photo courtesy of Beth Retro
“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however.”
The boy continued to listen to his heart as they crossed the desert …He lost his fear, and forgot about his need to go back to the oasis, because, one afternoon, his heart told him he was happy.
“Even though I complain sometimes,” it said, “it’s because I’m the heart of a person, and people’s hearts are that way. People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. We, their hearts, become fearful just thinking of loved ones who go away forever, or of moments that could have been good but weren’t, or of treasures that might have been found but were forever hidden in the sands. Because, when these things happen we suffer terribly.”
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one day as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
That night, his heart began to tell him things that came from the soul of the world.
“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children … Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place. So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard. We don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.
“Why don’t people’s hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?” the boy asked the alchemist.
“Because that’s what makes the heart suffer most, and hearts don’t like to suffer.”
From then on, the boy understood his heart. He asked it, please, never stop speaking to him. He asked that, when he wandered far from his dreams, his heart press him and sound the alarm. The boy swore that, every time he heard the alarm, he would heed its message.
Artwork by Moebius
Drink up baby doll. Are you in or are you out? Leave your things behind ‘cause it’s all going off without you … Let go. Jump in … What you waiting for? It’s all right ‘cause there’s beauty in the breakdown.
It’s been said that it is the “darkest before the dawn.” I believe this is true. How can you wake up if you haven’t first been asleep?
I had a major breakdown last week. It was dark and sad and full of regret. And then, what eventually follows all breakdowns happened. I had a major breakthrough.
For a long time, I’ve been hearing that I need to take responsibility for my life. But every time some one said that to me, honestly, I just wanted to punch them in the face. Hadn’t I taken responsibility for my life already? Hadn’t I moved across the country on my own to Los Angeles and then stayed for two and a half years despite the fact that I was quite miserable there? Hadn’t I seen the therapists, and made the apologies, and attended the Landmark sessions? Hadn’t I accepted my parents, and my failures, and my mistakes? What the hell did I have to take responsibility for?
Yet, I was not truly happy. Not even close. I’d resigned myself to the way things would be. And still, I wanted to find happiness. I hoped it would come.
But hope is not enough.
We have to trust. Trust that things happen for a reason. Believe that setbacks are there to teach us lessons, and that that is all they are—lessons. But most importantly, we have to have faith in ourselves and in our lives. And that’s what I couldn’t see.
So, when they said, “take responsibility,” what they meant was make the choice to own my life. Just as it is—right now. I’d lived in a space of what ifs and whys. Why did I have the parents I had? What if I’d had a different father? What if I’d moved to New York instead of Los Angeles? What if I’d done something different so that past relationships could have worked out? … Well, guess what? I didn’t. I have the family I have, the friends I have, the apartment I have … This is all there is in reality. The rest is a dream.
Now this is not to say that I don’t want anything other than what I have now. Of course I do. We all want more for our lives. I’ve just finally gotten that taking responsibility for our lives means realizing we created them up to this point. We created what works and also what does not work. And now, with that, we can create whatever else we want. We can create anything.
2011 is the year of productivity.
Why? Simply because I say so. And while there is power in language, there is even more in declaration. When you declare something, you share it. And when you enroll others in your desire, or your plan, or your new possibility, somehow it all starts to become more real. You actually become accountable to yourself.
The following is a quote my friend sent to me during a time when I was feeling overwhelmingly stuck. The truth is that I have all these things I want to create in my life—grand, extraordinary things—and yet the fear of failing, or what I perceive to be the fear of failing, often overpowers what I want to do. The fear of failing keeps us comfortable and safe and reasonable—and unproductive.
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 most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ 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 other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. 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 everyone. And as 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.