose for my legacy. There are smaller ones as well such as, television and the media are really a waste of time and only stand in the way of life's joy. Animals and pets really do make life a better place. We can learn a lot from the innocent joy of our children and our emotions are our way of figuring out whether we are heading in the right direction or not. Meditation is the best and fastest way to connect with the gods and our true selves, magick is very real and not something in fairytales and fancies and no matter what path my children choose in life - I will always stand behind them with love and support whether I am here in this physical body or not.
If I can leave my children with this knowledge, if they can know with absolute certainty that they really can have everything they want in life, I will be handing them the world. I do not want them to see my pain or anger at another as an excuse to feel the same - or worse, an excuse to build a wall around themselves to keep those experiences at a 'safe' distance. Whether it be towards a family member, a spouse, a friend, an ex, the teller at the bank or the stranger walking down the street - all of our experiences are valuable to us. All of these experiences and relationships help us see more and more clearly what we want in life. They give us goals and aspirations. Yes, even the painful ones. We experience the things in life we do not want, which allows us to strive for what we do want. Without these experiences how would we truly know our true selves? The trick is to see what we don't want and as quickly as possible begin thinking and feeling our way in the direction of what we do want, one baby step at a time. To spend our days going over the what if's, how could they have done/said that to me, what could have been different - these do nothing but keep us trapped in the past and we can never be happy in the past. To keep ourselves in a place of anger, depression, vengeance and hatred will only bring more of those things into our lives. To allow what someone else said or did to pave the path of our future, to so completely submit ourselves to someone else's control is so beneath us all. This is not what we would ever want to pass on to our children, but we will if we do not show them a better way.
As a Witch I know that what I call God and Goddess is just the form that feels right and true for me. This may not be true for my children, and that is alright as long as they are following the path that feels right to them. As a Witch I know that I hold magick within my very essence and I want to share this with my children. As a Witch I know that what I do, say, think and feel return to me threefold and that I want the good to flow naturally to my children while the bad are distant and foreign to them. As a Witch, an ordained minister and High Priestess I've seen many different paths and forms of Paganism and even among ourselves we can disagree on the right way to call the quarters, invoke the God and Goddess, celebrate the Esbats and Sabbats, set up an alter, cleanse and consecrate our sacred space and tools and teach our children our path. But I know that there is no one way or right way of doing any of these things. When we calm our minds and reach for our connection with the God/Goddess we will do what is right for us, in the way that is right for us because there has never been only one way and there never will be. As a Witch I know that the diversity that surrounds us is our greatest strength and asset and never something to demean, hate or fear. As a Witch I know that the relationships and interactions I have on a daily basis, the good ones and even more so the bad ones, will show my children what life is. What life can become and even more importantly, what they can expect from life within these physical bodies during this lifetime.
As Wiccan/Pagan/Witches and as parents we know that what we call reality is such a subjective term. What is reality except what is in this exact moment? But now that moment is gone and it is the next with its reality, but again that is now gone and the next moment of reality is upon us. And why exactly do we need to put every ounce of energy into the right now when we could be allowing the right now to reform an even more joyful future by not allowing the right now, the reality of each and every moment, to hold us back from our birthright as human beings living on this planet in this time and place? Our birthright as the very essence of creation, of the God and Goddess themselves, is to live in joy and love and happiness. If enough of us can share this knowledge and wisdom with our children, the evils of this world, the bad of this world, would no longer have the feeling and emotion to sustain itself within our reality.
This is the legacy I choose to strive for, for myself and for my children. Not one of bickering and arguing, of guilt and selfish obligations, of harsh words and un-forgiveness, of allowing others to dictate my feelings and emotions, of pain and misery, of mourning and living in a past that is no more. Of working hard and fighting my way through life rather than flowing with it, in destroying rather than creating, of no second chances. This is not the life for me, nor the legacy I will leave behind. My legacy is that of a Witch.
Have you taken time to think of the daily legacy you leave with your children? This is the perfect time, the perfect season, the perfect chance. No regrets, no second thoughts of the past and what could have or should have been - just what you will do this day, this moment. All else is irrelevant and not worth our attention for one second longer. Don't just leave a legacy behind once you are no longer in your current physical body, live it each and every day.