Webster defines a legacy as a gift by will especially of money or other personal property.  The definition of the legacy that I’m discussing is a gift of personal growth, of Life Lesson, of strength.  The Legacy I’m discussing is much more valuable than money or personal property.

You’ve heard “do as I say, not as I do”. Some adults tell their children that by their actions, even if the words are not spoken out loud.  Our children emulate their parents…the want to be us.  Good or Bad.

When we live in abuse, the message to our children is that it’s OK to undervalue another human.  That anger and violence are acceptable resources for the release of emotion.  That domination, control, and creation of fear in another human are alright.

None of that is true.

Most kids who grow up in violence gravitate toward violence as adults, either as abusers or as victims.   Many people living in violence tell their kids they don’t have to “be like that”, that there are other options for release of emotion, anger management is a good option.

Yet, the kids saw us stay.  We made excuses…some still do.

What will your legacy be?  That you were a good woman but you chose to live in danger and fear?  That you loved your spouse, even though he/she was abusive and controlling?  That you maintained a good attitude while living in your own personal hell?

My legacy is all of that PLUS, that I finally gained the strength, the support, the personal growth to leave.

In spite of being a good woman and wife, in spite of the fact that (on some level) I loved my abusive husband, and in spite of the fact that I did maintain a good attitude through all those years…I secretly worked, for a couple of years, on Me.  I began to Listen, and answers were given…ideas, concepts, actions I could take turned up in the most unusual places.

I believe when we make a focused, dedicated decision, the Universe begins moving things around to support our new direction.  People, ideas, nudges begin to manifest.  When you decide to change your legacy, that will happen for you, too.

Now my legacy, to my son, nieces, nephews (each of whom is grown and with the family of their own), and to my grandchildren is one of personal growth and strength.  They have seen that, even near retirement age, people can Change, we are able to create new experiences and independent lives.  They have seen Me flourish, create an attitude of gratitude, appreciate the things that matter (friendships, time with family and friends, reading and writing without fear of retribution) and release the victim mentality I had developed.

Now my legacy is one of strength, not powerlessness.  It is one of confidence and belief that I deserve, that everyone deserves, a safe and fulfilled life of authenticity. It is that any situation can be changed.  And that control, hurtful words and actions, are not to be tolerated.

I am asking what the legacy is that you are leaving with your friends and family?   I am asking you to consider that it could be different than it is at this moment.

Each of us is stronger than we think.  Each of us has a spark of hope and Knowing that we were born for a purpose much larger than being someone’s whipping post (physically or verbally).  Choose to change your story.  Turn it into a legacy that you are proud of.

Begin by believing you are able to change.  Believe it, feel it in your head, heart and core of your being.

When you do, all sorts of ideas, people, and things will show up to support you.  And that’s the beginning of your new legacy.

No one can see what’s going on inside your head.  No one has a clue that you’ve stepped onto a new Path.  Change is an inside job.  What will your legacy be?