When I was a boy, I used to go to bed with the sincere hope that when I woke, I would find myself out of the awful nightmare I’d been experiencing and awakened to my REAL life, the one in which there was no hurting or shaming or yelling. I tried hard to convince myself that the everyday existence I endured was simply not real, and that I would one day open my eyes to find myself four years old again, having only had a horrible nightmare of being trapped in a life of physical and psychological abuse and emotional neglect.
I never did.
Instead, I gradually allowed the dreamer within me to awaken to the reality that, once I had control over the direction of my own life, I had the power to help mold a world around me that was kind, loving, just and joyous. Over the years – especially in the last seven – I have become overwhelmed with thankfulness that my life wasn’t a dream and the certainty that every knock and bump, whether administered by others or by me, was preparing me for the present and was forming me into who I was supposed to be. I have learned that life is a refining fire. We must learn to embrace the flames, if not enjoy them, for they bring out a beautiful burnish which can be achieved no other way.
We all have power, and it is what we choose to do with it that determines whether we live a dream or a nightmare.