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.

The gift of giving.

il_570xN.393890513_9c2gThe gift of giving is that it is in itself a gift. Whether you are giving or receiving, it’s an exchange of love.

Yet the message that surrounds us is that you should you get what you can, when you can. The daily bombardment of advertising tries to convince us that you will be happier, more beautiful, more successful if you have more. Believe me. You won’t.

“You can’t find happiness in getting, but you can find happiness in giving.” ~ Joyce Meyer

It’s easy to compare yourself with others and become disenchanted with your own life. However you can be content and happy if you accept that you may not have what you want, but you do have what you need.

But just as there is a law of attraction, so there is a law of giving – you reap what you sow. Therefore sow with abundance. If you are willing to share what you have, you could find that you end up with what you want – especially if what you want is to be loved.

“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.” ~Richard Bach

I know what it is like to have been given a second chance at life. I remember the times when it was practically impossible to give to myself let alone anyone else. Anyone who had suffered with depression will know how isolating it is and how even basic communication can be a challenge. Depression engulfs you in a bubble of despair and loneliness that prevents you from giving anything to anyone – physically or emotionally. You can’t give away to someone else what you don’t have for yourself.

One of the joys of my recovery is being able to share what I have and to be able to genuinely care about others. Every day I aim to give back in some way.Often it’s through the opportunity to respond to those who contact me to disclose their difficulties and challenges. My gift to them is a safe place to share and the promise of hope by switching on a little flicker of light as they go through the darkness.

Other times it can be gifts that I know will bless or encourage others. A thoughtful present, an offer of practical help, or an act of kindness are all things that are easy to do, yet are wonderfully rewarding.

It’s marvelous to receive, but in my eyes it’s infinitely better to give.  Paying back to those who have and continue to help me on my journey is important to me. It gives me a connection with others that I treasure and helps me appreciate what I have in my life today.

An anonymous donation reminds me that I am able to pay back what has been given to me, without the need for recognition or acknowledgement. Because life isn’t all about me. If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of an anonymous gift you’ll know that the joy is for more than the gift itself, it’s knowing that you meant something to someone, that they were thinking of you, that someone cared. For me, that is love in action.

“Love is, above all, the gift of oneself.” ~ Jean Anouilh

Sometimes the hardest gift of all is when you give something of yourself. If you have invested love in another only to be rejected or abused then you can become wary of giving away your love.  The fear of opening up old wounds or being hurt again can turn your heart to stone. Any trace of generosity of kindness can be overshadowed by bitterness, resentment and fear.

“The degree of loving is measured by the degree of giving.” ~ Edwin Louis Coleil_570xN.364132462_2nag

Any gift can be a gift of love if it is given willingly and without obligation. And whilst money and actual presents are always a wonderful way to show you care, there are many other ways to give that are just as valuable.

Sharing your time, your expertise, your advice, your encouragement, your support or your prayers are all ways to offer yourself to someone. .A gift can be given anytime or anywhere. It may cost nothing to you, but to them it may be priceless. And the return for you can be greater than you ever imagined.

The gift of giving is love.