There are few things that don’t remind me that there is a large deficit in our world. In almost any situation I believe that there is proof of how far we have come from understanding our worth as humans. From a booming pornography industry to widespread eating disorders, all of it can be traced back to one missing link. It is often so difficult for any of us to reflect on how valuable we each are.
I think we can all reflect back on a time in our lives that sparked the spiral toward our own self doubt. The past several years, I have been on a journey to reverse the trauma done to me as a child. It’s such a difficult journey to take. In many ways Robert Frost had it right, fewer choose to take the road less traveled. But to keep on that path - to push through the thorns, stand up after tripping on seemingly invisible overgrown roots – may prove to be the hardest expedition you set your mind to in your life. There are plenty of exits from this overgrown road. Plenty of chances for you to back out and head on your merry way back to the trampled, sunny road you know so much better. However, that road doesn’t lead to a glorious time of self discovery, of truly cleansing your mind and body of the toxins that have consumed it.
I am in that time of self-discovery. Call it a purging if you will. Many things that I saw as a benefit to my life were suddenly taken from me, so much was gone that it felt I must look inward to figure out what must be wrong with me. Initially I had it wrong, nothing is wrong with me, I just didn’t understand myself. I didn’t understand what was best for me, I didn’t realize what decisions would be best for me and my future. That what I had to learn, it’s MY future. No one else’s. And though I thoroughly believed that I was happy where I was in life, a higher power was informing me that I was so far from reaching my full potential. And continuing to carry that hurt I had felt all my life was like knowingly keeping ahold of a weight that hindered my flight.
Self-discovery is messy business.
The last several months of 2014 were some of the worst I’ve cared to experience. But in late January I made the decision to come off of my depression medication. I hadn’t been on it for very long so I knew my body – and mind – didn’t have a strong dependence on it yet. I had come to a foreign place where I spent most of my day in my bed hiding from the world.
I didn’t feel depressed anymore, I wasn’t crying uncontrollably over my breakup or my loss of interest in my dreams and goals. I just felt numb, I felt little to no emotion. I didn’t want to live this way anymore. So with my doctor’s permission, I weaned off my Lexapro.
It wasn’t totally the medication, or lack of it in my system, that caused my change in outlook but it certainly contributed. In the last couple months, I’ve found myself actually searching for jobs, and feeling safe to dream about my future again.
But having ambition comes with its own set of problems too. One evening as I desperately tried to keep up with my racing mind, to list out all that I want to accomplish, I became completely overwhelmed. There are so many things that I wish to accomplish for which I am comically under qualified.
It takes guts to be a dreamer.
To believe in yourself can sometimes be the most difficult task, but it is the most necessary part of beginning a journey toward accomplishing your greatest aspirations. To choose the twisted road that leads to the beautiful self-discovery that you deserve to experience comes to a glorious end when you truly believe two things.
1. That you, as a human, contain an immense amount of worth and;
2. That you deserve to dream and to work toward those dreams on a daily basis.
It is more than easy to live day-to-day, working a job that pays the bills. But to pursue your heart’s greatest aspirations, I believe that’s the key to finding unending joy. So here are some practical steps to believing you can accomplish your dreams.
1. List out your dreams. It can be a bucket list, it can be fragments sentences, a sticky note or a cross-stitched pillow. In whatever way you choose to pen down your goals, go crazy. Don’t hold back. Allow yourself to be audacious.
2. Ask yourself each morning how to take at least one step in the direction of your dreams. Even if your dream is a completely different lifestyle than the one you lead, take at least 5 minutes every day to take a step in the direction you ultimately want to find yourself heading.
3. Confide in a loved one. Tell someone you trust what your greatest dreams are, it doesn’t have to be all of them – we all have dreams that we wish to keep private. But don’t hold yourself back by robbing yourself of having a cheering team to keep you going. Think of it as accountability; choose someone or a few people who you know will make sure you’re working in small ways to get on the right track toward accomplishing your greatest aspirations.
4. Never believe the naysayers. It can be daunting to get to the place where criticism rolls off instead of sticking to your skin. And there may never be a time that at least some of the haters don’t get to you, but allowing it to effect you is also allowing those people to get in between you and our goals in life. That is a privilege only held for other dreams.
You are so worthy.
Written and loved on by Justine Williams (J Will)