I had the fortunate opportunity to participate as a speaker in an event called ‘One Last Talk’. Each speaker including myself was asked to deliver a talk that they felt needed to be heard prior to leaving this earth. Creating a ‘One Last Talk’ might seem easy but I can tell you from experience that it made me dig very deep to determine what I would like to share with this world if I had ‘One Last Talk’. I have included my closing comments of that talk below as I feel it helps tell people who I am and what I want to stand for in my life.
Closing comments from my ‘One Last Talk’:
Towards a Brighter Future
Three of the five happiest days of my life have occurred within the last couple of years. I am not surprised to realize this same period marks the time in my life when I have done the most work on myself! I did this “Five Happiest Days” exercise about four years ago and at that time most
of my happiest days came from years back. In other words, by working on myself I have had the benefit of creating new five happiest days—and that means the world to me. (Before, I had to go back a long way.)
While preparing for this talk my mentor Philip asked a powerful question to a group of individuals including myself that were preparing to participate in the event. The question was related to the movie Braveheart and its portrayal of William Wallace (who was played by actor Mel Gibson). The power of William Wallace’s voice was fuelled by his relentless pursuit of freedom for the people. He was willing to die for the freedom of the people—and he ultimately did. So Philip asked us the question, “What is one thing that you would die for?”
The question was interesting and I remember being really annoyed at myself when I got up to take a break. I’m good at judging myself—and was pissed at myself because I didn’t have an answer. I didn’t have a kid who committed suicide. I wasn’t physically or sexually abused. I didn’t grow up in poverty. I didn’t watch my father drink himself to death. I felt like I really didn’t have a wound large enough to allow me to really get behind something that I believe to the core of my being. I assumed that my life hadn’t been hard enough for me to have something that could add value to other people’s lives. At the time, I was stuck in this thought pattern and didn’t have anything that just grabbed me.
To find more clarity, I took some space, as that has always been very powerful for me. If I just get out in nature and really take it in, that’s where I find spirit. I went for a walk along the beach and all of a sudden, bang, it just hit me. What hit me was, “I know what I would die for. I would die for me living my life through my voice.”
I, Kent Bonertz, would die for finding my voice.
The stories that I shared in this book were intended to highlight the importance of finding your voice and living from that space. My father’s story was very hard to write and share. But in life, it’s often the dark that brings forth the light. To this day, I am inspired by the fact that my father found his voice, asked for help and overcame his addiction.
By the same token, Denver’s story is both heart-wrenching and inspiring. I can truly say that it’s a journey our family is on—and we will continue to take it one day at a time. I trust that the story has the power to really help other kids and families deal with their own journeys; this is something I am committed to continue to share and support.
My stories were chosen because I have lived them and felt it was important to reflect on the journey I have followed to finding my voice. Much like my father, I have had moments where I have clearly found my voice and with the help of others this has had a tremendous benefit to my life. I want my kids to find their own voices, too. In order for that to happen, I can only lead from example. It really comes down to me finding my own voice. As I look at the deeper reason for wanting my kids to grow up with their own voices, it reflects the journey I have undertaken in finding more of my own.
I would be so blessed to know that writing my version of One Last Talk has offered readers a mirror to really reflect on themselves. I hope that my being vulnerable and honest about what I see in the mirror when I look back at myself adds value. I can tell you this experience has really helped me—and I thank you for taking the time to care.
“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.” ~ Joseph Campbell
I believe Joseph Campbell was one of the greatest minds of the past century and that’s why I chose his quote at the beginning of this book. This quote has helped me tremendously and can be a guiding light for anyone courageous enough to step onto his or her own journey to finding their voice. I agree strongly with Joseph that we’re all looking for the feeling of being alive more than anything else—and nothing can bring us alive more than finding our own unique Voice. Finding your voice that lies within— and bringing it to the surface—will change your life forever. In sum, grab the steering wheel of your own life every once in a while— and get it back on course. Life demands a little effort, but it’s worth it.
One Last Talk – THE POWER OF FINDING YOUR VOICE
One Last Sentence – YOUR VOICE HAS POWER
One Last Word – YOUR VOICE
If you would like to read my full ‘One Last Talk’ titled ‘The Power of Finding Your Voice’ please click on the link and enjoy!
I believe you will find value and meaning in the short but vulnerable stories I share regarding my own experiences.
At the core of my soul I want to help other human beings find the true Voice they came to the world with. We are all gifted in our own ways and these gifts have been given to us in order for them to be used, no if’s and’s or but’s. If you truly want to find joy, meaning and purpose in your life then honour the gifts you have and find a way to give them to others!