Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Letter

I drove past a group of children playing this afternoon. They were lost in the sunshine of this glorious Sunday...laughing, chasing each in the blink of their innocence. For some reason, in that moment, I felt like I was looking upon myself at that age...I was connected to the pure expression of their childhood. It was like driving past a filmstrip projecting my memories, and finding myself reflective on their boundless expectatations of life, love, and destiny.

What are the things I would tell my 11 yr. old self? Would that insecure little girl ever believe that this is who she became? Would I tell her that it all works out in the end...and that she is a remarkable, one of a kind, exceptional child of God? I would tell her so many things...

Dear Jenny~

Keep this will fall back on it for peace in moments of feeling lost. Sweetheart, you sure are special, there are some things you should know about the future.

There will be people who will come and go in your life...don't ever hold a grudge for the way someone will treat you in your youth...they could very well leave an indellible mark on your life in the future.

Love your parents...they have done everything to the best of their ability, hon. They have never maliciously tried to hurt you. Be kind to them, they are going to fiercely love you for all of their days...and that's what they are hoping you will pass onto your children. You will love them differently as you grow up...they will frustrate you, disappoint you...anger you....but know this: one day you will be a grown up, and you will see them as people, flawed, but committed to you as unto their last breath. They will teach you lessons on how to be compassionate and engaged in this life. They will teach you to choose responsibility for those who have less in this life..."to whom much is given...much is expected".

Love your sisters..and be thankful everyday for them. You're doing life together, because God ordained it...he constructed the fairytale of the 3 sisters. Sometime in the future, you will have close friends who lose a sibling...and you will choose to walk alongside them. Never end a conversation without telling them you love them, they need to hear it the most.

Don't let other people impact how you feel about yourself..I know that seems impossible, but God has put you where you are...and every person who crosses your path will teach you something. Even when they are cruel to you, and tease you, and try to make you feel less than...hold in your heart that this life is big...this world holds moments of magic that are for you, and you alone. Learn how to be a good friend by demonstrating protective loyalty towards those you love. Stand for those who can't stand on their own, not out of obligation, or in a search for it, because it is right.

Live in your moments. Look at the world, and realise it's all for you. Don't be afraid to feel overwhelming, exhileration, peace... anger, frustration, grief. These emotions all add to the complexity of your human journey...and no feeling coming from your heart is wrong. Don't doubt, or downplay how you matters very much, sweetie.

Remember the kindred moments you have with Keri. She shapes your childhood...she is in the brilliance of your glowing girlhood. She won't be around past your 15th be present in every giggle over a boy, stamp the memory of her smile in your soul...recall her glittering laugh and spirit when you want to mourn the loss of what seemed to be a flash of youth.

Remember how I said to not hold a grudge? Guess what? Mike Baskett will be one of your best friends. I KNOW...I sometimes don't believe it either. He will come into your life when you desperately need an will find each other at a time when you think the world needs to be figured out...and you will take that on together over many Tim Horton's triple/triples. He will save you in a way Jenn, he will see you for who you are, and you will see him. You will realize that 2 souls can find peace in each will discover the peace in silent moments with a soulmate. You will feel safe with him...and that will restore things stolen from your little girl self. The night you both fall asleep on the couch at his apartment in Toronto in May of 2007....remember that...hold it close. Remember what it was to be with a man who had nothing but faith in you, and wanted nothing more than to be your close friend. This relationship will teach you so much Jenn. And in December of 2009, when you see his back turn to shut the door after a morning spent in church together...don't regret for one second that you told him you loved him....DON'T second guess that's the last thing you will ever say to him.

To sum it up sweetheart, strive for these things. Love God in your own way...don't ever try to fit the mould. Be real, it's what will bring you overwhelming peace. Love the people you are doing life with...and tell them often...even if you feel like it doesn't always land. "I love you" is NEVER regrettable. Be kind to yourself. Don't try to be someone else...and if someone doesn't like you, then they have afforded themselves a huge loss. Take on challenges with fearless. Stand up for those who can't do it for themselves...legacy begins early.

I love you girl...your incredible passion for life is going to impact those around you...for all of the insecurities you feel now, mark my words, this world will never be the same because YOU were here.


Jenn with two n's....(Mike Baskett gives you that nickname...I know! He's so cute!!)


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Brave New Legacy

There is a legacy of untold expanse within each of us. Our small, minute, seemingly routine actions can impact this world...and momentous decisions about the trajectory of our lives will affect untold, uncountable generations.

I remember hearing about generational curses when I was a child. The concept frightened my childlike perceptions of the things I can't outrun in life. It set in my mind that there are things that are fated...and are unavoidable. What I failed to understand as a little one, is that it takes ONE person in a family to stand up and shout..."No more"! It takes one person in a family to declare with absolute conviction..."I will choose to change my history...and in turn, I will change the future,for my children, and for generation upon generation".

The impact of one person defiant enough to face a crippling addiction...the bravery of one who faces past or present abuse...the heroism of one who puts themselves on the line for someone else, these are actions that crash head on into what seemed to be an inescapable future. The weight of these decisions mirrors a future where teenagers are worried about grades and the school dance...not where to get their next high...the weight of these decisions sets a parent into being mindful, conscious and aware of their childs innocence at every moment... the weight of these actions inspires someone to pay it forward to a stranger, in remembrance and honour of the one who did it for them prior.

Once upon a time...a man made a decision. He was a close confidante and sidekick to a famous mobster, and took on the name, "Easy Eddie". While he spent many years making money illegally, and was responsible for many crimes, both noted and suspected, Easy Eddie found himself at a crossroads when he realised just what kind of example he was providing for his young son. He calculated a decision to help the police compile evidence against the Boss...and was instrumental in his conviction for tax evasion in 1931. The mobster was Al Capone.

Easy Eddie was shot and killed one week before Capone's release from prison in 1939. This might be where you ask me how his hard decision altered the future. The son he chose to change for, the son he knew he could give everything to...except a good name, and a promising future, was Edward Joseph O'Hare. Edward Joseph O'Hare was a an exceptionally gifted Navy Fighter Pilot. In 1942, O'Hare saved countless hundreds of lives while defending the Lexington, an aircraft carrier stationed in Pearl Harbour. For this he received the Medal of Honour from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The medal validated the past decision of a father who wanted more for his son. A father who wanted his son to save lives, and to trademark bravery into their family history, instead of the shame of crime and dishonesty.

And if you should ever fly into Chicago, perhaps you will remember this story. Not for the memory of the mobster, but because the airport you will arrive at will be O'Hare International Airport.

One man changed history by making a conscious choice about his legacy. One step towards what is right, impacted the future.

A decision was was flung into the universe...and the future changed. The next time you know you need to make what seems to be an impossible decision, think of the glorious extension your legacy...I am confident that clarity will lead you to the right decision...not just the one that's easiest.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Change For That?

When you buy a large triple/triple at Tim Hortons, and pay with a $20.00 bill, what do you always get back?


You have a choice on how the remainder will be spent.That change brings things into your life. Sometimes, it's the things you want..the things you have saved for. Other times, it is spent on ordinary, predictable necessities you need to live...toothpaste, kleenex, dishsoap. Occassionally, it is spent on something you later regret..and buyers remorse is recalled everytime you lay eyes on the article. While that is unfortunate, I know the lesson lies in being mindful the next time on how to spend more wisely and less impulsively.

Sometimes, when paying with a large bill...change cannot be made immediately. The resistance is due to the inadequacy of the cash register...and while a purchase is desired, the parametres of how to attain the item are complicated. There needs to be a compromise...a solution.

Change in our lives is very similar. It comes in and out of our brings us the things we want...the things we need...and seldomly, the things we regret for a lifetime. Change is forever linked with choice. As in spending money, you choose what you will buy, and where you will purchase. The same can be said for our lives.

When we are forced to deal with change, there is great pressure to make the right decision...or, to spend wisely. It is a turning point. While the change burns a hole in our pocket...we know it must be faced, and spent. To leave that surplus in a pocket or a wallet, serves no purpose to the person who owns it, or to the economy of their life. How often do we spend our chances frivilously? I believe chance and change may be separated by merely one letter for a divine reason.

Resistance to change is like not spending what is in your wallet...but continuously going to the bank machine of life, to get more money. There are adequate funds already with you, if you would choose to make a decision and face the wealth you are avoiding..right there in your own back pocket. Would you consistently drain your bank account, and pay bank fees in blatant avoidance of the funds in your wallet? Then why elude the inevitable chances and changes in your life that may be spent on a winning lottery ticket of untold fortune?

Perhaps there is a theoretical leap of faith...or a tipping point where everything becomes clear. Perhaps that change almost gets stolen...and you are forced to spend.

"When the pain of staying the same surpasses the pain of changing, one will change."

Fearlessly face your lifes changes... spend them with faith, unfailing certainty and an expectant heart.