“Believe” is such a powerful word, especially during this time of year.
We see signs propped up in windows, “This house believes in Santa” or simply the word “BELIEVE” masked as a Christmas ornament sitting high on a tree. I just love it.
And, to me, seeing is believing, and I will tell you why.
The Belief Skeptic
About 7 years ago, I wasn’t much of a believer.
I had been kicked around a bit emotionally in my life, was worried about my two kids, and the days ahead looked grim. There were bills to pay, jobs to find to pay those bills, and kids to raise as a newly single mom. To say my faith was being tested was an understatment.
My future seemed as if it were more than the enemy than a friend. At this point, if the “believe fairy” were to stop by my house at that time in my life, I would have said she was at the wrong address.
I felt more alone and sad than I had ever felt in my life.
Then, one day it all changed and I remember it well. I was sitting down at my kitchen table late at night with just a flicker from a candle and a nightlight. I was looking around my house thinking to myself (and reminiscent of the that Talking Heads' song, Same As It Ever Was), how did I get here?” while slowly shaking my head back and forth in despair.
Yet, for some odd reason, I decided to get a sheet of paper and write.
Usually, the only thing I wrote down back in those days were “to do lists” for tasks such as “print resume, call lawyer, or don’t forget to pick up kids from practice,” etc. But, this time was different. I didn’t let myself write any of that stuff down.This time, this list was about me.
What did I do? Well, that night, I started my dream list.
The Day it Changed
I didn’t let anyone see this list. In fact, I was a bit embarrassed about having this list at all, being that so much of what I had written down (in my eyes at that time) seemed unattainable, almost ridiculous, to those "dream-skeptics" out there. However, I knew I needed to incorporate at least two things in my life that had been missing for a very long time
I needed to learn to hope again. And, most of all, I needed to believe.
Bit by bit, I wrote down my hopes, dreams and eventually goals on that sheet of paper. Actually, I started to have some fun doing this since it was my secret list.
Eventually, I bought a spiral notebook at CVS as my list exceeded more than one sheet of paper. Then, late at night, right before I went to sleep, I would pull out my notebook marked only “Patti” and wrote down my thoughts – my happy thoughts – my dream thoughts - and a funny thing happened.
At that very moment the “Patti Believe Campaign” had started. It was a a wonderful way to drift off to sleep.
And my whole life changed.
Eventually, those lists turned into a vision. Then, I began to put all that information on a piece of poster board that I hung by my bed. This was the fun part. All the pieces of my life that made me smile and those pieces that I had not yet achieved, were all now in picture form glued on a sheet of cardboard that was now thumb-tacked by my bed. So, each day I would wake up and see pictures of not only what I had hoped to obtain during my life, but those people, places and things to which I was grateful to have in my life. This is a what some call a Vision Board.
My Vision of Better Days Of Ahead
Seven years later, I still have that vision board. Through the wear and tear of years gone by, it still sits in my bedroom propped up against a wall (due to too many thumb tack holes in it from adding to and reinventing my dreams with new pictures) – but the the moral of the story is, those pictures are still there and I still believe.
I love that vision board. it represents a time in my life when there were so many reasons not to believe, but I chose to believe in myself and my dreams, despite the circumstances.
Yes, it truly is “Tis the season for believin’”. Take the time to recognize these seasonal affirmations, personalize them and take those aphorisms to the next level. Incorporate their meaning into your life, especially if you have had a tough time this year. That is all the more reason to sit back, and restore your faith - which is the faith in yourself and your future.
Picture better days ahead for yourself and know that now is the time, more than ever, to believe in the season along with your hopes and dreams. All it takes is a pen and piece of paper to get started.
And the biggest lesson of all is to believe, that no matter what, that you deserve it.