I've done things I am not proud of, said things I didn't mean, hurt people I have loved and walked away from life-long dreams. None of it has been easy, but what it has provided is perspective. This morning, I was stuck in my head over something someone said to me. This person is my aunt, but she and I have never had a close relationship. She sees me still as this person I was growing up hurting and lashing out at others. I don't excuse my behavior. All I can say is that was all I knew. It was my defense and protection. I am sorry if it hurt you or hurt others you loved which effected your perspective on the person I am. That hurt little girl has grown up and learned from those days that seem so long ago. I wish you could see me as I am now and not how you remembered me. Do you see me? Or has the person I was become my legacy in your eyes?

My Uncle Bill passed away last week. He was a hard man to love, but loved he was. Last night during his eulogies, the theme of him always doing things his way came up over and over again. My uncle said that Sinatra's, "My Way" should have been his theme song. That is his legacy.

My uncle's comment lead to my aunt saying that he and I were a lot alike in that way--our desire to have things our way. Ouch! I don't see myself as being like him at all. I had not thought of us being in alignment at all. I  explained to my aunt that I had learned that my way is not always the right way and that I do give in. I do still like being right, though, and if your way didn't quite work out as well as the way I had suggested, I may not mention it, but I will be smiling on the inside. I don't know everything and I love to learn. One of my favorite reminders is this snippet from Isaiah 55:9 "...my ways are higher than yours and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (NLT) While that is God's reminder, it applies to so many situations. My experiences and knowledge is only as deep and as wide as where my journey has taken me. In order to experience things outside of my own understanding, I need to listen and learn from others as well.

Yes, my enneagram will always show me as the Leader/Challenger personality type (type 8), but I am also a Peacemaker/Mediator (Type 9). Those combined make me "The Bear". According to one site which aligns well with the book I read about this personality type, this is what a "balanced" 8 with a 9 wing looks like:
Balanced 8/9 uses gentle strength with kindness. As 8/9 becomes more in touch with the inner self, the drive to dominate becomes less compulsive, and the seemingly contradictory desire to withdraw and be settled is also less overwhelming. This frees the will, allowing 8/9 to see the value of choosing carefully when to be powerful and when to pull back, rather than being enslaved by alternating sleepiness and angry outbursts. Others benefit from the well-timed use of personal power.

In extreme integration we have someone whose healthy, unselfconscious threeish ambition (from integrated nine) is augmented by a twoish benevolence (from integrated eight). Here are some of the greatest leaders and mystical teachers, who sometimes gather enormous followings of devoted seekers. Advanced 8/9 teachers are able to be tough when toughness is needed, and gentle and loving at other times.
I have learned that concessions need to be made. I have learned to compromise. I have also learned that while I like being right, I am sometimes wrong and can admit that and learn from it. This balance of who I am has come with time, personal and spiritual growth, and knowledge not only of who I am, but of who I want to be. I don't like conflict. I have had enough of it in my life to last me the rest of my days. That doesn't mean I won't have any. However, it does mean that when conflict arises, I will deal with it in a healthy manner. I won't bury my head in the sand and I won't run head-long into it. I don't want my legacy to be one where my focus was on what I wanted and what was good for me. I want others to remember my kindness, my drive, my laughter, and the joy I had in loving each person for whatever time I had them in my life. 

What will your legacy be?


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