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  1. O.Christina

    My parents have of course, as I guess it is true for most of us. To a large extend, their life´s circumstances determined the youth of my siblings and me at that time. In my teens, it was Martin Luther King jr. who had a lasting impact on my life. His unconditional Love for his fellow people, his open heart, his soul full of humanity and his fighting for justice, mutual respect and freedom brought awareness of qualities of how a human life should be like and it touched me deeply. It led to follow my heart to where it found and could live these values, found it in my dear friends as well as in my being there for others in need, in meditation as well as in music or other heartfelt encounters. His role model led me to learn to open my heart, to listen deeply to others, to try to help if allowed to, deepest grateful for the help of so many dear friends, including you here, as well as encounters with several therapists as well as some teachers held dear.

    12 months ago
  2. Robin Ann

    My parents for sure. I lost my Mother at age 40 but she still influences my life each and every day. She was very strong willed and lived each day to the fullest. She pushed us to be the best versions of ourselves. Although when I was younger I didn’t look at it that way. My Dad and I haven’t always seen eye to eye but when push comes to shove he has been very supportive over the years when I needed him the most. Emotions however I felt were stifled growing up in my parent’s household which was a negative.

    One of my Mother’s best friends is very close to me now. We can talk about anything. She also helped me a great deal with my children after my Mom passed. I remember my grandmother very fondly who died too young when i was a teen. Many friends and family members who were there for me at the right time when I needed a support system. Lastly my son who is my rock and fortunately we have always been close : )

    12 months ago
  3. Charlie T

    Many people have impacted my life.
    Some positively and some negatively.
    At this point, I’m grateful for all of it.
    My chosen families have been the
    most important though. I’ve had
    several throughout my life. These
    are people who have helped me,
    and included me.

    1 year ago
  4. pkr

    I would have to say my mom & dad have had the greatest impact on my life. I am thankful beyond words for all the “tools” they gave me, the values they instilled in me & the strength & resilience they showed me. However at the same time, some of my hardest lessons now are trying to unwrap, undo, rid myself of their negative imprinting. I am trying to unload their baggage, not mine, they passed on unknowingly. It was not malicious, I believe they were completely unaware of its effects & influences on their kids.
    I guess to sum it up, I received the good & the ugly from them. I don’t blame my parents, they did not know & did the best they could. I am thankful for their love & commitment to their family & to me. ❤️

    1 year ago
    1. O.Christina

      Thank you, dear PKR, for your kind reply. I couldn´t have expressed it so well how it looks like in me also concerning the impact of my mom and dad. I feel it is a gift to be aware of both the positive as well as to unwrapping the more difficult aspects which unknowingly have been adopted / passed on. To be in balance through mindfulness and being aware of both currently is daily practice for me also. I am grateful for them, and for your expressing it so well. Thank you very much!

      1 year ago
      1. pkr

        O. Christina, thank you for your thoughtful response. I wish you peace & love on your journey. Look for the light each day. ✨❤️🕊✨

        12 months ago
  5. Don Jones

    Possibly those who have unexpected shown up in my life and expanded my perception. I used to think it was those who helped me express myself. But after reflecting right now, expanded perception is the most important of the two.

    1 year ago
  6. Pilgrim

    My two daughters. They are smart, strong, kind, creative women. I had much difficulty giving birth those many years ago, and their presence in my life is still a wonder. My granddaughter, as well, is creative and strong in her individuality. My grandmothers both had a great impact in my life, for various reasons. I learned much from them about finding my way in the world. Also, two women, whom I considered my spiritual directors, who were ahead of me on the path of life and spirituality. They were so kind, and made a significant impact on my life of faith and teaching.

    1 year ago
  7. Nannette

    I guess there are too many to say…. and of course, I will forget some…but here goes! First off my Mom…a very strong woman …but she would never have identified herself in that way. I lost her when I was 14…but she gave me many gifts before she died. My brother and his wife who took me in when I was 16. My ex who taught me many hard lessons but also was my gateway to independence. A wonderful Doctor that I worked with in Somalia (he was a Dutch citizen…who lived in Canada) – he taught me how to laugh and to cry…and also to believe in myself… well as my wonderful Professors at the University I attended in my 40’s….last but not at all least…my loving husband – who has made it all worthwhile.

    1 year ago
    1. sunnypatti

      “gateway to independence” – I like that. Thank you for sharing, Nannette.

      12 months ago
    2. Carol

      So beautiful, Nannette…You are the RV Queen of Compassion, touching peoples lives wherever you go! Sincerely, Carol

      1 year ago
  8. Carol

    Who are the people who have had the greatest impact on my life? Why? Today’s question has been so helpful for me. It has filled me with gratitude for so many fellow sojourners. I’m filled with gratitude for them all. I think I needed to ponder this question. It was good for me.
    My response:
    My parents had a great impact on my life which was not always positive. My church’s dogma and my parochial religious education influenced me both positively and negatively, especially since my parents did not agree when it came to religion. The saddest result was that I thought I had to be perfect for God to love me.

    Bullying was another big factor that impacted my life. My heart goes out to any child who is or has been its victim. One feels so alone in such circumstances.

    My husband, whose alcoholism brought me to a wonderful 12-Step organization for the family and friends of alcoholics. Through the companion ship of others and our caring and sharing and studying the 12-steps, I began to understand the disease and to get a handle on my own behavior surrounding it.

    Thankfully, the man I often called my Moses had come into my life around the same time. He remained in my life for over 27 years. When I arrived at his counseling office, because he was a man of the cloth, I told him, “And don’t you speak of Jesus for Christ’s sake.”I was one angry and broken woman. It took a few years and the development of a “God of my Understanding” not the dogma god from my childhood before I finally told him, I was ready to talk about God.

    He then encouraged me to adopt a spiritual practice of reading scriptures daily, asking only that the Word work in me. He said, “Create a place, a space, in your home and try to report there preferably at the same time every day for this quiet time.” He gave me a copy of what his denomination calls its Daily Office (A scripture from the OT, a Psalm, and a scripture from the NT). His most important directive for which I am eternally grateful was “Don’t look for answers. Let the Word work in you.” That was truly the beginning of my spiritual journey. I had spent so many years waiting for answers that I was stuck in the middle of the road. Today, I know that it is my own steps that create the path.

    Many authors and poets have also impacted my life. We sometimes forget that we actually build relationships with these fountains of wisdom. I think of Mary Oliver, Kahil Gibran, Rumi, Eckhart Tolle, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, the Dali Llama, Pema Chodron, and Richard Rohr to name a few.

    I also give thanks for the many dear friends who have been there for me in the hardest of times when I was so needy that I know they were tempted to walk away.

    Today, my son is my rock. I learn something from him every time I’m in his presence which is often as I now live in the same area. He is such a blessing.

    And last but not least, my dear Uncle Amos who turned 100 years old in January 2023. When he was in his 80s and I was in my 60s, we travelled a good part of this country by car, visiting national parks and many historic places. Long trips with lots of conversations both pleasant and argumentive! His body limits his mobility now but his mind still soars. I leave you with a chuckle. He says, “The secret of a long life is to avoid doctors!”

    1 year ago
    1. Joseph McCann

      I am fairly sure your Uncle Amos is on to something! Thanks for your reflections Carol.

      1 year ago
    2. Nannette

      Thank you, Carol…how wonderful of you to share some of your life’s story…the ups and downs that we all go through…and it is so good to know that one is never alone on this journey. Many Blessings to you!

      1 year ago
      1. Carol

        Thank you, Nannette and thanks for reading my long ramblings!

        1 year ago
  9. Maeve

    Way too difficult to name them all. It’s been a myriad of individuals, as well as groups and communities and cultures I have been part of. First of all, my parents and what they gave to me knowingly, and unknowingly: their beliefs, their backgrounds as well as their wounds. Equally influential on my life, the intentional Christian community my parents joined before I was born, which had and continues to have an all-encompassing influence on me. It colors the way I see life.
    And then my friend Milton, whom I met when I needed to grow and expand. He showed me that the world was vast and wide and amazing outside of the confines of my narrow Christian views.
    Just to name a very few.

    1 year ago
  10. Yram

    It is difficult to name “the greatest” but I would have to say, Joe, Bob, Ruth, religious sisters, and my children.

    1 year ago
  11. Carla

    There have been many who’ve impacted my life:, my mom, grandparents, teachers, aunts and uncles, siblings, and spiritual pilgrims I walk with daily. A common denominator is that they’ve all loved me unconditionally and each is a reflection of the Divine’s Love for me.

    1 year ago
  12. EJP

    Children….who teach us that the greatest joys in life are found in the simplest of things.

    1 year ago
  13. Joseph McCann

    My wife, children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents for their unconditional love. All the good folks who reflect on these pages for their collective wisdom, support and humor.

    1 year ago
  14. Kevin

    My wife, Betty Ann, through 51 years of marriage.
    Jim Toothaker, Friend and minister, who guided my early path in ministry.
    Ruth Howland, Quaker elder whom I cherished for her wit and perseverance.
    Father Phil Kelly, who co-founded a youth-serving agency that employed me for 31 years.

    1 year ago
  15. Christine

    The love of my life. Why? He brought me to the feelings of my heart 💕

    1 year ago
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