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Leaving a Mark

Best friends (Client photo)

At the close of our life story interviews, I like to ask big, reflective questions, which we spent hours working up to and can't be properly answered from the start. One must do the work of life reflection first. A favorite of these big questions is 'Who left the biggest mark? Who has had the biggest impact on your life overall?'

Often it's a parent or maybe another relative, such as an aunt, uncle, or cousin. These family figures are born into the role of influence. They don't choose it and let's be honest, some of these people don't rise up to the challenge. If we're lucky, other people step in as substitutes. It makes my heart happy hearing about the other characters in a life that can leave as big an impact as a parent. It proves that we all have influence to share!

I've heard everyone from a fourth grade teacher to a football coach, to a spouse or a best friend. A recent client talked about a close friend as the brother he never had, describing him as 'a brother from another mother.'

In a way, these people are even more special than family because they are chosen. Spouses we chose to spend our lives with, friends we meet, or mentors we seek out and then stick with for the long haul because they add connection and meaning to our lives.

Who are the surprising people in your life who have left a mark?

And even more thought provoking: what sort of impact is your life leaving on others?


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