It’s tough to feel blessed when something rotten happens – but it’s the rotten stuff that triggers blessings.
When my husband Bob had his first stroke four years ago, I was told to shelve my dreams. “You won’t have time for them.”
Without dreams, we’re dead in the water – so I threw out that advice.
A month after the stroke, I was in our local newspaper editor’s office pitching a column on politics. It ran through the 2012 election, garnered a slew of letters to the editor, and was picked up by a top political web site.
Writing that column gave me something for “me” – the thing every caregiver needs but doesn’t usually get – and my writing career flourished.
Adversity is not the time to give up on dreams. Adversity is the time to go after dreams. Blessings follow.
Two more rotten times hit. Bob was diagnosed with prostate cancer and he had a second stroke. Each time, I went for my dreams.
I pitched a second column idea, this one on discoveries in neuroscience. A homeless man stopped my editor in town to tell her that my columns had helped him – “a lot.” This is the kind of encouragement writers would scale a tall tree to get, barefoot.
Next I created a confidence ecourse. The neuroscience discoveries I wrote about in my column were having a big effect on my husband. He began to actually heal from his health disasters. The techniques I wrote about in my column were doing their job. Our town’s most respected integrative clinic agreed to sponsor the course.
I was on a roll – so I decided to go big.
Teens. Who needs confidence more than they do? Teens are bombarded with put-downs and rejection, sometimes daily. The course had to be free for teens to take it, so I made it free. In a flash of inspiration, I created a donation system to support it. I asked people to “give confidence” to someone who needs it. It’s a “pass love around” kind of idea.
What happened next is something so very special, it ranks up there with my husband’s recovery. A few mothers and fathers donated and enrolled their teens. It’s just a few so far; I’m hoping for more.
None of this would have happened without blessings – and the blessings wouldn’t have arrived if I had followed that oh-so-wrong advice to give up on my dreams.
What greater blessing is there than finding out you’ve truly helped someone?
Go for your dreams. Do it now – especially if you’re going through a tough time. You’ll shift into feeling blessed.
Published in the Black Mountain News, February 26, 2014