As I post on this Memorial Day I focus on the joy that comes from our freedoms, the opportunity to be true to ourselves, and the choice to embrace and go after our dreams. In the spirit of Mother Theresa, I wanted to highlight the inspiration and personal pride that comes from doing what we love. This next blog celebrates the letter “D”.
No matter what your faith of choice, you may be familiar with Mother Theresa’s version of this famous poem:
People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
FORGIVE THEM ANYWAY.
If you are kind people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
BE KIND ANYWAY.
If you are honest people may cheat you.
BE HONEST ANYWAY.
If you find happiness people may be jealous.
BE HAPPY ANYWAY.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
DO GOOD ANYWAY.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough.
GIVE YOUR BEST ANYWAY.
For, you see, in the end it is between you and God.
It was never between you and them anyway.
This poem has always spoken to me. Every one of us has dreams, many are in different stages of thought or development. Dreams are found in every walk of life from the underprivileged to the excessively affluent. I believe that on the inside we are all traveling our own journey to live our best life.
I see it every day - in myself, my family, friends, colleagues, students I work with and strangers. What I see more of is the hesitation to be our true selves due to the influences of others, circumstances and concerns of perceptions. How amazing would life be if we just did what we felt in our hearts to be the right thing?
Those little tugs at our hearts to learn something, do something, help someone, support a cause, speak out about something we believe in, and/or take a stand are a big part of who we are. However, we also live in a very social world filled with politics, images, reputations, and strategic actions. Our movement through life and the reactions/consequences of those actions are how we learn, and develop the ideals, values and causes that are important to us.
Perhaps you are considering a change in career, living arrangements or lifestyle. You may share with a select few and ask for feedback. You also may get unsolicited advice from others who feel compelled to weigh in on your decision. Whatever you feel is right in your heart for you and your life, do it anyway.
Maybe you are thinking about moving across the country for a change of scenery, a new job, new possibilities or simply a new adventure. Some will be supportive, others may lay on the guilt. If you feel this adventure is calling to you, do it anyway.
If you feel stuck in your life you may want to switch things up. This change may go over well with those who support you. However, for those who feel negatively impacted by your desire to move out of your routine or current responsibilities, it may not go over well. If it will make your life better, do it anyway.
What about the often biggest critic of all – ourselves? We have a great idea! We know it will make our lives better! It will be exciting… and scary, and may take sacrifices. Wait, maybe we won’t be good at it. It’s outside our comfort zone. Maybe now is not the time. We have too many responsibilities to others. We should probably wait until certain conditions are set. No, it’s probably not really a good idea anyway.
Whaaatt?! How does this happen? Well, I’m as guilty of this as anyone. We get nervous and uncertain. But this is how we grow! It’s important to move outside the comfort zone and learn new things, experience new adventures, or even go back to the ones we’ve loved but left behind. We can always find a way to make it work, at least to some degree.
Enjoying life is such an important part of living! Even if it doesn’t work out the way we planned, it’s still time well spent because we will have learned a little more about who we are. While it is still important to be considerate of others, no matter how we want to be true to ourselves as we grow along our life’s path, no matter what the obstacles, do it anyway.
Acknowledge the purpose of the callings on your heart and the obstacles to your dreams. Go after them anyway. Spread the joy!