… 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.