“Nothing makes you more vulnerable than your refusal to be honest with yourself about what you want.” –Charly Emery
It’s nothing like a good quote to sum up hundreds of pages of thoughts into one sentence! Admitting to myself that my dream is to encourage the world through my music (this I vowed to do at 17 years old) has been THE most difficult thing…EVER! Though it was always what I saw for my life, I felt it was too big a dream to accomplish yet the desire has followed me to this day! I never saw myself singing in a coffee shop with an acoustic guitarist playing in the background (which I have proudly and gratefully done). I am talking about on stage in the spotlight in front of a stadium of people singing my heart out, raw unadulterated personal truth flowing through me and into the hearts of others! That is what I saw when I pictured my life at 14 years old when I’d sit in my room staring at the glow in dark stickers of stars and planets on my ceiling (Remember those? So cool right?!)
My Dad was a factory worker at Ford Motor Company for 34 years and my Mom worked in a hospital and they instilled in me the value of earning a living. “Make sure you have a good job”, they’d say. “A good job” meaning with the city or the government…something steady. Back then if my Mom had her way I would be a lawyer (sorry Mom!). With that said, the artist in me knew that the 9-5 life was not my calling. I knew for some odd reason back then that I would rather be on a set for 17 hours than to be in a cubicle for 8. It’s just the way I’m built. Not that there is anything is wrong with the 9-5 life it is all about fulfilling your purpose so as long as you are on your “own” path (not someone else’s) then you will be energized by what you do. For me, it was being on stage and encouraging the world through the songs I’d write. I knew I craved that on a deeper level but on the surface (in my mind) I began thinking, “Who am I that people would listen to me?” “How would I get there? That’s too much!” “I don’t look like these beautiful model looking singers.”
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”-Maryanne Williamson
For the next several years I walked through life half in my dream and half out. I believed 50% of the time and doubted the other 50% and 50-50=0 I’ve never been great at math but that was a pretty simple equation. The interesting part is that I have never been fully “out of the game.” As I mentioned, I knew to surround myself with people who were doing what I wanted to do yet I could not cross over into the “Promised Land” so to speak. I kept wandering in the desert. Scripture talks about only Caleb and Joshua getting to the Promised Land because of their spirit and willingness to follow God and not gripe and complain in the wilderness. (Numbers 14:21-24, 30) What that tells me is that you can never “cross over” into your own greatness if you are blissfully unaware of every wonderful thing that you currently have. Without gratitude, you will miss out on the promise. You will allow your current circumstances to cloud your vision and “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
To be fair and honest, I don’t think anyone desires to self-sabotage. Many times it is deeper than a lack of gratitude or a bad attitude it is fear. We fear the Promised Land and would rather deal with what is currently in hand because we feel inadequate for some reason, it feels easier to disapprove yourself than to approve yourself. Also, because there is deeper responsibility when it comes to being successful. There is another level of integrity because other people are watching your every move. No one wants to take responsibility or acknowledge their feelings of inadequacy so we avoid whenever possible. At least that’s what I did!
“Success on any major scale requires you to accept responsibility . . . . In the final analysis, the one quality that all successful people have is the ability to take on responsibility.”— Michael Korda (Editor-in-Cheif, Simon & Schuster)
I imagine it could be compared to becoming a parent for the first time. Knowing that those tiny little eyes will be watching your every move for the rest of your life. That is a lot of pressure especially if you aren’t so certain of your life’s purpose. This could easily cause someone to live a 50/50 life (50% IN and %50 OUT of their purpose). But there comes a time when you must do the brave thing and accept responsibility for yourself, the life or lives you have created and the gifts, talents and dreams you were born with! As the Maryanne Williamson quote suggests, we were all born to “make manifest the glory of God that is within us all.” Meaning that we all have the greatness within us…it never leaves us…no matter how far we run…no matter how long we have lived a 50/50 life it will always be there tapping us on the shoulder as if to say, “Hey there, remember me? Of course, you do!” (Those dreams can be so snarky!) The funny part is that everything inside of you wants to say “YES! I DO remember you!!” So I encourage you to remember you…that part of you that at 15 said you wanted to be an RN but maybe you settled for office manager instead. Or you wanted to be in a healthy relationship but you settled for “who you settled for.” That dream will always be tapping on your shoulder and it honestly doesn’t care if you have settled for other things…it still wants you! Because it was designed with you in mind! The question is, are you willing to affirm yourself and accept the responsibility for its fulfillment?
Take your time, because that is the question that has the power to turn your 50 into 100! (I think I’m at 75…still gaining though)
- Practice visualizing my dream because I have spent so much time ignoring it. (7-minutes every morning)
- Practice gratitude: List at least 5 things I am grateful for every day.
- Write down what responsibilities come with the new life I desire. Let them settle in my heart, mind and spirit. (Remember: “I can do it!” “I was born to do it!”)