Friday, July 28, 2017

Legacy vs. Love

Self-actualization, a burden or a blessing? We have all heard the stories about how hard life was for our ancestors. My grand-parents didn't have an easy life, at 21-years old they were married with a baby and started their own business. Life was very difficult at times, especially when they lost part of their property in a fire and almost had to move to Sweden to survive. The people in the village came to their rescue and gathered together some money so that they could stay in Finland. I think about that sometimes, about how much it matters to have a loving community of people around you to love on you. Living in a small town isn't always easy but when times were tough these people had each other's back.

My own life at age 21 was completely different than my grand parents'. I moved abroad at 22, not because I had to but because I wanted to chase my dreams. When I met my husband at age 25 I was still in the middle of my "self-actualization journey" and as embarrassing as it is to admit I was afraid that my relationship with my new boyfriend was going to hinder me from making all my dreams come true. Yeah, I definitely had some selfishness-issues that I needed to grow out of. Marriage has taught me many things about life and one of the most important lessons I have learned is that the less I focus on myself the happier I will become. I need to love myself and take care of my own needs of course, but there is no fulfillment or satisfaction in living for myself. My selfishness is still one of my least attractive qualities but the older I get the more I learn to live an others-focused life, rather than an inward focused life.

In today's world we have many opportunities so it's tempting to make life all about chasing our own dreams and pleasures, rather than to look at the bigger picture. I like Chip and Jo's outlook on life and the older I get the more I long to live like they do. I don't want to live for me, focus on becoming successful/famous and end up divorced and with children who I'm too busy/tired to spend time with. My grand parents were not famous or rich people but they loved me with everything they had in them throughout my whole childhood.

My grandmother passed away a few years ago and she is one of my biggest role models in life. She was all about love and family and because of that everyone loved to spend time with her. I could visit her anytime and the moment I rang her doorbell she would stop whatever she was doing and give me her full attention during the visit. I hope to be a grandmother like that one day. I have to start by being that kind of wife, sister, daughter and mother. The love that I got from my grandparents and the rest of my family growing up is what laid a solid foundation in my life. My grandparents were happily married for more than 50 years until my grandmother passed away and I want that kind of life for myself. I know that I would have a much harder time believing in love if I hadn't seen it modeled with such excellence growing up.

Today my family from Finland and Norway traveled back home after their visit to Toronto. Some tears were shed at the airport today but I'm so grateful that I get to have these amazing people in my life. I know that far from every human-being on this planet gets to grow up in a family like mine and I want to make sure that I pass this love on to the next generation. That's my job, to love God and to love people. My purpose on this Earth isn't to make my own name famous but rather to pour as much love as I can onto the next generations. It's the love we receive (or the lack of it) that make us who we are today.

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