I was reminded of this by an amazing 82 year old woman, who happened to be one of my patients a few weeks ago. Unlike other women in their 80's who seem to be disturbed by the fact that I don't have a ring on my finger, she told me to never settle. “I dated 3 men for over a year, I went out every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with each.” They “courted” her for over a year! I found that fascinating. But she said “everything was different once I met my husband.” It was an absolute honor to see the interaction and love between them in their later years, and I told her that, the outcome of holding to her truth and not settling for what wasn't the right fit for her.
She then told me about her career, again with following her heart. “Go after your passion as if your life depends on it.” She, too, believes in this right for all people. She said she believes pursuing this is our responsibility, and not up to anyone else. She worked hard, wrote books, had children, traveled, adventured. She made it very clear that she was ready to die, that she had had a wonderful life. I've never seen someone so at peace with the idea of their own death, especially when it was coming so close.
Actually a lot closer than I imagined. She went to the hospital a few days later, and was put on Hospice services. That's all I know, I never saw her again since that day. But I believe her peaceful outlook was due to living that life of truth and purpose. The momentous effect of that being so clear, as she changed even my life through one conversation. It is such a great reminder of the true power we have when we speak and live our purpose. Not just for the bliss and fulfillment it brings to our own lives, but how it influences others to do the same.