living a life to honor

11Sep11

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? ~ Mary Oliver

In honor of the day, the people, the decade – let’s all ask this question of ourselves. Those who sacrificed their lives, their health, their families did so that the rest of us could live fully, exuberantly, and graciously.

I’ve wondered, what will I do?  What should I do?  Am I doing it right?  I’ve spent many moments altering my answer.  I seem to have a hard time sticking to a singular plan.

But perhaps that is actually the perfect response.

To honor those we lost we must live fully.  The question of how to do this seems so easy yet it is nearly impossible to put into play.  How do we live fully?  How do we know if we are living the life we were meant to?

I’d suggest that:

  • we should live a life that is an evolving canvas of decisions and choices.  Our world should be full of change.
  • we should be doing the right thing, which means always doing things differently and sometimes doing things wrong.
  • we should be helping others, publicly or privately.
  • we should stop and talk to strangers, listen so that we can see, extend a hand so that we can pick them up.
  • we should smile unabashedly.
  • we should be teaching our children to ask questions which means we never stop asking them ourselves.   What does hope look like?  How does courage feel?  When is change really changing something?
  • we should be mentoring, supporting, encouraging others which means accepting our imperfect selves.
  • we forgive.

Today, the brave acts of so many should remind us of the simplicity and brevity of our lives.  It is a small deed, gesture or simple word that can change the life of someone else – someone who may always remember that you were the person who gave them exactly what they needed at the precise moment that they needed it.

I am inspired by those who lost and yet continue to live.   I am renewed by those who grieve and yet are able to give.  I am overwhelmed when recalling the fear that was etched on the faces of the brave.  Every act a contradiction, and yet, now an ongoing conviction of all that we were, all that we are and all that we will continue to be.

I hope to look back a decade from now and see that my family, my community, my country and the world were filled with people brave enough to take a stand and impart change.  Our impact may be public or private.  It may be something we do on behalf of many or just one.  It may be something we do for ourselves.

What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

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3 Responses to “living a life to honor”

  1. There’s so much to say about this topic. I think that the beauty lies in trying. If I keep in the forefront of my mind that I want to live a life of honor, grace, and integrity and my goal is to discover my life purpose, then my choices will ultimately lead me there.

    Because I’m human I’m doomed to sometimes forget. But because I’m searching, I always find something (like this blog post) that puts me back on the path. If you’re open, the opportunities present themselves. If you’re courageous, you walk through the doors that open up.

    And it takes courage to live a life of honor. One of my favorite sayings is “courage is fear that has said its prayers”, reminding me that I must not allow my fears to keep me from my dreams.

    I call that living LARGE. 😉

  2. There’s so much to say about this topic. I think that the beauty lies in trying. If I keep in the forefront of my mind that I want to live a life of honor, grace, and integrity and my goal is to discover my life purpose, then my choices will ultimately lead me there.

    Because I’m human I’m doomed to sometimes forget. But because I’m searching, I always find something (like this blog post) that puts me back on the path. If you’re open, the opportunities present themselves. If you’re courageous, you walk through the doors that open up.

    And it takes courage to live a life of honor. One of my favorite sayings is “courage is fear that has said it’s prayers”, reminding me that I must not allow my fears to keep me from my dreams.

    I call that living LARGE. 😉

  3. 3 Rebecca

    You always know what to say when it matters most, Amy. Thank you. I love that line from Mary Oliver – one of my favorites. xoxo


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