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  • Lisa McMichael

A Vibrant Life

A Vibrant Life

My cousin Beth recently died (or rather she graduated to her new spiritual body) and I had the privilege of attending the celebration of her life. The ceremony was marked by praise, laughter, happiness, and sadness mingled together. Beth was grand, expansive, yet gentle, incorporating, and intimate. I think the most accurate description of Beth is


Beth was the most extraordinary person I have ever met. She never met a stranger. She had a way of conveying her love to you, and an unshakable, vibrant love for God, which she freely shared with all. She had the ability to LOVE without judgment, even while she seemed to be able to peer into your soul with her gentle, yet penetrating eyes.

At her memorial, I sat and thought of the qualities I so admired in her and I summed them up in these words:

Faith ~ Freedom ~ Love ~ Joy

My personal memorial to Beth was simple. I took a few pieces of paper, markers, and wrote the words faith, freedom, love, and joy on each piece of paper. I colored the first letter red and the rest of the letters black to form the acronym FFLJ so I could easily remember the words which embodied her spirit. I posted the papers all over my house, in every room I frequented, at angles I could easily view. I decided on the day of her memorial that I would endeavor to be more like Beth. I can’t be Beth and I don’t want to be. But I want to imbue the same qualities and allow the essence of me to touch others. I want to be freer, less inhibited, more true to myself.


Do you feel you are extraordinary? Not because of what you do, or what you have, or where you have been (or not been). But just because you are YOU?

The truth is that we are all extraordinary in our own way. Even when we feel tarnished, and it is difficult to see the image of ourselves as lovely and worthy. You may have received messages as a child that made you feel unworthy and undeserving of love, of grace, of worth. As a child, we absorb the messages thrown our way whether they are true or not. I challenge you to examine your self-talk, the messages you say to yourself. Do you treat yourself with love and respect and do you expect others to do so as well? The truth is that we all deserve to respect ourselves and others. We deserve and are worthy to love and to be loved. Beth loved so freely and unreservedly. She made you feel special when her love touched your heart.

It is the “ordinary” things of the world, I am convinced, that become the "extraordinary." The mother up all night with a sick child, forgiving when you’d rather hold a grudge, the mechanic who fixes my car cheaply and who is honest. All the events in our lives bound by love, respect, and care for one another. Have you seen the sunset recently? Or the beauty of the snow on the breath of dawn? Extraordinary sights, seen with eyes that are, well extraordinary.

My challenge to you is to see the extraordinary in the everyday, to tell others in your life how special and meaningful they are to you, and to see the same "specialness" in YOU.


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