Do you have dreams? Do you keep them packed away in a safe place, waiting for the day, when the time is just right to finally take them out of storage and display them, proudly, for everyone to see?
I call this storage unit my Dream-Catcher. In it, I do not allow anything bad to take up space. It’s my make-believe life.
My real life, however, is not a Dream-Catcher at all. It’s more like a spider’s web. Endlessly, I work. I feel as though my life has the potential to be great but, so often, my work is destroyed by something, outside of my control, or so I think. I try to fix it but frustration grows and grows. Is there a chance that I will ever have my dream life? I’ve grown tired of building and rebuilding but I’m too afraid to leave. What if I leave and find myself somewhere that’s even worse? It could happen, you know. At least that’s what I tell myself.
What I really want is arms to wrap me up in a cloak of confidence. I want to breathe courage directly into my veins and some kind of super power to take hold of my legs. Instead, I feel trapped, in this web; shivering, scared, and alone.
This describes exactly how I felt, as I was contemplating leaving yet another marriage. I used the analogy of the Dream-Catcher one year, with my staff. It had been an exceptionally difficult time. I asked them to try to see only the beauty of what had happened that year and let the bad drop on through. I have attempted to do this with my own life but the reality is that, at one time, I was more like a fly, caught in my own spiderweb, instead. I had become the food for someone else’s life. And I did feel trapped. I had, for some time, contemplated an escape but always came back to that fear of “What if someplace else is worse?” I had actually begun to feel that this was my due, karma perhaps, for failing at yet another marriage. So perhaps I needed to just “suck it up” and accept my circumstances as God’s punishment.
Then I found myself on a mountain in Sedona in the midst of a vortex: referred to as “spiraling, spiritual energy” with an overwhelming feeling that I was supposed to be there, right then, at that exact moment. And during those three days, the lessons just poured into me, all based on Indian lore. Tears flowed and fear nearly consumed me, but one person said this one thing that I held on to for dear life: “Let go. Let God.” And a stillness took over the air around me. The group that I was with starting singing “Amazing Grace” and I felt wrapped in protective arms. I felt courage pour into my veins and found a little strength power through my legs and I felt love…for me! I came home from that trip and pulled myself out of that spider’s web. I put it all in God’s hands and God delivered me to the edge of a nature preserve full of beautiful living creatures and then God surrounded me with flowers that bloomed every single day through the hardest months. And my life became a real Dream-Catcher, but I wasn’t dreaming.
Fear is the devil. Fear robs you of your life. It consumes you with doubt and hesitation. It buries you in guilt. Fear is an enemy that needs to be fought instead of accepted. I mean, really, if you knew that the devil was knocking at your door, would you open it? Yet how many times have you willingly let that energy sit at the same table with you; drive along side you in the car; walk along side you into interviews; stand with you as you face an audience? The devil is fear and fear drives you to drink, makes you crumble, and leaves you huddled in the corner on the floor.
Sometimes, we’re mistaken about the voices we hear and the messages that are trying to come through. As I tried to make my way up that mountain, in Sedona, I thought the devil was the person behind me who was yelling at me to “Keep going, Jane! Push yourself! Trust the power in your legs!” I had told him over and over again that my legs were weak. I had just had knee surgery. My balance was shot. He responded “Your life is off balance. Keep moving.” When I finally got off that mountain, he offered me his hand and I yelled at him saying, “You wouldn’t help me when I needed you on that mountain. Why would I take your hand, now, down here on the ground?”
I had felt like a failure. I had let fear consume me and I stopped half way up that mountain. I sat for three hours with nothing but my own thoughts to keep me company and the real devil played with me the entire time. “Just go home, Jane. Be happy with what you have. It’s the safe place to be.” Then, the person, who I thought to be the devil, came back to me and asked me, “How many people passed you while you sat on the side of the mountain today?” I replied with anger, “Not one!” And he calmly said, “Don’t you see, Jane that most people never even try to climb the mountain. They stay on the paths that are flat and safe. You made it higher than any one of them. Do you see that, Jane?” And then, he walked away.
Let go. Let God. God did not help me up that mountain. God stood behind me yelling “You can do this!” God said “Be proud. You made it pretty far today, farther than most. Tomorrow will be even better. And I will be right there to yell at you again and push you again, if I have to!”
So Dream-Catchers shouldn’t be for pretend dreams; catching things that you fear are out of your reach. Dream-Catchers should catch your real dreams; power, confidence, strength, courage. Then, as the legend of the Dream-Catcher goes, the bad falls through; fear, guilt, intimidation, doubt.
If you catch the voice of God, the devil falls through. Listen!