In February 2021, still in the thick of a pandemic, I felt a nudge to invite people to share their stories … I felt a sense that we needed to learn from one another (despite our apparent disconnection with others and the world at the time) … we needed to HEAR people’s stories … to CELEBRATE … to TEACH … I wanted to provide an opportunity for people to SHARE what they’ve come to know … to impart their tiny bits of wisdom … with me … with the world …
Below, is but one of many stories I hope to share … if you’re interested in sharing your story, please reach out to me (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love the opportunity to serve you (and others) in this special way.
Interviewer: Leanne Hintz
Interviewee: Jacqueline Samson
Date of Interview: April 27th, 2021
Leanne: Who are you?
Jacqueline: “We’re not human beings having a spiritual life … we’re spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, a famous French philosopher).
This bumper sticker slogan represents a great deal of who I am. It’s something that has always been important to me (even as a child), especially amidst the chaos of my upbringing. I spent a lot of time outside and have always felt connected to the world around me.
Beyond this, I am a beloved child of God, even though I did not fully come to know this until my 40s.
I believe I came into this world to experience the whole myriad of the human experience … to learn to love what God loves.
I am (or have been) a minister, a chaplain, a mother, a spouse, a lover, a daughter, a sister, and a cousin … I haven’t fully experienced ALL of these roles (and some have come with their challenges), but I have fully embraced my role as a mother and as a spouse, and now, my role as a grandmother. Even before my grandchildren were born, I was fully committed to being a part of their lives. I have learned so much about the intricacies of being a human from these various roles!
Beyond this, I always hope to be “a glimmer of God” … to shine “the light” … I definitely aim to be conscious … awake and alive … being a fully-present part of all that is!
Leanne: Looking back on your life, talk about some of the things you’re really proud of.
Jacqueline: While I can’t relate to the proud peacock or rooster strutting around, I do have intense feelings of gratitude … nothing I have accomplished has been “on my own” … it’s always been a “group effort” … I believe the universe supports “movement” when we’re doing what we’re called to do …
I am proud of my resilience though … I feel like this is a gift and it IS something I’m proud of … I’ve had to make some huge moves … across continents and countries … but I’ve come to know that wherever I land, I’ll be okay … whatever I need will come … thus, I am also proud of my faith and my belief in God’s abiding love, as well as my ability to learn, especially from creation but also from life’s experiences … there is always something somebody can teach us.
I am proud of my children and my grandchildren … I am proud of my efforts to be a good mother … this was really important to ME, because it was something I didn’t have …what a blessing to be a solid foundation for them! I believe I’ve raised “conscious humans” and for that I AM proud!
I am also proud of my courage … I’ve bitten off some huge things in my life, but I finished or did them. For example, my journey of studying to be a minister for the United Church took eight years, and though I wanted to quit a few times, I stuck with it. I’ve also left everything I know time and time again … this is tough, but it ends up being a big game changer every time … this has taught me that I can make friends and family wherever I go … and sometimes, we need to step out of our comfort zones.
Finally, I am really proud of doing “the right thing” regardless … this does mean breaking the rules sometimes or being a bit of a “rebel.”
Leanne: What advice would you like to pass along to someone else?
Jacqueline: “A job worth doing is a job worth doing well.”
This is something that has always stuck with me (ever since I was child) … whatever you’re doing … enjoy it … do your best! Rest well … eat well … love well … no matter what you’re doing … do it well … do it right … do it with your heart … do it wholeheartedly!
Another piece of advice? Let go of unfair expectations of people … sure, set boundaries, but be aware of how your expectations “bite your butt.” It’s possible that what you “expect” from someone else just isn’t possible for them … they’re not capable … they have their own unique “processor” and simply can’t do what you want them to … so we should study people well, especially the ones closest to us …
Of course, I’ve always been a big advocate of the four agreements as well … don’t take things personally, be impeccable with your word, don’t make assumptions, and always do your best …
Live life! Pray, dance, laugh, sing, smile!
Leanne: If you could pick ONE thing in your life to “do over,” what would it be? Why?
Jacqueline: There’s really nothing that I would “do over,” because without the experience I wouldn’t have had “the lesson” … the “maturing” … the “understanding” … however, I do wish I could have journeyed with less fear … lived more simply … communicated much better. I wish I could have articulated what I really needed … the things I need to keep me alive.
Leanne: I still really want to … (list as many things as you like) …
Jacqueline: I still really want to write a book, go to Ireland, be a part of the change I wish to see in the world, hug my estranged family members (my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister), sing, dance, laugh, love, make love, and live with passion!