Tag Archives: be bold

Do You Believe In Yourself?

“Softly, her dreams took flight on the wings of hope that believing in herself was all she needed to make her dreams come true. And they did.” – Altered Book Journal. “My Mother’s Prayers” two-page spread.

We all have dreams. Big ones. Little ones. Quiet ones. Loud, audacious ones. Dreams of living lives of wonder. Dreams of great adventure. Dreams of discovering far off lands, of creating stories of greatness in our lives.

Sometimes, our dreams come true. Sometimes, we let them go because life happens.

We fall. We face a wall we cannot climb. We trip over a rock that sends us flat on our back.

In our pain and fear of getting hurt, in our concern others will laugh at us or judge us for our failures, we lock away our dreams and continue on our journey taking the safer path, the road more travelled.

We do okay. We create a ‘good enough life’. It’s just not the life we once dreamed of. But that’s okay, we say. Dreaming is for children. We’re “all grown up now”. We have responsibilities. Success. Things. Secure inside the comfort zone of the life we’ve created, we forget about our dreams and carry on living our good enough life.

And then, one day, if we’re lucky, something happens to remind us of our dreams. Tentatively. Hopefully. We unlock the cage inside our heart where we tucked away our dreams long ago and peer inside.

That’s where the magic happens. That’s where our dreams peer back at us and ask, “Are you ready to come alive?”

It’s a big question because if we say yes, the next question we must ask ourselves as we peer into our hearts and gaze at the sleeping beauty of our dreams unlived is, “Am I willing to believe in myself?”

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As with all the pages in this altered book art journal, embedded within the page is one of my mother’s prayer cards. Also included are a photo of my mother and father hidden behind the smaller bird in the cage.

I hadn’t intended to hide them. Initially, I was going to transfer their images to the page with a technique that requires you to rub off the photo backing so that only the ink from the image remains affixed to the canvas. I started the process with the prayer card only to discover, while that technique works well on a canvas, on a book page the vigorous rubbing off required to remove the backing paper can tear the page of the book.

Ooops.

I wanted to quit. To give up. To tear out the page and begin again.

And that’s when this page became something entirely diferent than what I started to create.

Isn’t that what happens to our dreams sometimes?

We start out all excited and open to the journey until we encounter an obstacle or something goes drastically wrong. Feeling dejected, or embarrassed or possibly hopeless, we pack away our dreams and continue on our journey. It’s a little less bright. A little less promising, but it’s okay. It’s a good life and we should be grateful for all we have.

We tell ourselves, “We didn’t really like that dream anyway,” or some such conjured up story that will hide our disappointment. We’re living well so we ignore the ache in our hearts and the yearning in our minds to fly higher.

Until one day, something happens and we remember our dreams. We remember we are brave, courageous, worthy. We remember we are dreamers.

In that sacred, rarefied air of possibility, we take a step outside the confines of our comfort zone and take a deep breath.

We stretch our arms wide.

We close our eyes.

We dare.

To dream.

To believe in ourselves.

To set our dreams free.

Be Unstoppable: Walk proud. Live strong.

dare to take the high road copy

There is something deliciously satisfying about the thought of getting even with someone who has caused you pain. Yet, no matter how pleasing the thought, the act of getting even is fleeting, illusory, unfulfilling.

The only thing that getting even does is lower you to someone else’s level. It does not bring you lasting peace. And it definitely does not change whatever happened to cause you grief.

When the man who was actively engaged in making the ‘death’ part of his promise to love me forever was arrested, I desperately wanted to make him pay for all the pain and horror he had caused in my life and the lives of those I love. I wanted him to feel my pain. To know the totality of all that he had done.

Wasn’t going to happen.

There was nothing in this world that I could do that would cause him anguish without also causing me pain. To get even with him I would have to have contact with him. And that was not healing, safe nor smart for me. Nor would it have accomplished my goal. He did what he did because that was a reflection of who he is, where he lived, how he walked through this world. I’d been there long enough with him. I had no desire to go back.

Admittedly, there were moments where my thoughts drifted into gleeful persecution of him. Occasionally, to relieve the pressure in my mind and heart, I would stand in the shower and imagine dipping him in a vat of hot tar, dousing him in feathers and then rolling him up in one of the priceless rugs he so loved and running over him with one of those big road paving roller machines until he was as flat as Wiley Coyote of cartoon fame. And that would be the end of that. I would let the warm waters of the shower wash over me and wash all thoughts of him down the drain.

Cleansed of my need for revenge, I would return to finding my path out of the darkness into the light of living peacefully with all my heart in the now.

Living peacefully with all my heart in the now was my truth. My life. My way.

Thoughts of getting even with him only kept me stuck in his truth, his life, his way.

I deserved better.

I needed more.

We all have moments of wanting to slip off our road of integrity into the muck of someone else’s bad behaviour. Don’t do it. Don’t give into the pull of getting even. It will only leave you wearing the dirt of the past and feeling the anguish of someone else’s choices ‘back then’ in the here and now.

If the lure of getting even grows too strong and you feel yourself succumbing to its call, take a shower. Just for a moment, let your mind wander as far as it must into the imaginary world where your getting even sets things right. And then, lovingly bring it back into the present. Be unstoppable in your desire to walk tall and proud. Be unstoppable in living this one wild and precious life with all your heart beating strong on the high road of your integrity.  Walk proud. Live strong.

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This post is in response to today’s one word – Daily Prompt. Unstoppable.