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Moving towards your dreams…even in the face of challenges

Our theme this month is “Moving towards you Goals.” Around the New Year, many of us make resolutions to improve our lives in some way, or rededicate ourselves to previous goals.

Of course, many of those resolutions are difficult to stick to and they fall by the wayside pretty quickly. So, rather than talking about what the goals are, or how to set them, we thought it would be interesting to discuss some strategies for continual movement in the right direction. I am definitely more of a tortoise than a hare, in that regard. One version of the fable that I heard as a child concluded with a line that has always stuck with me: slow and steady as a pace, will get you there and win the race.

Today I was talking to a friend that I’ve known for several years, and she revealed something that I had not known about her. For many years she had been agoraphobic. She had great difficulty leaving the house; outside had too many scary elements, and home was the only place that felt safe and controllable for her.

This is a woman that I know as bubbly and outgoing. Outwardly, she seems confident and competent. She had been able to get out of debt and retire at 55. She has been able to show up and do service work in the community organization to which we both belong. Of course, I know everyone puts on the best face they can and often we don’t know people’s inner struggles, but I was surprised to hear about these particular struggles.

I asked her how she had been able to overcome her challenges. She told me lots of therapy and doing the inner work to let go of the wounds of the past had been necessary. Lots of asking for help. And lots of tiny steps in the right direction.

Important goals are rarely accomplished overnight. In the past, I had a tendency to look at my goals and think, “That’s too big, I will never be able to do that!” I would get scared at the amount of work that would be required, and overwhelmed by all the changes that I’d have to make. There were a lot of things that I quit before I ever got started because I let my fear talk me out of it.

In many 12 step fellowships, they use the tool of “one day at a time” to help them towards their goals. Rather than getting overwhelmed by trying to stay sober/clean/abstinent for the rest of your life, you do just what you can today. I am inspired by this philosophy.I’ve been privileged to watch many people overcome enormous challenges, and go on to build amazing beautiful lives. I am grateful to call quite a few of those people close friends.They share their experiences with me and help lift me up through my own challenges and struggles. They inspire me to be gentle and patient with myself, AND to keep going, moving towards my goals one tiny step at a time.

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