“What you still need to know is this: before a dream is realized, the Soul of the world tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up, it’s the point at which, as we say in the language of the desert, one ‘dies of thirst just when the palm trees have appeared on the horizon’.”
~From “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
I saw the above quote on a friend’s timeline in my seemingly constant Facebook surfing (which is really great for inspiration by the way) and it struck a chord with me. It’s kind of like those quotes that say don’t give up because success is right around the corner except in this quote it is much more profound and hard hitting. I won’t say that I am a person who gives up a lot because I am still not where I thought I would be, and long after the period in which I thought I would be there, and I still get people who tell me to just go back to working a regular job so I could live a much more comfortable lifestyle. Yet here I am, still going for it and pursuing it, one crushing blow after another.
But I’m not going to say that I haven’t had constant moments of doubt and wonder about whether I should give up. That quote hits home with me because I feel like I am constantly being tested, and not to sound too melodramatic, but I feel like the tests come at least every other day and they don’t ever stop. It is said that the bigger the battle the bigger the victory that God has in store for you and I just keep thinking that God must have one (excuse my language) hell of a victory waiting for me at the end of this part of my journey.
I suppose one would think that the constant testing is to make sure that you are absolutely certain about what it is that you say you want, what you say your dream is. We as a society tend to expect immediate results a lot. We want what we want, when we want it, and exactly the way we want it to happen. I suppose it is natural to have a plan and to actually expect that plan to go accordingly but in such an unpredictable world with surprises at every turn, we can’t allow ourselves to be so thrown off course that we simply stop moving.
I sometimes feel like this journey for me is like a trek through the desert. I keep seeing mirages of what I think is about to be my breakthrough. I see glimpses in the distance of what my future will look like but those glimpses seem like they will take forever to reach. Oftentimes it seems like I am standing in some figurative form of quicksand where I am sinking faster than I can find some far away branch to grab ahold of. And even when some spiritually appearing hand pulls me out of that quicksand the well of water sitting underneath the shady palm trees (my dream) still seems so far off in the distance that I feel like just giving up and succumbing to dehydration and heat exhaustion.
But I am still here. Through every test that the Soul of the world seems to be giving me, I am still making my way through that desert. I may still be seeing mirages far off in the distance but I know that the well of water and the shady palm trees are there and I will get there, eventually. I don’t want to be one of those that collapses along the way and finds the well and palm trees right at the edge of their fingertips at the point that they gave up. I plan on being the one who survives every tests and who makes it to the well. And if that well is dry, I plan on being the one who treks on until I find the well that is full, of all my dreams and all that God has in store for me. I am told that I am stronger than I give myself credit for and looking back on just how far I have come in this journey of mine, without giving up even once, I am starting to realize that maybe they are right.
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