Many of you know I own KW’s First Eco Friendly Salon Spa and Energy Space, Hybrid Hair and Detox Spa. We talk about ‘Foot Print’ all the time as far as the imprint we leave on the ecosystem of the planet. But today I’m talking about another kind of Foot Print. One we leave on culture, humanity, and each other in our intimate relationships with close family and friends.
As yet another family member is taken from cancer this week, the second person I have known to pass from it in the past month, I am taken to a place of reflection. If I were to pass, heaven forbid, what Foot Print would I leave on those around me? My community? My culture? I know many would remember my efforts to create awareness around environmental causes and self care, but I wonder how many would remember my efforts to share unconditional love? Have I been recognized in as many relationships as possible as patient, kind and loving? Have I shown forgiveness, for forgiveness sake and for my own sanity regardless of whether healing occurred in the relationship or not? Have I shown humility and patience with others when they had none for me? In a world that is disillusioned and distracted with consumerism, I ask that you cautiously regard your motivation behind your life? Are your actions community based, relationship based, or goal driven and consumer driven? A recent post on facebook from the vantage point of loss in its immediate nature thanks to social media provides motivating insight on how this could be your safe vantage point from which to embrace an ahha moment!
“In Fort McMurray, Canada, a massive wildfire is raging. The entire population, over 80,000 people, have been evacuated.
In the midst of the chaos, One Fort McMurray citizen, John MacIsaac, wrote a touching account of the harrowing experience:”
‘I am laying here in the dark on the floor of a camp room. My family was fortunate enough to get a room but I know not everyone was as lucky. Right now I am so jealous of my children because they have no fears, no sense of loss about everything. It’s actually calming for me to reassure my daughter that her toys don’t matter, and that the few personal items we got out are more than we need.
It’s funny because as I stare in the dark I keep telling myself that the words running through my head aren’t true. The words “it’s all gone” won’t pass. But I keep reminding myself of what I know to be true more than ever. I have everything in this room with me. When I was leaving our home I looked all around and tried to decide what was important enough to take and the answer was nothing. Nothing mattered except my family. It still doesn’t. And I feel so grateful because when I tried to leave town south bound I was delegates from my wife and my daughter Olivia, and I had my daughter Emma with me. I got to a point where I couldn’t go further and the highway was covered in flames and I didn’t think we would make it out. I looked at my angel and I have never felt such a fear. Such dread thinking I wouldn’t be able to save what I hold dear. That’s what I can’t shake. What I can’t let go. And while I trembled and shook; my little girl in all her innocence smiled at me and was laughing and wanted to play.
I’m writing this for two reasons. One because I need to let some of this out of my head, and two because I hope it will make everyone squeeze your kids a little tighter this week. Read them an extra bed time story. Give them an ice cream and watch them smile. Call your sister you are angry at and make up, or your brother you haven’t had time to chat with in a while and say hi. Tell your loved ones they are loved and make time for a family dinner. Everything else is bullshit. It does not matter.
McMurray has given me everything. My wife. My children. My career. My friends. My greatest memories and milestones. And tonight as I write I still have all those things.
As I left town tonight I saw emergency workers still working. Risking their lives to get us all out. Police. Paramedics. Firefighters. I saw camp workers going up to the desk of their camp trying to hand in their keys so families could have a place to stay. People smiling and people in tears, and children running and laughing. It gives me hope that people are better than we think. More caring and selfless. Kind and compassionate. We are young and love our home. We have built it together as it has built us and our families.’
Photo Credit: Imgur/John MacIsaac/Facebook
So when I ask what your Foot Print is, what I’m asking you to reflect on is how have you made others feel? Safe, Loved, Honored? Or Less than, Judged and Invisible. The saying ‘You can’t take it with you’ in reference to possessions causes me to pause and think, if there were a ‘Currency’ to equate to life I do believe relationships would be the currency to which we could measure our wealth at the end of our life, and being able to ‘take it with you’ would be the number of lives and hearts you touched in your life time that they could remember you by in your ‘balanced account’.
Many don’t realize what their actions cause. The impact they have on others and the world around them, so many feel insignificant. I watched a movie called ‘Frequency’ where in a man avoids death due to the intervening efforts by his son from the future, shockingly, even though this act seemed positive the fact that his father avoided death caused a chain reaction of negative effects that needed to be corrected by both men in different dimensions of time. The end was positive but changing events caused huge impact! What I saw here was the fact that we all have a purpose and our actions and in actions have an impact. All we can do is live as authentically as possible, and to do that means we must take responsibility for our actions, and how they affect others. Spending less time dissecting others and spending more time healing our own behavior is without a doubt the best way to decrease hostility in this world. Focusing squarely on our own flaws allows us to clean ourselves up, sort of speak, and become healthier more effective players on the world stage. Some of our roles might seem more public then others but they are no less effective in private less public exposures. If anything they very likely could have greater impact.
So what do you leave behind? If you reflect and don’t like what you see, commit to this day forward to change that. Be the person you wish others to aspire to, miss when your gone, leaving a foot print of love, and grace behind.