One Writer’s Dream Partially Realised Through the Storms and Fires of Life
a dream is
Are your dreams big enough?
To read more of this article, my first ever posted online elsewhere, please go to Medium or the Medium publication Publishous – with thanks to Nicole Akers for her help with the latter.
Sending my thanks to all of you who read, clapped, shared or commented on ‘Are Your Dreams Big Enough?’ This article received so much attention after Publishous published it last week, the online publication put the author spotlight on me. Thank you for this recognition after my first guest post online.
Please leave any further comments here, or on Medium which uses a clapping system of up to 50 claps if you like the post, or on Publishous which uses a star rating system.
I rarely check the trending news, because most of it’s not positive. However, this post got my attention. For two days before I saw it, I researched how to say sorry as I prepare to publish Part 4 of my series ‘10 Ways to Loving & Living to your Fullest‘.
A successful apology can soothe stressed relationships and ease your own mind.
Is the former President’s apology a good example of how to say sorry?
Did Dr Michelle Bengtson Say Sorry Successfully?
Soon after the report about President George H. W. Bush, author and blogger, Dr. Michelle Bengtson, published this:
Do you want to say ‘thank you’ right now? You can write down your thanks on myThank You Guide, which gets straight to the point of this post, with bonus information.
5. SAY ‘THANK YOU’ TO OTHERS
It’s important you share your thanks with others concluded Brenda O’Connell, Deirdre O’Shea and Stephen Gallagher in a recently published randomised controlled trial.
Saying ‘thank you’ helps you make friends!
Lisa Williams & Monica Bartlett‘s scientific study showed if you’re thankful and thoughtful to peers you don’t know, they’re more likely to stay in contact with you. They suggest the phrase “warm thanks” may hold some truth.
Who are you thankful to?
Let them know. If you can’t talk to them, write a note or send a message. To help you record your thanks, use my Thank You Guide.
Be thankful! Improve yourself, your community… and our world!
Thank you, dear reader, for your part in my life – whether you know me through these words only or know me as a family member, friend, spiritual brother or sister, neighbour or colleague.
Be thankful for the best
I thank you for the goodyou chose in the past and continue to choose. You encourage me and many more. Whether or not we’ve felt the effects directly, the world is a better place!
Be thankful for the worst
The song ‘Grateful’ contains some great lyrics about being thankful for the worst – written by Diane Eve Warren, sung by Rita Ora. Please note the use of the word ‘hell’ in the third verse may be offensive.
Thankful for abandonment and abuse
Stephanie Fast lived in post-war Korea in the 1950’s, an abandoned biracial child. Lee Strobel in his book, The Case for Grace, tells how she survived all sorts of abuse until her adoption by American missionaries. Now she shares her story and counsels broken young women. She says,
For me, I can honestly say there is no event in my life that I am better without. Why? Because everything in my life brought me to Jesus.
‘Thank You’ for my worst
A few years ago I felt drawn to an uninspiring little book (whereabouts and title unknown). Once I started reading, I knew why. It challenged me deeply: to be thankful for the hardest and worst in my life.
I believed that was my divorce. Immediately I asked God to help me be thankful for this unwanted event. I didn’t ‘feel’ thankful, but began to tearfully thank Him for it anyway. Once I did, I felt a huge release and freedom, which increases as I continue my thanks.
Last year I signed up for a free one-hour phone session with MJB Seminars. Tarryn Michie‘s call helped me understand more about a defining childhood event: perceived abandonment as a two to a four-day-old baby. She challenged me to plan enough time in one sitting to write down 20 benefits from my abandonment.
‘What a massive task!’ I thought.
First I decided to make and eat my late lunch. As I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about what benefits could come from my traumatic separation from Mum. Straight after lunch, I wrote down 21 reasons why I was thankful – so much faster than I expected! Here’s a photo of my reasons.
The worst in my life is helping me become my best
As soon as I began to be thankful, I felt better about this separation. I feel even better over time with continuing thanks. Most times I reflect on this now ( intentionally to forgive any involved in my trauma), I’ve barely any negative response – despite abusive memories associated with my time in the hospital nursery.
I say ‘Thank You’ for bad choices and circumstances of my own or others.
I don’t like these. I’m especially sorry for all I do wrong and don’t want to repeat any of it. Sadly I do. Yet these draw me closer to God, the only One who can completely forgive me. More about this in Part 4 of the series!
Despite the trauma, I’m grateful for what I gained out of such tremendous losses. I had nowhere togoand turned to God to grow through these.
Difficulties give me a chance to learn and grow – an opportunity for loving and living to my fullest! Only because of the worst of times, can I enjoy better times.
I admit, giving thanks for difficulties doesn’t come naturally to me. As I drafted this post, I grappled with bad news. Writing this post reminded me to practice what I encourage you to do.
I prayed with tears and found reasons to be grateful for my bad news. For example, now I know about this, I can begin to deal with it and aim for the best outcome. Opening myself to the emotional pain I felt, sharing this with God and seeking reasons to say thank you, helped me to go on without thinking too much about the news.
The worst in my story helps me to become my best, perhaps not only for me but also for others – especially my children, I hope.
What’s the worst in your life?
Could your worst help you become your best?
Don’t waste the circumstances of your life. Make the most of what you have now. Face your difficulties, be thankful for them and let them be a source of growth for you.
Say thank you for your worst now. At least work towards doing this.
Set aside enough time to record 20 reasons why you’re thankful for your worst. Write these down. You can do this on the second page of my Thank You Guide. Read back over these reasons regularly, with thanks, sharing them with God or others.
Try this. Be amazed how your outlook changes!
Could you be loving and living to your fullest far sooner than you think?
Be thankful for everyone and everything:
The good you’ve experienced in the past and have in your life now.
The difficult, because it provides the opportunity to grow – loving and living to your fullest.
How often have you said thank you today? What are you most thankful for now?
Who will you direct your thanks to?
Choose to regularly say ‘Thank you’ to others more often, including God in prayer.
The One who made you does!
Yes! You’re loved incredibly, just as you are.
You’re loved by our Maker – because of His goodness, not based on what you’ve done, but what He’s done.
Since earlier this year, I’ve claimed Gavin Mikhail’s cover of “Just the Way You Are” as a love song from the One who made me. God’s always faithfully provided for me, especially through the toughest of times in my life – better than anyone on this earth could.
Do you love your neighbours to your fullest – especially those dearest and closest to you? Do you love them with this unconditional love that has nothing to do with their actions? Love without quitting. Love never fails!
Choose to love others the best way you can….in the ways which mean the most to them: using the best words, actions and touch.
Take care of yourself
Do you take good care of yourself, living and loving to your fullest, healthy and balanced in all areas of life?
Are you taking steps to living and loving to your fullest forever?
Are you choosing contact with – and loving to your fullest – your family, friends, colleagues and ‘neighbours’ that you share this world with? Do you make reasonable effort to bless your ‘neighbours’ and those who’ll come after us by caring for your environment?
Are you enjoying your life, with time for fun and laughs? Are you facing and conquering things that affect you negatively? How much are these limiting you from loving and living to your fullest?
Grief over lost or failed relationships perhaps due to abuse, abandonment, separation or death?
Addiction to alcohol, nicotine, other drugs, self-harm, self-injury or overeating?
Anxiety and depression?
In coming posts, you’ll hear about things that kept me awake all night, sent me into panic attacks and even hiding under my desk at work…and what spiders taught me about success.
Do you eat and drink well, exercise, rest and sleep adequately and manage anything that can affect these (and your other areas of health)?
My chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia (including bilateral carpal tunnel symptoms) have improved with rest, aerobic exercise, core strengthening and stretches. I’ll share more about this in coming posts.
Do you make time to stretch your mind through observation, watching, listening, interacting with others, reading and writing?
How do you use your time and resources to give to our world, supporting yourself and others financially and/or in other ways?
So much to balance!
What are your priorities?
Do you have a system to work out what’s most important? More about this in Part 5 of this series of blog posts 🙂
Choose to be loved as you are, and do the same for others. Love is forever. Love forever!
Coming up in Parts 3 to 5 of this series: Six more ways to loving and living to your fullest, whatever your circumstances…
May you be blessed, loving and living beyond your wildest dreams!
Tell us in the comments what you choose to do differently now.
Are you loving and living to your fullest?
Sadly, too many of us aren’t according to statistics.
How can you be confident of loving and living to your fullest?
Discover 10 ways to loving and living to your fullest whether you’re:
Diagnosed with terminal illness
Begin loving and living to your fullest right now with these first two suggestions below. More to come in my next blog posts!
1. DARE to HOPE
First, dare to hope, whatever happens in your life – no matter how stretched you feel. Dare to see yourself at your best, and be your best – whatever is happening.
Do you see the “Hope in Front of Me” Danny Gokey sings of?
Come and meet some who dared to hope in dark places.
2. CHOOSE LIVING to YOUR FULLEST
Despite the difficulties
Second, choose to truly live despite difficult circumstances in your life.
Kara Tippetts began blogging in 2012. Soon after she faced a diagnosis of breast cancer. Kara dealt with her diagnosis and treatment in her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, four books and public speeches over the next three years.
Kara chose to truly live despite the pain, suffering and crushing reality of her death in 2015. She saw God has purpose in suffering; beauty and grace exist despite hard things like cancer, suffering and death. On her request, a friend continues her blog with a supportive team.
Ask for help
After the birth of our two beautiful children, in an often fragile marriage, my chronic fatigue increased – as did my anger for several years. Occasionally I drove too fast, not caring for fleeting brief periods. It’s hard to admit I took such risks.
I thank God, my wonderful friends and health professionals I called on – especially when I felt overwhelmed and unable to go on. Finally, a caring herbalist diagnosed a hormonal imbalance. My anger calmed with supplements and teas, despite our failing marriage and my deteriorating health. Now, 10 years later, anger rarely flares in my life.
Don’t give up
Keep asking for help when you have problems you can’t get on top of. Your problems may seem never-ending, but there are solutions. An answer could be closer than you imagine.
Don’t leave this world without sharing all your beauty and richness.
Sadly some reach a hopeless place and choose not to go on. Over the last months, I’ve known too many who decided not to live. One slightly younger friend, from our children’s playgroup days, didn’t share the extent of her hopelessness with her close network of family and friends till it was too late.
My friend’s death continues to sadden me deeply. I feel for her, her family and all who’ve been through similar pain. This fuels my desire to do what I believe I should now – share these words of hope.