To truly live is to harness the power of self-realization, to figure out who you really are and why you are here. When you develop clarity on your gifts, when you can find synergy with that which lies deep within your heart and soul, then you gain power. When you use this power and these God-given talents to touch the lives of other people, then you manifest two words which create your legacy and ensure your presence for all eternity. These acts of willful creation, sharing and inspiration in turn make you immortal.
The two words: Love Lives.
I never met Connor Brown. But in the span of two hours yesterday I was honored and privileged to peer through the window to his soul. In a service like few I have experienced, hundreds of friends and family shared their deepest sorrows and greatest joys about the life of Connor, one which came to a tragic end just last week. Connor was only 23.
The pain for his parents, the most unimaginable on this earth, is wrapped around a pure epicenter of inexplicable beauty. Connor is one of the select few, who even in such a short time, a little more than two decades, was well on his personal journey of significance because Connor understood what he was about and willing to share his unique personality and gifts with the world.
Connor was an artist, a sculptor and he and his creative spirit refused to be confined by this world and its “rules of life”. It has been said, and I wholeheartedly agree, with all of my being, that those who made the rules of life and how it should be lived, don’t get to be the “be-all end-all” of what our lives are truly about. Those who made the rules, made them to mask and to censure the pure creativity and uniqueness which lies inside each and every one of us. The secret, the life-affirming freedom is the ability to crawl deep inside yourself and extract the best within you, without the need to simply conform to society. There is simply no reason to live life in a straight line, in black and white, from birth to death without ever experiencing what it’s like to see the colors emanating from your powerful being.
Connor is one of the lucky ones because he never gave up on who he was and who he wanted to be. He never gave up. No matter the circumstance he shared his unique perspective, through his off-the-wall personality and through his amazing, artistic creations. In a letter from his sister Kenzie, she described his colorful personality and his innate ability to make her laugh, even in the most uncomfortable and trying situations. For Kenzie, Connor knew that going outside the norm would make her look at life the same way he did, at least for the moment, bringing a smile in what should have been the most serious of circumstances.
For his girlfriend Romina, who Connor touched so deeply with his spirit, she already recognized she had found the love of her life. That’s a powerful statement to make only two decades into your own existence. Yet this was the attraction of Connor.
For his parents, Connor’s unique being brought them joy and frustration, yet opened their eyes to a world, which without him, would have lacked the deep colors that so many lives are void of, because too many are simply trying to live and do what others say they should. Even in the face of strong lectures and conformist expectations, Connor was strong enough to admit he recognized what he was supposed to do, but was perfectly content on going in the other direction. He possessed the talent and the knowledge for academics, but he was put here on this earth to create, to sculpt, to bring out his personality and his being through his art.
An artist is different, and thank God for that. You can’t think linear and mold the most intricate of shapes, create the most unique designs which defy conventional thought. You have to live your life in color, you have to hold steadfast to who you are inside, because if not others will try to steal your spirit, albeit because they can’t seem to find their own and they know it, so they try to create rules to supress yours.
Connor was having none of that. In the two hours of learning about his life, of feeling his heart and experiencing his talents in videos, pictures and the unbelievable power of words from family and friends, remembering the indomitable spirit of a soul gone too soon, I was incredibly moved and inspired.
I too am an artist and this is my canvas. I love to create, I love to write. I love to share and it can be a lonely, tough existence, but I have to be who I am and Connor has helped me to see it is the only way.
It’s my loss I never got to meet Connor and the world’s loss that he is no longer walking among us. But I cherish the day when one day we will meet. He won’t know me, but I will know him. And I will thank him for affirming to me to never give up on who I truly am, for to embrace is to live, to love is to live.
Thank you Connor.
Until next time thanks for taking the time,
Mark Brodinsky, Author, Blogger, Speaker, Speech Writer, Emmy Winner, USHEALTH Advisors
Author: The #1 Amazon Best Seller: It Takes 2. Surviving Breast Cancer: A Spouse’s Story
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