At the end of this eventful year, I have been making remembrance of all happenings, experiences, blessings, hurts, challenges, losses and triumphs which have occurred in my life during 2018.
I recently celebrated another birthday. Among the many best wishes I received through messages, texts, calls, and face to face, most of them celebrated my life, my accomplishments, my virtues, my service. There were many who expressed appreciation for the times my life has touched theirs; others who made mention of how they admire my self assurance, my strengths, my skills, and efforts on behalf of others.
Among the most touching, was the message I received from one of my own nieces. This is still a very young woman who wrote “…I will always be your number one fan…I am very proud of what you have accomplished throughout your life…and (for) always staying true to yourself…”
Now, I am just an ordinary woman, assailed by the same self-doubts anyone has from time to time, and one who because I know myself best, I am very much aware of my many weaknesses and shortcomings, so all of these accolades truly surprised me.
These past weeks I have been asking myself, what am I projecting out there? What do I wish my life to mean and be? How about the legacy I want to leave behind?
I very especial person in my life at one point taught me, “There once was a time when the Jewish idea of heaven and hell was the thoughts and opinions people had of you after you died.”
Just two weeks ago, I lost a very dear cousin of mine, who left us very suddenly, and only three weeks after a very dire diagnosis was made. The last words she told me were about her hope of seeing me again soon, and how we would “go on celebrating life then.”
I believe we live on after death and we will see each other again some day, so I know that her hope will come true in the future. But what of today? How do I make sense of what I face now, and find a way to give “meaning, purpose and direction,” to my life?
Every new year, I like to remember what has transpired in my life. This is something I learned from my own father, who taught, “It is when we forget how many times God has come through for us, that we complain about what we are facing in the now.”
Later, I would learn the same through the scriptures which teach us that murmuring comes to those who harden their hearts to past blessings.
I do not want to be a person who hardens her heart to anything or anyone. Not to God who I owe everything I am and have to. Nor to my fellow being who needs me for who I am, and for what I have and can share with him or her.
So after much pondering and reflection, I’ve decided that I will do this with integrity, with morality, with gratitude, with honesty, with good ethics, and humility.
I will make sure my life, and the way I live it, MEANS that I believe in a God who is in the details of my life, who knows me and most importantly, loves me unconditionally.
I will make sure I live my life with the PURPOSE of accountability, making sure I do not blame others for mistakes I make, and allowing my life to become my greatest testimony of what I believe in, because I live it.
Lastly, I will steer the rest of that life still ahead, whether is long or short, in the right DIRECTION by making sure I “stay true to myself”regardless of what is at stake, because my word is my bond, and I do not believe I am entitled to anything, nor stand above anyone else for I accept all others who do not act or think as I do.
Only then, will I believe I have earned the right to those good opinions people seem to have of me, and on my epitaph hopefully will result on someone etching, “she is in Heaven now.”
Happy New Year, my friends!