Ask Your Dreams to Tell You the Truth


I woke up one morning last week and the insane drive, the impossible mission to heal the world was not there.

Don’t worry I am not going anywhere. But I want to share this shift so it can help you in your life.

Let me give you a glimpse of what my drive has been like all these years.

Every thought, every step and every action in my life had to do with finding ways to improve someone’s life.

Everything I looked at, whether it was the sunrise, the ocean, a sad movie… everything had to do with a new inspired thought which you got to read on my Facebook page.

It was all about you, and I loved working for you and for your life.

But somewhere in the midst of passion and love for my mission I lost my own life.

My relationship with you became the most important one and I forgot that I needed inspiration for my own SELF.

You see, prior to meeting you I had worked so hard to get my life back and I was so grateful to have joy again.

And every ounce of me went to you because you didn’t yet have what I had.

I wanted you to be happy too.

Your pain, your sorrow and loss drove me.

It drove me so fast that I lived in a vortex of action and work for years.

Over the Christmas vacation I sat down with myself and asked my dreams to tell me the truth.

And the answer surprised me.

My dreams had nothing to do with my mission to help the world heal.

My dreams told me I needed to paint more.

My dreams were mad at me for forgetting about them.

My personal dreams did not include New York Time bestsellers, or speaking on big stages, or writing a million self help books.

My dreams wanted me to grab my paintbrush and paint.

My dreams wanted me to sleep in.

Do yoga.

Go to the movies during the day.

Laugh out loud.

Renovate my house.

Find a cool reclaimed door for my office.

Write fiction.

Paint some more.

I cried.

I didn’t know how I could possibly take care of my dreams and still do the work I was called to do.

How do you put yourself first when you have such a big responsibility in another part of your life?

And then one morning it kind of happened.

My drive was just no longer there.

The insane pace and action vanished from my body.

I still sat at my desk.

I still wrote to you.

I still took care of the work.

And you know what…. it felt easier.

It felt like the speed and need to prove something was no longer there.

What was left was just love for you.

And this is where I am writing to you from.

This work no longer takes over my body and mind.

I know that you have a similar responsibility in your life. Something that has completely taken you over so much that you have forgotten about your own needs and wants.

It could be your kids, your job, your older parents, or being the person who does everything for everyone else. I want to ask you this question today:

How long has it been since you looked out for yourself?
(Click to Tweet!)

That’s all I want from you today. Just you asking this question and seeing what you get.

Please share here.

With joy,

Christina

Image courtesy of RozArt.

Comments

  1. I ran into this same issue. After 30 years of computer support. I just walked away.
    These were my friends, my support group and my reason for getting out of the house after getting my boys to school.

    I couldn’t handle the phone calls. The long list of problems.

    Don’t get me wrong, I kept at it for almost 6 years after my wife passed.
    But over time, I lost heart, I post the drive, and the need to help others.

    Every time the phone rang, I sighed and thought, great, more problems.
    I was well known for helping the widows in the community. Talking to them, helping do some of the tasks the husband used to do. Then I just couldn’t here the stories any more.

    I’d let the calls go to voice mail. I was slow to respond. I just lost the heart to help. I work on special projects now. No longer interested in the day to day helping.

    Now I struggle to redefine myself. It’s hard at 52.

  2. I was doing a mind map one day starting with my feelings of despair. I let the thoughts flow and it took me to a realization that just as my birth Mom had given me away at birth, I too had spent my life “giving me away.” I found this fear of being rejected if I was seen as selfish. I became small to myself and big to others. I am worthy, worthy of love, connection, success, love and the best of all that life has to give and in claiming this with grace I offer it to you as well. I am big………you are big. We are free.

  3. I keep busy with my family and friends and
    Am looking for joy this year. It’s been tough
    Letting go of the grief as I miss my Jim
    Very much. I’m remarried and I love kent
    He deserves my full attention.

    Thank you.

    Cindy

  4. I am faced with this same thing too. My job, my new fiance’, my house, everything left behind in my “old life”. They gobble up my time. My dreams are to make art and produce things that make people happy, that make me happy. How do I do this???? It makes my heart hurt.

  5. It was my work…and my faith, and politics…staying on top of these 3 consumed me. All I did was work. No vacation, no dinners with friends, no movies, no fun books, etc.
    My faith and the political stuff kept my sanity…but I wan’t thinking about me and my DREAMS and desires. I couldn’t verbalize WHY I was working so hard to grow my business.
    As each brick was laid in place one by one, the sun began to shine through…and the work has ll been worth it. It was a journey of faith…it wasn’t planned or thought out…but by God’s GRACE, it has all come together.
    My faith in place, politics on the back burner…
    A heart that is ready and willing to love again…
    The world is brighter, and life full of endless possibility.

  6. Christina, you reached into my heart again! It was just yesterday, that I was unexpectedly flooded with these thoughts while I helped my nephew copy down a healthy “sliced apples in the oven” recipe. We laughed, he hung on to my every word, he was like a sponge taking in everything I told him about eating healthy. As I have writing a book which would surely help the world, I felt free and happier when working with him. My thoughts quickly turned to, ” I am writing the wrong kind of book”…….I should go back to my first dream years and years ago when all I wanted to do was write children’s books! I am always amazed at how our “gut, intuition, and inner knowing” is never wrong. It is our soul speaking to us!

  7. It has been 4 years and 3 months since I have looked out for myself. When my 51 year old extremely ill mother came to live with me, my husband and two children little did I know that MY life was going to take a backseat. After spending my days going to college, taking care of my family and my ill mother for 4 months and 1 week in ICU, my mother suffered a terrible death. The void in my heart was so big and oh so dark that it felt like an elephant was on my chest. I stopped eating, insomnia kicked in due to the nightmares of her passing and I went on a wild binge of drinking and going out to mask the pain inside me. I’ve never felt so empty and lifeless in my life! During this time I became caregiver for my Grandma (my mothers mom), taking care of her daily – bathing, feeding, cleaning…the works. Anxiety and depression ran rapid through my body and took the wheel to my life. The therapy and anti-anxiety & depression meds only masked the pain so I weened myself off in February of last year — 30lbs gained later, days unable to get out of bed let alone shower and then my 15 year old son moved to Costa Rica so it seemed that loss had run my life over a cliff. Both my Grandfathers passed away, my father disowned me after losing my mother and my Grandmother whom I had cared for the last 3 years and 10 month passed away 4 weeks ago. Through this journey of great loss and grief I have come to realize that I’ve not only lost so many loved ones in a short period of time, but I lost Allison too. So I have started my yoga practice again after 11 months off my mat. My time on my mat recently has shown me how to love myself again and seek patience with myself while finding my way through this journey of fear and loss. Love & light

  8. What a relief! Secretly I wanted you to say all this as if when you finally get to this point I would also be allowed to crave my long abandoned ‘all about me’ projects. Family’s needs have been a priority for ever that even loss of health and its accompanied grief had takensecond place. Until I read your book. Your words allowed me to grieve. But Christina I needed you to let me loose of this idea that we need to soldier on in spite of our loss. That was my conclusion anyhow. Thank you sweet, wise and gorgeously honest friend.

  9. Wow Christina. You have an amazing gift of putting life into context. It took the love of my life for 36 years to walk out on our marriage for me to realize that I had totally lost myself in his life, the children’s lives, MY JOB, and keeping up the image of what an ideal marriage looked like. What a revelation that was, I was so determined to let others see that marriage could really work, if you loved each other, treated each other kindly and still held hands even after 32 years marriage. I didn’t examine the flaws, I just accepted what was. What a wake up call when suddenly he told me he wasn’t in love with me anymore and was leaving. Mind made up, no dialogue, no warning. Suddenly everything in my life was called into question. Who was I, what would life be without him, what did I care about, where did I want to be, was I passionate about anything besides marriage? When he left he left behind all the things of his past, taking very little with him, leaving me to get clean up his mess and I learned just how much my life had been buried under the weight of him and all the things he collected and now discarded. 2014 became my year of letting go. I left my job of 20 years. It was a great job, great benefits and great perks. I was good at it but never had passion for it. I would have held on. But I was embroiled in a toxic relationship that became increasingly hostile. I realized in order to take care of myself and an already shattered heart, I had to let go. Shortly after, I put my home of 20 years on the market. I love my home it had been so neglected when we arrived, we loved it back to itself, at least we tried as resources allowed. My kids came of age here, its been a happy, loving home filled with music and lots of good food and hospitality. The house embraced me after he left, I felt cared for and safe. But it’s too much work, too much upkeep, too expensive and it seemed time to let it go into the hands of someone else who can finish what we started, who will love and enjoy the house as much as we did. Packing up decades of life, throwing out or giving away what I don’t need in my future. Letting go of things, packing up memories for the children to go through sometime in the future, their lives in pictures!! I bought a brand new bedroom set!! Nothing that has his energy in it. Let go of the old and make room for the new. The life I had planned veered sharply off course, I never anticipated being single at 61, unemployed and homeless!!! For now, I will live with my 93 year old Mom, I can’t imagine moving away from her at this stage of her life. She’s reasonably low maintenance but she is more frail by the day, such a trooper, living in a large house alone. In 2015 I expect a year of shifts while I navigate unknown territory. A search for a new job that is more fulfilling; new relationships that add fun, maybe a sense of adventure and humor to my world. Once in awhile I daydream of finding love again, that it might be possible even now. Someone to enjoy life with. We’ll see. Lots of questions to be answered. First things first then second firsts!

    Thank you for putting life into context. Often when I read your newsletter I see similarities, and steps forward that I’ve taken without knowing what I am doing. But one thing I’m learning is nothing or no person should come in front of ourselves. It is not easy to keep that perspective when we are so caught up in doing. Go paint Christina if that is what nurtures you so you can give more, go paint.

    With love,
    Dianne

  10. Dearest Christina,
    So glad you are listening to your dreams!! My intuition has told me in the past couple of months that you were giving all of your self away to your mission of helping us all. I could feel that vortex you were in by your writings. I have learned as a 64 year woman that it is imperative to take care of myself first! I have had to reflect on how when my husband of 35 years was alive, it was always my family that took priority. Now I am thinking of what I want to do first! I love my days creating quilts. I made three memory quilts for my two children and grandchild out of my late husbands plaid shirts. Since he died sudden by suicide, we never had a chance to say good bye. So by creating these quilts , it is part of the healing process for the family. What a treasure they are!
    So my quilting is like your painting. I plan on making many more quilts this year. Creativity is my passion. It feeds my soul.
    The truth is , We can’t take care of others if we do not take care of ourselves! That includes your mission here.
    My love and care to you as you enter into a new realization and journey in your life.
    Thanks for all you have done, Now take care of yourself too. Dry your tears and smile!
    You are a Blessing!!
    Sharon

  11. I’m go to ask my dreams to speak to me – They once told me the same things, when I was getting off track. I’m feeling the same pull to duty and though I love it, it drains me dry. I need to figure out how I can get back on track, back in the flow of grace. Thanks!

  12. Today. I take today to take care of myself.
    When I was 5 years old my mother committed suicide. It crushed my father. Ruined him. He disconnected himself from his life, from his children. He’s been like a ghost. He’s been waiting to leave this place since she died, 37 years ago. On Wednesday of last week he did leave. Like my mother, he took his own life.
    I still haven’t been able to fully wrap my mind around the fact that both of my parents committed suicide. And that’s why today, instead of going back to work, instead of taking care of things, I’m staying home, alone, and I’m going to let myself grieve. In the quiet stillness of my house, I’m going to cry my eyes out for the loss of my momma and daddy. People that were taken away from me when I was only a child. Good, loving people that left a void when they went. Left behind three little kids that have grown up broken.

  13. It has been quite a long time since I have thought of me. Lost my mom in 1993,she was only 53. She took care of multi-handicapped children. When she died I took over taking care of everybody. Then lost my grandparents, my father, my brother and David (the brother that my parents adopted, who was severely handicapped and severely ill.) He was the child I would call my own… as I knew I would never have any of my own. When he left my world fell apart- hell there still is no world out there for me- he left me in 2006–seems like this morning. I lost most of my friends.. some ran away, some I pushed away. Lost my fiancé, to someone else.. I got injured at work and lost the use of my left arm… Lost my job. Took me years but I met someone who was just like me.. or was he? We lived together for over 10 years before he told me he didn’t love me anymore.. At this point I have had 5 mini-strokes, full body fibromyalgia, lost the use of my left foot and leg. Injury or disease? Is moving into my hips and find it difficult to walk… on top of this I am still taking care of my 29 year old adopted autistic/handicapped brother.. making sure he is healthy and happy.. rescued 8 cats from our yard.. and yes I am still living with the man who told me he doesn’t love me anymore.. Can’t find a place to live that will accept my brother or my cats(who are my family) plus trying to live on social security disability in New York. Can’t save money to move out. Don’t qualify for any help. Am in chronic pain everyday physically and mentally. Yeah I know about loss. I grieve everyday for all I have lost. my brother and my cats keep me alive. It would be so much easier to just go– but who would feed my family?

  14. Oh, this is so easy to do. We get so lost in the doing that we forget why we are actually doing the things we do. And, our inner child’s dreams get tossed aside. I recently moved to Mexico so that I could have a less stressful life, one without traffic and a lot of the stress of the USA. I now have time for siestas, and taking colorful photos, and eating caramel-filled churros, and I am still bringing healing to the world. Besos!!

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Christina Rasmussen

Welcome to the Message in a Bottle page, here you will find wisdom, truth and tools for you to start over. Make sure you sign up at the top to be sure to receive it in your inbox every Friday.