Have you ever dreamed a dream, had all the steps fall into place and suddenly you’re living your dream and it’s nothing like how you imagined it?
Welcome to parenthood.
We dream of the baby, but have no idea how that little person will change the rest of our lives.
We then have that baby who turns our dream of becoming a mum into a frumpy, financially-stretched, sleep deprived banshee who just wants to pee alone and have a clean house.
Can I admit that I didn’t expect being a mum to three little ones was this hard? The more I’ve read and prayed about this season in my life, I remind myself that anything worthwhile takes hard work to attain and maintain.
Often dreams are different in reality because we haven’t lived them yet so we have little idea of what to expect when it finally does happen.
It doesn’t make the act of dreaming less important. I’m happy with the life that I’ve chosen to live, I just wish I knew what I was getting myself into. And maybe I did, but I arrogantly pressed onward and thought I’d have the strength to do anything.
Last Thursday night I went on a date with Renee from Mummy Wife Me to see Elizabeth Gilbert. It was supposed to be a tri-date with Lauren from Create Bake Make. Lauren nabbed our tickets, but personal circumstances prevented her from attending.
When Lauren mentioned she had bought tickets for us all to see Elizabeth Gilbert, I asked if this was the author of Eat Pray Love. And it was. I couldn’t stand that book. But I had heard Elizabeth was inspiring to listen to in person.
So Renee and I trotted into the Con at Southbank to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert share about her latest book, only to be met with Mia Freeman sharing the stage with the best-selling author as she was facilitating the interview.
I tried to scrawl down notes in my little notebook, but after some time, I just sat and listened because I know I get more in when I’m not focused on writing things down.
One thing that Elizabeth mentioned that resonated with me was she was careful not to turn blessings into curses.
That sparked a conviction I didn’t see coming.
Since becoming a mum, and living the life I have always dreamed, I’ve been seeing more negative than positive. I’ve been seeing my blessings as curses. How shameful and selfish.
Elizabeth shared this phrase as she explained the success of Eat Pray Love and how the best-selling status of the book thrust her into the spotlight – which is every writer’s dream, but there are drawbacks that come with success.
Sometimes, those drawbacks override the blessing of success. Elizabeth was grateful for the reaction to her book, but also hoped the attention would turn to the next best author so she could continue to create without extra pressure.
Isn’t it true in our own lives – and I can vouch for this in my own life, the moment a certain dream becomes a reality, we focus on the negative aspects to the dream?
I’ve only ever written a couple of viral posts (viral posts are ones that get shared and read many times). It’s a blogger’s dream to write a viral post, until the trolls come out to play and say ‘how dare you write that, you have no life, you are nothing and you don’t know what you’re writing about.’ And then you become focused on the trolls and not how awesome your writing was to be read and shared so many times. A perfect example of seeing a blessing as a curse.
Elizabeth had wise words about book reviews and opinions of what we create – it’s none of our business and everyone has a right to their opinion.
At the end of the day, we don’t create for other people. We create for ourselves.
I’ve been reading Elizabeth’s latest book, Big Magic (I’m only halfway through) and it’s given me new perspective on ideas and creative writing.
After Thursday night’s conviction, I’m determined to see my blessings as they are – blessings, not curses. This new movement of being mindful and grateful is a great place to start.
Have you ever looked at a blessing and only seen the negatives? How did you change your mindset?
I’m linking with Essentially Jess for IBOT.