What is Your Personal Legacy?

It does seem strange at first to break legacy up into multiple facets. But I think it helps give us a richer understanding of our multi-faceted lives and helps us be fully accounted for the entirety of our legacy. So I baited you in with leadership legacy and now I trickle in the hard shit. Because a personal legacy isn’t that straightforward.

Mostly because, and I am making a broad assertion here, we don’t really know who we are. We know who we are from a career perspective best because it’s what we have been groomed for. Ask any artist the first thing their parents said to them when they told them that they wanted to spend their life creating art?

Who we are (yes, all of you) is often pushed aside for the greater good (food, shelter, you know the important stuff) and because it is required to be successful. We are good at it too, we generally leave behind the stuff we didn’t want to look at anyway.

Our creativity, our losses, our emotions, and in some real ways, our traumas were often the first to go into the archives. We set aside the drum kit or paintbrush and picked up a Folio (attaché, briefcase, backpack), and went to work building marketable skills and allocating the gritty stuff to dusty corners.

So really understanding what our personal legacy often requires us to find and visit those dusty corners to take a long look at what we dismissed into the archives.

We need to know what we left behind in order to understand who we are.

This is often, the hardest legacy to hold space with. It requires us to look at things we have spent our life forgetting. It requires us to take a gnarled and decomposing bit and love it for what it has done for us by staying in the archives. It requires us to build a trusting relationship with it so that we can begin to integrate that bits needs back into who we are.

Not many make this journey. Often, assholes remain assholes and trauma remains traumatizing because being anything other than an asshole or traumatized is scarier than not being those things. This work cannot be done alone, but your personal legacy would be so much richer for this journey along the overgrown path.

So why now? Good Question! Consider this meandering as the gentle nudge to the next type of legacy that will tie this all together for you.

That this work needs to happen not just for yourself but for those that follow in your wake. That they need you to own who you are so that they can be proud of who they are.


Sarah Hines
Sarah Hines
I met a man one blurry night in Manhattan, and little did I know, he would be the soil in which my passion for grief work was to be planted. He had been rejected by his family for his life choices and was preparing for death without them. Helping him through his struggle to come to terms with his love for them and in turn his forgiveness while going through treatments, rejection, and coming to terms with his own death and grief was an unimaginable amount of stress and it literally set me in activism mode. It was shortly after his death, I completed training in Palliative Care Home Hospice. I volunteered in men’s homes for 5 years before the medications became reliable and being gay wasn’t always breaking family ties. Some of the most amazing times I have had in my life have been in the homes of dying. Strange, yes.. but so beautifully honest and raw. I then completed the Children’s Palliative Care Training and dove into the heartbrokenness of dying children. It is in these years I really came to understand just how fickle death can be and how much we embrace death and our grief. It seems that in times of what we would consider the most unimaginable, we are able to find glimmers of beauty, cracks of light and the nourishment in tears. Over the last 20 years, I have carried on with my education in a variety of ways including Coach and Leadership Training, Orphan Wisdom School and Grief Groups. My connection into corporate grief has been slow. It’s something that most organizations do not want to think about. I am inspired by those that see value in bringing grief work into the way they lead teams through uncertainty and the trust this work builds.

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