You might say that loving on purpose is a clear and present focus of mine. It wasn’t always so, but I’ve learned a lot over the years, and I’m willing to share what I’ve learned on the journey from pain to purpose.
Today I affirm that saying “I love you” is a very important discipline, both to you and to each recipient. That one phrase has transformed more relationships than any other, in my experience…beginning with my relationship with me.
Loving on Purpose Means Being Intentional
In 2016, I was given the gift of ‘no regrets’ when my mother died in June. For years we said, “I love you” when we parted. The last words she spoke to me were “thank you.”
She and I had spent the previous five years making treasured memories that brought joy to each and every one of us touched by her delight and appreciation.
One of my top goals in 2017 is to be present in every single conversation, stopping what I am doing to be engaged, or setting aside a committed time when I can be totally present with that person, even if only by phone.
I hope to complete 2017 with no regrets for the quality of time I have invested in authentic relationship with others, beginning with my own family.
Loving on Purpose Means Living Each Day To Its Fullest
Painfully, I learned in 2016 to live like there is no tomorrow. In May, a speeding driver ran a red light, crashing into our car as we made a left turn on a protected light. It was a tragic accident. One dear friend experienced brain trauma, now thankfully “back to normal.” We lost another dear friend, who received the brunt of impact and died within the hour. The shock was devastating.
An outpouring of love and support continues to surround us. The only consolation was sharing with George’s family that the last 36 hours of his life were completely filled with love, laughter, and celebration in a community of faith and friendship.
None of us knows when our last day will be, or how we will leave. From that tragic experience I have learned to make every single second count, and to make sure the people I love have no doubt about it! At the very least, I will offer respect and kindness to every person I meet, that they will know that I value the experience of being with them (even if we do not agree with one another).
Loving on Purpose Changes Everything
Honestly, I lived a large portion of my life without truly paying attention to what was going on around me. I often say that I “lived by default” during the first half of my life, meaning I learned what I didn’t want by living through one painful experience after another and vowing not to repeat it. I finally realized that the one thing I had in common with every experience, with every person, was my presence. Now I can see that each person had a role in each experience. I came to believe that I could only be responsible for my part. For my life to change and be transformed, I had to take personal responsibility for my attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
That “aha” moment began my transition from “living by default” to “living on purpose.” I began to find new ways of accepting myself, and learning to love myself – warts and all. Today, my mistakes are called “high growth learning experiences.” I’ve replaced pain with positive reflection, continuously striving to learn from every person, every encounter, in each experience. It led to my life’s purpose and passion to walk with, guide, and coach others who are ready to move into a life of mission and purpose.
If any of this resonates with you, please share your story with me, either publicly or privately. If you are interested in learning more about living on purpose, please visit shelleybaur.com/events or contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, please accept my blessings on your journey. May our paths cross as we connect with fellow walkers of the way, loving and living on purpose.