Shooting for the moon.

moon-tree-stars“Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you will land among stars.” Les Brown.

Who doesn’t want to shoot for the moon? To aim for something spectacular in life? To feel that life can be filled with infinite possibilities? I hope that you do.

Or is your belief that shooting for the moon is only for those who are special in some way? And you’re not good enough? Well, it’s not and you are.

When I was reminded of this quote this week, it made me smile. It’s clichéd and twee but with the right frame of mind it’s uplifting and fun. I say in the right frame of mind because I know that in the past I would have looked at it and thought that there was no point in me shooting for the moon, because there was no prospect of success. And there was no chance of my landing in the stars. Much more likely I would fall down a black hole and spiral further into my depressed and alcoholic oblivion.

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” ~ Oscar Wilde.

A childhood of being repeatedly reminded that I was worthless, ugly, fat and inadequate in every way, laid the foundation of an adult who became a self-fulfilling prophesy. I never believed in myself and couldn’t imagine anything good happening in my life.

There was no point having dreams because they would be crushed. There was no point having goals because they would never be achieved. There was no point planning for accomplishments because I was a failure. There was no point looking for love because I was unlovable.

It was hard to break out of that victim mentality. It took some radical rethinking and a strong will to change my life, but slowly I was able to overcome the negativity in my past and start to view my future with renewed optimism.

I remember a counsellor who having listened to my woes of my abandoning mother and abusing father as my justification for my emotional and physical wreckage, looked me straight in the eye and asked, ‘What makes you different?’ Essentially what she was saying was that we all have difficulties no matter who we are and we all have a choice as to how to deal with them. She was right. I was no different to anyone else.

Life is tough for everyone at different times and at different levels. Your response to challenges is what sets you apart. You don’t  have to beat yourself up when things don’t go to plan. You don’t have to give up because the moon is further away than you thought and it is harder to reach than you ever imagined.

Instead you can determine to enjoy the ride bumps and all. And you can use the hardships and heartaches as platforms for learning and growing.Keep your moon in sight and at the same time look around and find some stars to use as stepping-stones to your destination. Remember that a breakdown can be the experience that broke you or helped you break through.

“I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m OK, and I’m on my way!”  ~ Joyce Meyer.

My mindset used to come from a combination of never feeling good enough with comparing myself to others whose lives seemed perfect. If that rings a bell with you, let me give you some advice. Give yourself a break. Affirm with yourself that It’s okay not to be perfect. It’s okay to make mistakes.

As long as you are accountable, honest, realistic and genuine in making amends, it is possible to begin again free from shame and regret. Forgive yourself and celebrate the fact that you are a work in progress. You can change but the moon doesn’t have to. It will still be there to guide and inspire you.

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for those who love him.” ~  1 Corinthians 2:9

For me though, passion and purpose are meaningless unless I have faith. Faith not only reassures me but fills me with expectations of what can be achieved. With the belief that the possibilities are endless and the impossible can be made possible, life becomes a journey filled with aspirations and hope .

Whatever your spiritual convictions, dare to dream that there is something greater than you wanting the best for you. Use your intuition to find and follow your heart’s desires. Reach into your unconscious and become consciously inspired.

“Yesterday is but today’s memory, and tomorrow is today’s dream.” ~ Khalil Gibran

file0001409747445No one knows what tomorrow will bring. But I do know that  I want to be a better person tomorrow than I was today. I don’t want to exist. I want to live. I don’t want to survive. I want to thrive.

I want today to be as good as it can be and for tomorrow to be even better. I want to shoot for the moon, for the stars and for everything else that there is out in the universe. Anyone want to join me?

Thank you to Paul at Message in a Bottle whose post http://messageinabottleblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/sainthood-scrupulousness-and-the-emerging-case-of-the-now-whats/ inspired me for this post.

Totally self-indulgent.

inspiration_blog-301543Forgive me. This is a totally self-indulgent post. If you’ve ever had something unexpected happen that has filled you with overwhelming joy and if you like a faith filled post, then please read on and share my proud moment. Otherwise I look forward to seeing you for my next post!

Like many mothers I cherish my children as the most amazing and the most special of all beings. My daughters bring me so much joy on a daily basis and are a constant blessing. But this week brought me something unexpected and precious.

“The soul is healed by being with children.”  ~Dostoyevsky

Fifteen years ago, in the weeks before Easter, I was in the depths of the biggest physical and emotional breakdown of my life.  Admitted to a secure psychiatric ward I was addicted to alcohol, suicidal and without a future. I was completely broken in mind, body and spirit.  The world had nothing to offer me and I had nothing to offer the world.

A whisper of hope and a speck of faith were all I had. And many times I believed that this was never going to be enough. But it was.

It was enough to give me the courage to give life one my try. And I did.

“when we are powerless to do a thing, it is a great joy that we can come and step inside the ability of Jesus” ~Corrie ten Boom

Fast forward fifteen years to this week, the week before Easter. I was attending my twelve year old daughter’s first parent-teacher meeting at high school. With every teacher telling me how high her averages were and how wonderful she was as a student,  I became more and more up-lifted.

Then I met the religious studies teacher. Like all the other teachers, she smiled and shook hands as I introduced myself, but somehow this felt different. Again I was congratulated on my daughter’s excellent grades, in particular for her assessed assignment, but there was something that I just couldn’t put my finger on. Like the teacher wanted to say more, but wasn’t sure how to. But just as I got up to leave she asked whether I had read the assignment, which when I replied that I hadn’t, was quietly placed in front of me.The task was ‘to describe a person who inspires you in your faith’.

                                                      My inspiration.

My inspiration is my mum, Carolyn Hughes. She is special to me and she’s my inspiration because of her shining personality, her strong faith in God and her achievements in life. She has achieved many great things in her life, like a degree in psychology and social policy, a very successful blog called ‘The Hurt Healer’ and fifteen years ago overcame a drink addiction. My mum has raised a lot of money for ‘The Kenwood Trust’, a charity which provides treatment and support to anyone with an addiction to drink or drugs.

My mum has a strong faith in God and prays every day. She prays to God for everything and believes that without God, we are hopeless and helpless. It was through God that she overcame her addiction. She says that she has been overwhelmed by God’s grace and mercy and her reward has been a fantastic family of her own. Her religion and faith are extremely important to her and she has greatly helped me believe and understand my faith better.

My mum’s personality is amazing, as she is funny, supportive, clever, kind, generous and creative. She is also a great cook, writer and most importantly an extraordinary mum. She is my inspiration and I hope, after reading this, you will see why.

By Rebecca Hughes  🙂

I’m normally quite good with words, but I have none that can describe what I felt as I read that. Other than to say that it felt a bit like I had won the war.

I had battled with depression, alcoholism and everything that comes with it. And I had overcome them both. Over the years I had crawled my way from the brink of an existence. And I could now stand tall and proud as a survivor.

But beyond that I had been able to inspire someone who means the world to me. It may have taken me fifteen years, but today I am proud of who I am and what I have become. And totally grateful to those who have helped me on my way.abstract-floral-seamless-vector-background_50-13191

Thank you for allowing me my proud mum moment and for those of you who are struggling, hurting, grieving, lonely and in pain, let me offer you this Irish blessing.

” May God give you…For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.”