The Unexpected and Unplanned

The best things in life are often unplanned and unexpected.

As I look back at the path I have walked I can see the guiding hand of God in my life. I was directed and guided to end up where I am today. It is anything but what I would have expected, or planned, but at each and every step along the way it simply felt right.

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I am now living in Colorado and engaged to a wonderful woman. I finally understand what it means to truly love someone else. In March will commit to her for time and all eternity in one of the many temples of my faith. She has two amazing children whom I have already grown to love and I look forward to the prospect of being a family together.

Walking forward I seek to create a relationship with the woman I love that rivals those written of in the storybooks, immortalized in song, and versed by the poets.

The chapter of my life that began in Arizona so many years ago is now complete. My life there has come to an end and I look forward to the new beginnings of better things. I look forward to moving ever onward, forward towards the sun.

The Lord has blessed me with work and the way has been opened to guide me, step by step, to where I stand today. It is not anywhere I could have imagined… but it is right. That much I know. And I am happy in it.

ForwardWalkingWriting and contributing on Forward Walking, an Inspirational Blog that is touching more and more lives each day, has also been a great blessing in my life. Though it began in February of this year I never could have foreseen where it would lead and today I find myself attached to a movement I more than believe in, but rather – seek to embody.  I am forever grateful that Seth Adam Smith was prompted to call me that day. Thank you for listening my friend.

I have not written as much on here, my personal blog, as I would have liked in recent times as many changes were taking place within my heart that I was hesitant to share. I was scared of being vulnerable in something that I couldn’t see the end of. What was I being taught, I wondered? Where was it all leading?

All I could see was that something was emerging, that I was being taught and changed from the inside out.

Moving forward I will make the time to write and regularly share the journey of my life as it occurs. I hope that my life will be as instructive to you, as you watch me live it, as it is for me in living it.

I fear that much of my personal journey this last year – the journey of a single man running from relationships to a man committed, ready, and desiring marriage – has been missed. I hope in the months and years ahead I will be able to fully communicate my journey bit by bit as I understand the lessons I was taught.

Now that life has settled down to some degree, or at least stabilized a bit, I look forward to writing regularly and sharing the journey of my life with you. I do not ask that you adopt my perspective as you read my words, but rather, that seeing the world through my eyes will gain you new perspectives upon your own.

The Key Ingredients of a Happy Life

Reposted from Forward Walking
December 5th, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

For many years I misguidedly sought happiness where it didn’t exist. I didn’t understand the principles upon which it flowed. I did things that most people say are important or will make you happy (traveling the world, striving toward achievement, or taking on big and interesting projects), only to discover that happiness did not flow from these things as I had expected.

The experiences of my life have been spectacular, inspirational, fun, and enlightening, but in the end I was left feeling hollow inside. With that empty feeling following close behind, I moved from achievement to achievement and experience to experience—until one day I had a realization.

Something was missing in my life—something deeper than those experiences and achievements could ever provide.

I was only peaceful on the move—when I was traveling or doing something I could forget myself in. When I finally stopped running and was left alone, I discovered I was not peaceful at all. When I stopped moving, I recreated the problems and anxieties of my life again and again. There was a problem with how I sought peace. I had never solved my problems; I only ran from them for a short time.

It is what I discovered as I ran—investing my time in distraction and achievement—that I wish to share with you today:

There were a couple of things missing from my life (at least in their true forms). I’d sought these things through the channels commonly touted as the roadways to success and happiness, and discovered nothing close to what was promised in the end.

Serenity

I was not at peace with who I was. I felt lost and alone. I didn’t honestly know what I really stood for. Who was I? Where had I gone wrong? I was deeply troubled by these questions as I continued to move from one thing to another. But the answer came slowly. And when it did, it was simple.

First, I was missing true serenity—peace of mind, body, soul, and self.  

Additionally I felt that my life wasn’t significant to anyone but me. I felt that my life itself didn’t truly matter. What had I accomplished or contributed in the world? What could I possibly contribute? Without the achievements of my life to give it meaning, who was I? I was overwhelmed by the enormity of what I felt was expected of me by society at large. How could I ever measure up to what society said I had to be in order to be happy?

I didn’t feel that my life held any true significance other than what I had created through the hollow, albeit interesting, achievements of my life up to that point. 

These are the two things we seek in life as we mature and grow: significance and serenity. These are the key ingredients of a happy life

We seek these things through many avenues. No matter which avenue we choose in pursuing them, we must beware that we don’t simply replace significance and serenity with the hollow substitutes of the world (materialism, achievement for achievement’s sake, running away from anxiety, an addiction to the new, alcoholism, drug abuse, eating disorders, etc).

I invite you to reevaluate the definitions that you have for these things in your own life, and see if a different perspective can help you to discover them in greater abundance as it did for me.

For me:

Serenity is the experience of peace in mind, body, soul, and self. It is knowing who I am and what I stand for as an individual. It is a sense of self-worth that no longer seeks its meaning through the acceptance of others. It is the literal experience of happiness in daily life—no matter what misfortunes might come.

significance

Significance is the ability to be in positive relationships with those around us. Being serene and at peace with ourselves is a necessary step in the right direction toward significance. Once we are comfortable with who we are and what we stand for, we can begin to be of service to others—those of our families, homes, and communities. As we serve others we will discover truesignificance in our lives. It is the people in our lives that make us significant—not the achievements that the world praises.

In my travels, I met a man who, before I met him, had achieved success as the world defines it. He had 5 homes around the world, and spent several months each year sailing, fishing, and scuba diving wherever he wanted. However, as he reflected upon his own life, he referred to himself as a jerk who yelled all the time. He had heart problems and a failing marriage. He had all the money he could ever want, but he wasn’t happy or peaceful. Not even close.

Finally, this man had a talk with his wife. The two decided that something big had to change if they were going to save their marriage. The man sold his all of his businesses and retired, committing to spend more time with his wife.

I met him over 10 years after that decision. He said it had changed his life. Before that, he’d been looking for happiness the wrong way, thinking that his money and position could give him everything he wanted. He discovered that he’d been wrong.

Now he is at peace with himself and in a loving, significant relationship with his wife, whom he has affectionately given the title of ‘Egyptian Love Goddess’.

This man acquired significance and serenity in his own life after he discovered the true sources from which they flow.

Will you do the same?

Making a Child’s Day

Reposted from Forward Walking
November 12, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

As I walked through the front door, I heard two little voices excitedly yell from down the hall, “Dan’s home! Dan, will you come play with us?!”

4-year-old Gordon and 6-year-old Grace came running around the corner as they waved, “Hi Dan!” They had friends over, and were playing in the back room while their mother taught a piano lesson in the front room. Their eyes sparkled with excitement as they looked up expectantly, huge smiles spreading across their faces.

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Taking me by the hand, they pulled me toward the playroom, “Come play with us, Dan!”

As they led me away, I smiled. It truly didn’t take a lot to make them happy.

While the concerns of life are important, they can ultimately serve as distractions if we don’t prioritize them and regularly take time for with those we love–especially children. Kids don’t worry about all the things we adults do. They don’t have any complex requirements that need to be met in order for them to be happy. Just recently, little Gordon asked why I had to go to work instead of just staying to play with him all day! I have learned from experiences like this that all children need and want is a little bit of time, attention, encouragement, and love. Whether or not they receive these can make or break a kid’s day.

As adults, we’re concerned with paying the bills, maintaining and improving our health, losing weight, aging, politics and happenings in the world around us, and any other number of interests that we might deem important. None of these things matter to children. The world is different for them than it is for us. All they are worried about is whether or not they are cherished by those they love.

Therefore, let us strive to give the children around us the time, attention, and love they need so they can flourish. Children will strive to recreate the world they experience growing up and, as a result, will make the world either better or worse. Kids will only think the world is messed up if we do. If we teach our children how bad the world is, they will grow to accept it; if we show them an experience of how the world should be, they will strive to create it. 

Take the time to show your children how the world should be.

Play with them. Talk with them. Teach them. Encourage them. Cherish them. Love them.

If we take the time to show our children that we love them, they will blossom and grow exponentially. We must keep our priorities straight. We must take (and make) the time to show our children that we love them. They will see the world, and themselves, better because of it.

What could possibly be more important than this?

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Commitments of a Better Kind

Reposted from Forward Walking
October 29, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

About a year ago, I began asking myself questions about commitment. I wondered why I was still single and what it really meant to be truly and wholly committed. Wasn’t there anyone out there who I could be truly happy with? What would it take for me to finally commit to a long-term relationship?

I believe that the answers I sought then have found me since, and they have been very interesting. These answers have shown me new things about myself—truths that I think are very important for all those still seeking to find that special someone of their own.

Over the course of the past year, I have realized that there are very few things to which I have fully committed myselfmind, body, and soul. However, the things I have committed myself to completely are things very important to me. These things are the back-drop of my entire life. They lie behind everything I have done and hope to ever do.

The three things in life that I have been continually committed to are:

  1. My Creator
  2. My family
  3. Continued learning, growth, and progression

When I first moved out into the world, away from my family, I discovered that I was lonely. I missed my family, and wanted to build one of my own. I also wanted to be deeply–and happily–in love. I wanted someone with whom I could share my life.

For over 10 years, I attempted to form lasting relationships. I sought to find someone with whom I could create the kind of relationship that would allow both of us to experience the type of joy I knew was possible. After all, I’d seen this type of love before in certain couples. It was beautiful, and I wanted to be a part of something like that.

Over the course of those 10 years, however, every relationship I formed reached a point where I knew in my heart that breaking it off was the right thing. As much as I wanted to be in love and experience the deep satisfaction that a truly fulfilling relationship could provide, I knew that these relationships were not–and could never be–the one I ultimately sought. In the end, I would always discover that I could not provide the life-long happiness that any of these young women sought, and neither could they create such happiness for me. With each relationship, I realized that the priorities and commitments of our lives just didn’t match up. As the realization came, time and time again, that I could not in good conscience foster the relationship any further, I began to wonder if it was even possible to find someone whose life could align with my own.

Because of the demise of these relationships, I have been told many times, over the years, that I had commitment issues. The thought made me discouraged. But I write today to share a truth that I discovered only recently—a truth that has given me great comfort:

I am an extremely committed individual. There are things in my life that I believe in deeply, and live to the fullest extent. Those things create the guide to which I pattern my entire life.

With this in mind, I would like to suggest that these types of commitments are what ultimately lead us to lasting relationships. In order to find someone who you can commit to spend the rest of your life with, you must first discover the things in life that you are already truly committed to.Only then can you go out and find the right person—someone whose commitments and goals match and compliment your own. Together, you and this person will then be able to reaffirm each other in your journeys. This matching commitment will allow you to grow in love and appreciation of one another more and more with each passing day.

I share this today to give hope to those (of all ages) who may be wondering if they will ever find someone with whom they can be truly happy. I promise that it can happen. I know this.

After all, it has finally happened for me.

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Take the time to discover where your priorities and the commitments of your life lie. Recognize them, and commit to live up to them no matter what happens. Never sacrifice them for anything as you continue your search for love and fulfillment. If you honor the commitments that lie within the sacred walls of your heart, you attract others who will respect and honor those same things. This will open the doors to the kind of relationships that bring true joy to your life.

And, as with all things that move us forward, do not give place in your heart for fear—the fear that you won’t find someone, that you will be alone, or that you have to sacrifice who you are to be happy. None of these things is true. You are magnificent just the way you are. Never settle prematurely or sacrifice what matters most in your life for a relationship that, deep down, you know can never make you truly happy.

Deeply loving relationships, that grow and deepen exponentially with time, DO exist. They are REAL, and they will find you when you are truly ready for them. If you wait for this type of relationship, patiently honoring the commitments of your heart in the meantime, it will find you. And when it does come, you will be prepared to commit to it, nourish it tenderly, and watch it blossom into something more wonderful than you could’ve imagined.

But first, you must ask yourself this question: What are you ALREADY truly and wholly committed to in life?

The Power of Gratitude

gratitudeandabundance

Reposted from Lives of Trust
October 23, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

A dear friend shared the power of Gratitude in his life after starting on a 30-day gratitude experience. Each morning he wrote 10 things he was grateful for and expounded on why he was grateful for them. Within the week amazing things were starting to happen in his life. By the end of the month everyone around him talked about the transformation that had taken place within his life. It was magical to watch and hear about. His job opportunities improved, new income was discovered, his relationship with his wife improved, her depression dissipated, his health improved, and in virtually every area of his life improvements were made…

Following his example I too began to make it a point to write out the things I was grateful for on a daily basis. I was amazed at the number of blessings that existed in my life already and how many new things I had to be grateful for each day. As I began to feel more and more grateful interesting things started to happen in my life as well. Some would call them coincidences but there are no such thing as coincidences.

People I have met  since instilling this habit of gratitude into my life often ask about the seemingly magical nature of my life looking in from the outside. They ask me the same questions that I have heard others ask my friend.

How do so many things you need just seem to find you as you have need of them? How does the world simply seem to conspire to do you good? How do you do it? Things like this always happen to you – why?

I promise you this – it can happen to you. You too can live what others call the magical life… the life in which the good things of life simply seem to find you everywhere you go. It can happen to you as well.

The miracles I experience on a daily, weekly, and yearly basis, as well as the magical life associated with it, originate in this one habit I have sought to create in my life.

What is this habit you ask?

The answer: Gratitude

 And how do I know it is the origin of this magical life of which I speak?

The so-called coincidences of good things happening to me, or finding me, only happen during times of my life when I have been expressing gratitude regularly. These coincidences  were things that hadn’t been happening prior to being grateful. With gratitude came a whole new outlook on life and with it – a whole new perspective. I knew that the gratitude I expressed to my God and the resulting experiences of my life were tied together.

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I invite you to begin your own gratitude journal and to take the time to write out what it is that you are grateful for each day. You will be surprised by the things which come to mind as you write. You will begin to notice more things throughout the day as they occur. Little things will start to line up in your life and the so-called coincidences will begin.

Then step up and speak out and let your story be heard. Invite those around you to begin gratitude journals of their own.

What more do we need in our country today than gratitude? Before we feel ourselves entitled to more shouldn’t we first recognize and give gratitude for all the things we have already been given?

In order to receive more in our lives of He Who Sees All Things we must first be, feel, and express gratitude for what He has given us, for ALL that we have been given… It is to Him we must be grateful first, and then to those around us through whom His blessings will come.

Why haven’t you (_____) yet?

stopmakingexcusesReposted from Forward Walking
October 15, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

“Why haven’t you finished writing your book yet?” the man asked patiently.

“I don’t have time,” I replied.

In response, he replied, ”That isn’t true.“ He then smiled broadly and continued. “That’s a cop-out answer. Why don’t you really write it? We all have the same amount of time. We don’t have time; we make it. What is it that really stops you?

The man seated beside me shook his head and smiled. He’d listened intently to my story about learning to trust the Creator in 2010 as I’d hiked 500 miles over the course of 40 days, along the famed Camino de Santiago in Spain. He’d said the world could use more reminders of the lessons I’d learned over the course of my journey there, and that I should write a book on it. I told him I had already started, but that I hadn’t finished it because I didn’t have enough time.

However, his response caused me to pause. He was right. Not having enough time or money or resources or any of the other reasons I usually gave were just cop-out answers. They were excuses I used to justify not writing, but they weren’t the real reason. Why didn’t I write? Why didn’t I make the time to do what I knew in my soul I should be doing?

He smiled as the silence continued. I was thinking seriously about his question, and he knew it. My mind was blank as I contemplated. Why wouldn’t I make the time to write? I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt something moving just below the surface. The answer was there…. somewhere.

I opened my mouth to speak, and was surprised by what came out: “I’m afraid of what people will do with it if I write it. I’m scared of what they will do with my most personal and sacred thoughts. I don’t know how they will react. That experience meant a lot to me, and I know some people will ridicule what I went through. I don’t know if I can handle that. When I talk to people, I can pick and choose who I share it with. Having it all written down would be different. I don’t know if I can handle someone ripping into some of the most sacred experiences of my life.”

That was not what I had expected to say. I was surprised by my own comments, but I realized that it was the truth. I was scared of what others would do with my innermost thoughts if I simply put them out there for all the world to see. That fear was stopping me from even making time to write my story down, let alone put it out to be read.

The man smiled, then laid out a simple plan as we talked about fear, faith, courage, and determination. He suggested I write just five pages a day for 30 days. Doing this, I would have completed 150 pages on a manuscript in a month. He was right! I had thought that writing a book was hard. But when he had broken it down this way, it didn’t seem hard at all. It would just take time. In just 30 days, with a little effort every day, I could write the entire book.

More importantly, I now knew what it was that scared me. I was afraid of the uncertainties of a future that I couldn’t plan or control, because they would be based on what others might think or do with what I had written. But that day I made a goal to move forward in my life, and finish writing the book we had spoken of.

As I write these words, I have completed the first draft of the book I spoke with the man about, and am reviewing and editing it again before submitting it to a publisher. Identifying what I was truly afraid of helped me find the courage to move through my fear and take action towards the completion of my dream.

I will face my fear and continue to move forward towards success. 

I would like to pose the same question to you that the man asked me: “Why haven’t you (__________) yet?”

What goals are near and dear to your heart? What dreams have you sought to realize, but been unable to achieve? What do you want to do in your life, but time and again find yourself giving excuses and justifications for avoiding?

Is it time that stops you? Money? Resources? Education? What excuses do you use to justify not taking the actions today that will lead you toward success tomorrow? What fears really lie behind those excuses?

I would like to encourage you, just as this man did for me, to take action today. For, it is by little steps that every great dream is realized. Just as I was able to write a book by simply writing 5 pages a day, so too can you achieve your dreams by taking small and simple actions each day. You will find that those little, daily actions will compound over time–just as interest does–leading you continually closer toward the achievement of your goal.

So ask yourself, “Why haven’t you (__________) yet?”

I promise you that the actions you take today will determine whether or not you realize the dreams of tomorrow.

So release your fear, trust in the Creator, and take action today.

Crying for Light

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Reposted from Lives of Trust
September 13, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

In the darkness of my room I knelt sobbing, crying for light. The light towards which I had walked for so long, and of which I had tasted, had been replaced by darkness…

The decisions of my life had led me to this place, a place I never could have imagined I’d have ended up. The happiness I’d felt had slowly faded from my life. It wasn’t until that evening, as I knelt crying, that I’d even realized the extent to which it had faded. There was no happiness in the life I had created. It was hollow and empty. I was sad. I was lonely. I was a man without purpose, meaning, direction, or destination. I was wandering aimlessly in the dark and I had forgotten everything that mattered. I was lost, wandering alone in the dark.

Continue reading

What is Love?

choice-of-loveReposted from Forward Walking
September 4, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

Love is a choice. It is not something that happens to us, or that we ‘fall into’, at least not long term. We may ‘fall into’ love initially by feeling something towards another we cannot explain but only experience but it is only by choice that we stay in love. It is created as we spend time together, as we communicate one with another, and as we sacrifice to come together. Love is built according to the time, communication, and sacrifice we put into it. These are the things upon which relationships feed, are nourished, and grow.

Love is like a seed that, once planted, must be nurtured with great care. If we nurture it carefully it will take root in our hearts and grow into something more wonderful than we in this world have the words to express. In planting the seed of love in our hearts, we will discover quickly if it is a good seed – or a pure love. If it expands, and enlarges the soul, then we may know that it is a good seed that should be nourished carefully, that it may take root in our hearts and grow. If the experience of planting the seed in our hearts darkens the soul and clouds the mind, then we may know of a surety that it is a seed that we should NOT nourish, but cast out of our hearts before it bears fruit in our lives.

In a world where darkness seems to reign upon the face of the earth, there are yet many bright spots of light that we all too often miss. These bright spots consist of the genuinely loving relationships that quietly and selflessly exist in the world around us. The forms and functions of these relationships are idolized in films, movies, and games. Their ends are held aloft for all to see and long for, while their foundations are completely misrepresented and misconstrued.

In films, movies, and games, love is an object of desire primarily, and only rarely and secondarily – a longing of the soul. Love – true love – is something which cannot be simply found, sought after, or fallen into. It must be created. Its ends (the closeness, passion, security, trust, comfort, and love), the things the media seeks to duplicate, cannot be realized without the proper foundation: communication, time, service, sacrifice, humility, forgiveness, respect, and trust.

True love is not self-serving; it is selfless. It is about putting the needs of another above the needs of the self. Thus, any medium which portrays love as a purely passionate endeavor does the world a great disservice. We watch these relationships, applaud them, cry at them, and internalize their messages. Then, after doing all these things, we wonder why divorce is so prevalent and the happy marriage so rare. In these mediums, have we not portrayed the foundational basis of every truly great and loving relationship incorrectly? Have we not, as a people, sought the ends without establishing or even knowing the foundational attributes from which such relationships spring?

Do not be surprised that the world cannot teach you of true love. The world is only concerned with the lusts of the body and what it can market to a willing mind. Though there are movies which portray true love well, they are not the norm. Great care must be taken to winnow out the messages which will not serve us in creating loving relationships in our lives.

In the absence of a pure source of information on love in the media, we must seek our answers elsewhere. We need to seek them from someone who knows the reality of what it takes to create a loving relationship in the first place. We must ask men and women who have created such relationships and are currently enjoying them. In my journey, these types of men and women have taught me much. No matter how different each of their relationships look on the surface, I was taught and instructed in much the same way. They shared stories and asked questions of me.

Here are some of the questions that I have been asked over the years, and seen reflected back in the loving relationships I have seen over the course of my life:

  • Can you communicate easily with each other? Can you talk about anything?
  • Do you enjoy spending time together, and not just physically, but talking, doing things, traveling, etc?
  • Do you serve one another?  Do you want to make each other happy?
  • Are you willing to sacrifice what you want – either altogether or to meet somewhere in the middle – for the good of your relationship, or in order to meet your family responsibilities? Can you let your pride go, and do what needs to be done to come together or stay together?
  • Can you forgive one another your trespasses and make things right? Are you humble enough to forgive each other?
  • Do you respect each other’s wishes, hopes, dreams, and desires? Do you respect each others bodies, hearts, and minds?
  • Do you trust one another? Do you invite trust by the way you treat one another?

Communication, time, service, sacrifice, humility, forgiveness, and trust – these are the key foundational attributes in the creation of a loving relationship. Love is not something that happens by chance; it is created by men and women dedicated to these things. Love is a choice. It is reaffirmed in action, moment by moment. Choose your love and love your choice.

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Overcoming Fear Itself

1357570255_3905_FearReposted from Forward Walking
August 7, 2013 by Daniel Adam Freeman

In the pursuit of any dream there is always one questions which rises to the surface again and again: How do we overcome our fears and move forward into the future we can see? How do we overcome the things that stop us? How do we overcome fear itself?

Now that we have explored what it actually looks like to live our dreams (which isn’t what you might think it is) and what actually stops us from living them it is time to consider how we overcome them and move forward into the future. What are the elements of overcoming fear? How do we move forward in the face of the unknown? Where do we begin? And how do we develop the courage, and faith, to move forward into the unknown?

In the next few moments we will explore an idea – that overcoming fear is simple… if we are willing to commit to the process necessary to overcome it…

  1. You must learn WHY you want to pursue your dream.
  2. You must develop a relationship of TRUST with your Creator, your God, or your Higher-Power.
  3. You must actually TRUST in Him and your dreams, in ACTION, and STEP FORWARD into the darkness of the unknown. You must have FAITH.

The Power of Why

The first step to overcoming fear is to get clear on why you are committed to your dreams. If you know why you want to do what you want to do then you will have the strength to overcome whatever comes. In fact, consider it a blessing when you fail, or fall, for with each failure you will re-explore your commitment to your why and it will grow stronger. With each success it will also grow stronger. With time your why will be strong enough to overcome, and work through, any adversity. With time it will grow strong enough to trump any distraction, comfort, vice, or pleasure.

It is the failures of our lives which weed out the dreamers who are not serious about their dreams from those who are. It is the failures of our lives which separate those who are willing to grow, and push, and strive to achieve their dreams and those who would rather wallow in the comforts and assured securities of their comfort zones. I have been in this latter group at various points in my life. Each one of us has. That is nothing new. It is but part of the process, and a vital part at that… for in this realization we are learning what matters to us most. Is it the reality of the dreams that exist within our hearts or the reality, and comfort, of where we are in the moment? What will win? Which one will gain the support of our attention? Of our focus? Of our faith and power?

There are points, moments, in all our lives when we will be offered the choice to pursue our dreams or put something else above them. Perhaps, as you read these words today, one such moment in your life has arrived. Perhaps it is time to stand up, sacrifice the superfluous things which distract you from your dream, and start the process of moving, even imperceptibly, towards your dream. Now mind there are important things which seemingly distract us from our dreams that are necessary to life – like a job to provide for your family while working on pursuing your dream. It is not these things we protest. They serve a purpose and what they serve is greater even than our dreams. The people we love must be cared for and they must be taken care of. But the question must be asked – are all the things we provide truly necessary or are they merely the superfluous extras of life? It is in protesting these superfluous, or extra, things of life that we find the time to work upon the dreams we have for so long-held within us.

Trusting in a Higher-Power & Forward Walking

It may seem counter-intuitive to some but the most effective, and permanent, way to overcome fear is found in developing a relationship with your Creator. It is in that relationship and the resulting experiences of your life that you will learn to trust in Him. You will learn how little we need fear when He is at the helm of our lives. He does love us and He is not far from us. If we listen to Him, He will guide us and direct us for our good. He knows all things we stand in need of before we ask – the question we must ask ourselves is this: Will we hear Him when He speaks to us? Will we recognize the promptings, intuitions, and revelations as they come?

If you cannot say with confidence, at this moment in your life, that you know your Creator will take care of you, or that you know you would recognize His voice. then perhaps it is time that you get down on your knees and deepen that relationship by inviting Him more fully into your life. It will not be instant but it will come. He will come into your life and begin your education in trust.  He will take care of you. He will teach you. He will guide you. He will direct you and lead you forward, through your fears, into a brighter day.

In a world where so many fail to see the hand of God there are those of us who cannot help but see His hand everywhere. Over the course of my life I have seen how every fear has stemmed from my desire to control things, and my inability to trust Him with the details of my life. These fears that stop us from living our dreams, no matter what they are, stem from one fear: a fear of the unknown. Our Creator is in all, above all, and through all. If we have developed a relationship with Him, and we trust Him, then we know that what we cannot see He can help us see. He can help us face our fears and gain strength in the struggle against them. At every step He will ask us to trust Him and to step forward into the darkness of the unknown. There is a quote by Edward Teller that has been on my mind ever since I heard it, “Faith is knowing that when you step into the darkness of the unknown one of two things will happen; either you will find something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”

Our fears represent the unknown. It is with courage, faith, and trust that we take action and step forward, out of our comfort zones, into the darkness of the unknown. Are you ready to take that step? Are you ready for that journey? Are you willing to trust in your Creator and move forward?

If the answer to that question is no then please consider pausing in your life, inviting Him to join you, and begin the process of deepening your faith and trust in the Lord. As you do so your fears will become smaller and smaller, or at least your courage to face them will be bolstered. It will always be scary to face your fears but if we know why we face them, and know that our God, our Creator, our Higher-power has our back – then what do we have to fear?

Go now and begin to act according to the light and knowledge you have received. Clarify your why – the very reasons you seek to do what you want to do. Discover within yourself that overcoming fear stems from faith in your higher-power and develop that relationship. Set your priorities according to what you find and choose, by your walking, what matters most to you in your life. Those things towards which you consistently move, even imperceptibly, will inevitably come to pass.

Walk, therefore, forward into the light of a brighter day, and on eagles wings sing the song that only you were born to sing.

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 Overcoming Fear Series:

  1. What does it mean to live our dreams?– July 24th
  2. What stops us from living our dreams? – Aug 7th
  3. Overcoming Fear Itself – Aug 21st

What stops us from living our dreams?

fear
Reposted from Forward Walking
August 7, 2013 by Daniel Adam FreemanNow that we have explored what it actually looks like to live our dreams we must answer the next set of questions that come to mind: What is it that actually stops us from living our dreams? Why don’t we pursue them more fully in our own lives? Why do we continue to put secondary things above those things which matter most to us? Why do we allow our fears and inadequacies to distract us from doing what we know we should?

 
As we explore the reality of these things in our lives we will also pave the way for the next article in this series which will answer the question: How do we overcome these things, and move forward in the pursuit of our dreams? 
 
The Real Reason behind ALL Other Reasons: FEAR
 
While there are many reasons, circumstances, and justifications, for not pursuing our dreams the real reason we don’t pursue them is fear. At its most basic level every excuse we can ever give is based in fear. All our excuses represent a fear of the unknown. Whether it is not having enough time, education, and money, a fear of rejection, a desire to guard those thoughts that are most precious to us only to ourselves, feelings of inadequacy, we must remember that these things all grow forth from a fear of the unknown.
It is not what we are actually afraid of that immobilizes us… it is our fear itself – our fear of the unknown. The excuses of our lives, in and of themselves, do not immobilize us and leave us paralyzed in inaction. It is the fear of the unknown which immobilizes us. We think: How will our fellow-men respond to our actions? To our dream? How will our life look, or how will we feel, if we move forward in pursuit of our dream and fail? What if we can’t do it? How would that make us feel? What if I have to change who I am to accomplish it? I don’t know what life would look like that far out of my comfort zone and it scares me… should I do it anyway? Can I do it? I’m not good enough to live my dream yet? I don’t even know how to move forward… what should I do?
 
All of these thoughts are valid but we must remember that they all stem from our fear of the unknown. It is in realizing that these thoughts stems from our fear of the unknown that we can discover the strength to move forward. These things are but surface reasons leading us ever deeper to the real reason at its heart; our fear of the unknown.
We must ask ourselves the following question as we consider what course of action we would take: Would we really do more of those things we say matter most to us if we had more options presented to us? Considering that we don’t do them don’t do those things now – when it actually matters most?
 
If something really matters to us then shouldn’t it be a part of our lives whether or not we are successful at it yet? If we want something to be a part of our lives when we are successful then doesn’t it need to be a part of our lives when we are struggling as well? If we can’t implement the lifestyle of our dreams into our lives now, when it matters most, why would we do it later when both distractions and responsibilities will likely be greater than they are today? If we have not the strength to do so now why should we expect to have the strength to do so then?
 
It is the fear itself that immobilizes us and keeps us locked in stasis. As long as we can’t see what it is that is actually immobilizing us we will remain trapped by it. In seeing this thing, this fear of the unknown, we come to realize that we can alter the path we walk, we can change our fate, and we can determine (to some extent) the outcomes of our destiny.
Look at all of the excuses you use, both with yourself and others, and see them for what they are; offshoots of a deep-seated fear of the unknown. We all have this fear within us. Recognizing and acknowledging it is the first step in moving past it. Until, and unless, we can see it we cannot move past it. It is in recognizing, and embracing, our fears that we begin to move past them. In denying them all we do is run from them while they in turn run our lives in the circles we have been running for far too long already. See the excuses of your life and recognize in them the truth; that the excuses of your life all stem from an innate fear of the unknown.
For the next two weeks I invite you to contemplate these things and identify the excuses of your life. Why don’t you pursue your dream? Why don’t you go after the things you most want? Why don’t you do daily activities, or take the actions, that lead you ever nearer – even if only imperceptibly – towards living the life of your dreams? Is it fear or is it something else? Do you really believe in the validity of your excuses or can you humbly see them for what they are – a fear of the unknown itself?
In two weeks we will explore, delve, and sound the depths of the question that matters most after seeing these things: How do we overcome these things, and move forward in the pursuit of our dreams? 
fear of unknown

 Overcoming Fear Series:

  1. What does it mean to live our dreams?– July 24th
  2. What stops us from living our dreams? – Aug 7th
  3. Overcoming Fear Itself – Aug 21st