Growing up in a small, rural town, I had huge dreams of bright lights and big cities.
For many years, I gave up these dreams for a simpler life of raising children, homeschooling, tending a garden, managing a farm. I felt as though my “huge dreams” would always be just that, “DREAMS”. I bought in to the belief that the life of dreams, travel and fairy tale romance would always be just beyond my reach. Really, I thought these things didn’t exist for normal people. I accepted that even though I had a burning desire inside of me for a life less ordinary, that I was no different than anyone else. I accepted for myself that I was not special, not worthy of love and definitely not destined for greatness of any kind.
I envisioned my happy ending as a comfortable place on a porch, with a hot cup of tea and a novel. I can even feel the imagined sun on my face as I relive the memory of this as it daily played out in my head. The novel in my hand would be taking me to foreign lands that I would never experience in person and I was content to know I had given my life, hopes and dreams for my children. A noble sacrifice, a selfless trade–my hopes and dreams for their happiness. Oh yes, then I could die happy, knowing I gave it all up for them, in the name of motherhood. Through my love and affection, through my sacrifice-they would prosper, they would grow, flourish, explore, excel, thrive, live, love and rejoice.
Such utter bullshit.
What I did without knowing it (until I knew it), was I bought in to someone else’s beliefs about my life. I adopted someone else’s beliefs about what was right and attainable. I put pre-conceived limits on myself, on God…even on my children. I did not model for them a life of faith, a life built on the belief that God is with me every step of the way and that He wants to give me the desires of my heart. I modeled for them a life of limits. A life of accepting less, not daring to shine to brightly and not truly feeling worthy of receiving love. I said things like, “We can’t afford it.” “We can’t do that, people won’t understand.” and “What will they think?” (Whoever “they” are) In all of my efforts to teach my children to think for themselves, I also taught them to buy in to false personal beliefs.
I was wrong.
Now, I know better. I know that I can attain anything I choose. I can travel to any city in the world. I can fight serious illnesses and win. I can give and receive great amounts of unconditional love. I can and will survive whatever comes my way. I can choose forgiveness. I can sit at the big kid’s table in meetings and spar with the best of them. I write and speak wisdom that works as a catalyst for change in the lives of others. I easily and effortlessly evoke learning and understanding. I don’t back down from a challenge. I subscribe to the thought that anything worth having is worth whatever effort it takes to attain it. I believe thoughts are just thoughts and they can be changed. I believe God provides miracles in my life every day. I believe. I have faith and above all else, I choose love over hatred.
Recently, when talking with someone about a book I am working on…my autobiography—my friend mentioned that I should write the ending the way I want it to be. I should write in how I envision my story playing out, the place I live at the end of my final chapter, the people I love, the people who love me. She said I should write this ending and focus on it so all of my actions and thoughts move me in that direction. I agree with her–to a point. I mean, after all–who doesn’t want a fairytale happy ending to a beautiful life’s journey? What really struck me though, in the moment of thinking of the ending is how I should stay in the present moment. Yes, take a few minutes each day to visualize my goals, but also, don’t stay in that visualization too long. More important than anything in my past or future is my current moment. Right now. I do not want to squander what is within me at this present moment, who I am present with, what I am present for. God gently whispered to me, “Stay in the now and let Me guide your future.”
So, my message for you today is to write your story today with your words and actions. Do not be fearful of this afternoon or tomorrow or next week. Choose each moment selectively, purposefully, intentionally. Stop living in “I can’t” and move in to , “I can.” Do it one thought at a time. Maybe there will be a happy ending. Maybe not. Does it really matter so much right this minute? Be encouraged to drink in every moment between here and there. For me (and for you), it is ALWAYS NOW and you and I–we have a lot to accomplish, a lot to see, a lot to share and a lot of love to bring forth into the world.
So, Let’s get busy with it.
Be Brave– Live your story.