The love you leave behind

… And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.
—Fred Small, “Everything Possible”

I assume that we all go through life doing what we can to be happy and live a good life. But it wasn’t until I heard those lines from Fred Small’s song that I realized there was another gauge beyond our words and deeds to describe a life well-lived—what we leave behind emotionally.

I know that I can’t control what others feel, think, and do, but I don’t want to leave a trail of confusion, conflict, and criticism because of any actions taken or untaken and words spoken or unspoken. What can I do about that?  One thing I can do is express myself with care and compassion and confirm what the other person heard to ensure understanding. But there’s more.

My truth is that I find sharing observations and strategies easier than expressing affection and attachment, and I do what is easy most of the time. Yet I yearn for and require the loving, warm, soft side of life to be happy (I assume that’s true for most people).

I know that achieving a loving world requires that I do my part. Although it is risky and scary, I do want to open my heart. When my heart informs my words and deeds, the best thing happens: The world reflects that love back.

Thanks, Fred.

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8 thoughts on “The love you leave behind

  1. Someone once gave me a thank you card with a drawing that depicted an older girl passing around a plate of apples to a couple younger children. The caption was “Know that you are a part of each and every life you touch.” I’ve tacked this over my desk as a daily reminder — and your piece here is in the same spirit. I feel blessed to be your friend and the recipient of the fruits of your warm and loving heart!

  2. You are a gem. Your post is so open-hearted. It made me look through the book that I currently love—dharma talks about Zen. Here is a quotation from the book. The author’s Zen teacher once said, “It is the perfect openness of our hearts that allows us to hear the voice of the universe beyond the irritation of our consciousness.” I wish you a practice that supports your wish to be open-hearted. And thanks for sharing one of the secrets of your heart.

    • I love that quote! Thank you for your willingness to listen and understand and for being your wonderful inspiring self.

  3. Challenging thinking … to change one’s attitude to love and acceptance. But then, how else to use one’s days? I love the blog!
    Claire

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