On our recent trip to Washington my husband and I rented a convertible and drove through the mountains from Seattle to Yakima. As we drove through this awe-inspiring space and time, one of my favorite songs played, the chorus of which says, “I was here. I lived. I loved…. I will leave my mark so everyone will know I was here.” With my hair in the wind, I stretched my arms out, threw my head back and sang the words on the top of my lungs.
The next day, while sitting by the riverbank watching my husband fly fish, I noticed that one of the sides of the mountain had writing all over it.
People had painted their names, dates, and the names of people they loved all over the side of the mighty rock. As I reflected on what motivates someone to do this, the words from that song came back to me. “I was here. I lived. I loved.”
I thought about how many times I’d seen these same declarations marked onto bathroom stalls, park benches, and building walls. All with the same intention of needing to make their existence known, as if it’s not official until it’s in writing, “I was here. I lived. I loved.”
It’s a fascinating need: to be remembered, to have made our mark. We do this in all sorts of ways, from tagging our name on walls and to photos, to committing grand gestures of love and hate. The intention is the same: needing to make an impact.
Knowing that we all have this need within us can feel intimidating and foreboding, but I also think its really exciting. The exciting thing being that we can make an impact and fulfill that need very easily, and very often. We do that through connection.
I encourage you to practice connection this week. Look the person next to you in the eye – whether they’re ringing up your groceries at the store, standing next to you in an elevator, or sitting across from you at the dinner table. Look into their eyes, see them, and know that the odds of you two sharing this space and this moment are insurmountable – it’s a miracle. This moment is an invitation to connect, to make an impact. Say “hi,” smile with kindness, ask them a question, and listen to the answer. Let your presence, your attention, and your energy be felt. Let everyone you come in contact with know, I AM HERE.
Connection is necessary for our happiness. As you deliberately connect with people you will feel more alive, more fulfilled, and happier – and you’ll do the same for the people you connect with. Someone will likely tell you they enjoyed talking with you, thank you, compliment you, or simply smile in gratitude. It is not having our name in writing that gets us remembered - it’s the way we make people feel. It’s how we live, its how we love and are loved that makes an impact. It may be a little moment, but it’s incredibly powerful.
Within the first day of practicing connection in this way, you’ll begin feeling happier, simply from having that need met; knowing that you’re making an impact, that you will be remembered, and that people will know, “I was here. I lived. I loved.”
Wishing you a wonderful week of connection and joy.
With love and gratitude, Robin