If Everything Happens For a Reason, Do You Give Up On Your Dreams?

A Winter's Breath,

Do you feel there are times in life that don’t make any sense? That what is happening is something you never expected in a million years? That this moment brings more questions than answers?

Life is like a movie or a great book offering unexpected plot twists. Just when you think you have it all figured out, BAM! SNAP! It all comes tumbling down. They say everything happens for a reason, and I believe it does.

There is a movie, ‘Up Close and Personal’, with a quote, “…no more upper East side.” It refers to a woman who has big plans for herself and something happens that dramatically changes them, making the pie in the sky dream disappear. She feels the dream is gone forever, and loses all hope.

Have you had a dream inside of you, that you hid away because of fear, or belief it could not happen? Something put on the back burner because life happened?

I have. I let someone tell me I was wasting my time writing, and believed others when they told me I was worthless because I could not have biological children. I allowed others beliefs to take over my own, and I lived feeling broken and worthless.

Of course I believed those words many times, and something inside told me to keep going, to keep fighting, and to prove those no-sayers wrong.

I felt broken, hurt, and undeserving, yet something inside kept me hanging on to hope, or the hope of dreaming again. I don’t know what to call it, but I persevered. I was not what others said about me, they wanted to categorize me based on their box. Their box of beliefs.

They may have believed I was unworthy or broken, yet they had not lived through what I had. Cancer, surgeries, heartbreak, pain, and so on. They may have lived through their own trauma, however no two experiences are the same, and therefore cannot be judged from the outside. Their words had me believing I was not resilient. That I could not have more, or be more. Those nay-sayers were my greatest teachers, and the power for my greatest strength.

To step aside from the controlling thoughts of others and stand on my own at the risk of losing everything, was intimidating.

Often when we don’t have the confidence or love in ourselves, we start taking others words to heart. And what we believe becomes our reality. We put ourselves down, we stop loving ourselves, and we forget who we were, or the dreams we had.

If we cannot do us, and rely on someone else to tell us if we deserve something or not, we simply don’t believe in ourselves. Somewhere, somehow, there remained a spark inside of me to believe.

My dreams were mine, and no one could take those from me. Sure, circumstance and reality exist, but dreaming keeps us alive and moving forward to something that completes us. If we do the work, dreams can come true. And, if nothing else they keep us living and not letting go of a piece of ourselves.

If we live only for someone else’s dream, we may end up with regrets or hateful feelings to another. Do you have a dream? Do you think that if you did something for 10 minutes a day for the next 90 days to work towards that you dream, you might be a little closer to making that wish from your heart a reality?

If the burning desire won’t go away, and you know you would do anything to make it happen, would you fight for that? If you answered yes, how do you find your voice? It takes a step forward. A raising of your hand to say I am willing to do the work, and I believe in me.

I can’t explain what it was that whispered to me, try this, write this, or trust me. It was something, and I listened as fearful as ever. On paper it may not have made sense, and yet in the heart it was the only likely solution.

One day at a cocktail reception I shook hands with a world leader. He posed the question to our group, what should I speak about, and without hesitation, I responded, “speak from your heart.”

That moment in my life changed many years of doubt. Life changed. It moved forward at lightning speed. For the first time I had found my voice. My own heart, soul, and mind in sync with what was right for me.

I had found my confidence in myself. Something I struggled with for years. So why did that moment change me? I was ready. I was tired of hiding behind others to live my life. And I knew I had something to do.

And just when we think we have something to do, we are tested. Tested to see if what we say, matches or actions, and our core beliefs of who we are.

So things show up. These things make us ask questions if it were meant to be, or if we are willing to fight for all that we desire. They say actions speak louder than words, and our actions are put to a test.

-First, we have a dream.

-Second, things start showing up in our lives supporting that dream.

-Third, we are tested to see if we truly believe in ourselves and that dream.

-Fourth, do we retreat when it gets hard or do we keep going?

We battle with ourselves, our thoughts, and perhaps our loved ones. What is right? What is wrong? We ask friends and family for advice, hoping for their support or brutally honest answers. And the truth, only we have that answer. That gut instinct, that whispers without a doubt, the yes or the no.

Things become tough when we know the answer. Making life swirl into so many unknowns and so many “of course responses”. And just when we thought we had it all figured out, something changes putting our thoughts, our beliefs, and our voice to their ultimate test.

If this is you, you are not alone. Adversity faces each and every one of us. Along with pain, love, heartbreak, and dreams coming true. It’s part of life. Part of finding our voice, our strength, and our passion.

Will you follow your dream? Will you stop next time you make a plan and are blind-sided by something more? I’m grateful I stopped and listened to the words I once told a now great friend, speak from your heart. The heart knows what it wants.

There are too many times I masked my own heart to try to live what I thought was someone else’s. Be true to you. Are you being true to your heart?  Your voice? Are you ready to make sense of the feelings that surface you want to ignore, but can’t? Then, what are you waiting for?

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