Every week, I receive emails from women who have a dream to pursue their passion for photography and yet, they are at war on the battlefield of mind and heart.
Someone has said something hurtful in regards to their dream. Some of these women are professionals in the industry. Some are babies, peaking around the curtain, wondering if they want to venture into this land. The dream can be so new, so fragile, that the slightest negativity or criticism feels devastating. The weight bends our heads down. And I truly believe, that some of these dreams die because the dream was too new and vulnerable.
The mistake is that people, myself included, get stuck on the person who hurt us.
In our own pain, we feel limited and out of control. And sometimes this translates into trying to limit and control others. Brian and I know what it’s like to be in deep pain, to feel threatened, to feel out of control. And we have done things we are not proud of in our own efforts to gain back some control in our lives. And yet, I’m so glad that those around us did not focus on our faults, but recognized the situation for what it was.
When someone says something hurtful to us, there could be a million and two reasons for why they said this. If we think the battle is with them, we have lost the battle. The battlefield of mind and heart runs so much deeper.
The truth is what so many of you echoed yesterday. The person who often hurts us is in the midst of their own battle. They are struggling to find freedom, peace and validation like you are, like I am, and everyone else. So here’s the point I’m trying to get to…
We so often miss it. Truth be known…
we are so afraid to believe in our own dreams that when we are criticized we fear…
the criticism is the confirmation to trash our dream. And so the cycle of people giving up on their dreams perpetuates even more.
But the battle is not with the person who hurt us. The battle is within ourselves to believe in ourselves. This is the battle to focus on.
There can be so much negativity in the world when it comes to pursuing our dreams. It’s in the photography industry and everywhere else. But the battle to fight is the battle for your self confidence. The fight to believe you are worthy of all you were created for. You are worthy of seeing your dreams come true, regardless of what your current state of skill or confidence is. This is the battle to focus on. Honestly, this is one of the few battles worth dying for. Dying to your pride and fears. Dying to your list of experiences that prove your dream wrong.
The biggest trick I see many people fall for is that there is no battle. It’s just a problem with them. And oh, this misguided thinking breaks my heart.
Fighting on the battlefield of your dreams is one of the toughest fights you will ever face.
Do you want to see what the battlefield of mind and heart looks like for me?
I stand in the field and see familiar giants on the other side. One of the bigger giants, a bully if you will, goes by the name of Shame. He is a tricky one b/c sometimes he comes over to try and consult with me and pretends to help me. Shame tries to tell me that if I just surrender, he won’t shame me, won’t embarrass me, won’t make a fool of me. He always thinks it’s much better to give up now.
Selfishness stands right next to Shame–ready to tear me to pieces.
She’s nasty. She yells at me from the other side and says I’m selfish to ask for more in my life. I’m selfish to dream as big as I dream. I’m selfish to ask Brian and my kids for support. Why can’t I be thankful for what I have? Who do I think I am?…I told you, she’s nasty.
And then there is the slimy figure of Worry.
He’s not even dressed for battle. Instead, he’s dressed in dirtied linen from all the running back and forth between sides of the battlefield–falling down and groping along the ground–worried he’s going to get hit. He trembles in his speech and points out all the things there are to worry about, all the what if’s, all the risks involved, all the threats, all the people who could be disappointed, all the pain of my past that could be worse in the future, all the everything that is nothing but worry.
Over the years, I have come to find that my battles are not with those that say hurtful things to me–and there have been PLENTY of those people. 😉 The battle is within myself against these giants that know me so well. But I must also add that I am careful with others when I see them in the midst of their own battle. If a certain person has a history of hurting me, I limit my time with them. When I see them, I make sure that I’m ready for battle b/c I will be facing their giants as well as my own. And this, as we all know, can be very exhausting and even defeating.
And yet, as one wise person said to me a few years back, “Me Ra, all I ask and expect of you is to get up and try again tomorrow morning. You don’t have to win tomorrow, but I expect you to go at it again.”
Losing today, winning tomorrow, they come and go.
But as long as we hang in there together, we are that much closer to living our dreams and passions.
Will I see you on the battlefield today? There is a spot open on either side of me! 🙂
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