Reflecting on the Journey
Six and a half years ago when I began writing my first novel, I was browsing in the jewelry section of a local department store. Drawn to a silver ring that was on display, I read its inscription: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” I smiled at the simple wisdom of those words and remembered they were written by the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu. Immediately, I purchased the ring and placed it upon my finger. It has stayed there ever since serving as a symbol of hope during times of frustration, disappointment, and despair. Its message has helped me believe in the power of perseverance. And even now, as the ring’s inscription is beginning to fade away, it still serves as a reminder to me to never give up and always keep reaching for my dreams.
Writing my novel has taught me that our lives are all about the journey. Our experiences greatly impact the people we become. We learn from our struggles as well as our triumphs. But, we must continue moving forward. We have to keep challenging ourselves to be the best people we can be, choosing to live from love rather than fear and not being afraid to speak our truth. Others’ opinions of us might not be as important as we make them to be; rather, it’s all about staying true to who we really are and making a difference in this world. We must believe in our worth and love ourselves from the inside out.
But, this is not always easy to put into practice. Last month, when my novel, The Refuge, was published, doubts slowly began to creep in. My work was out there for everyone to read. I started to worry what people might say about it. Fears began to take hold. So, I took a few deep breaths and knew it was time to go within and reflect upon what I was feeling. Listening to my inner guidance, I came to realize that I needed to live from love rather than fear. People have a right to their opinions, and their opinions are not a reflection of me or my writing. It’s simply their opinions. We all have opinions, and we won’t always agree. That’s the gift of diversity. So, instead of focusing on what others might say, I re-focused on what I wanted to say within the story of The Refuge.
Often, when people ask me about my novel, I say that it is a story of a woman’s journey of finding herself. However, it is also much more than that. It is about discovering who we are amid our struggles and that our challenges in life don’t define us; they simply shape us. Our experiences are our best teachers, and there are many lessons we can learn from them. And no matter what happens, we will endure.
In my novel I also emphasized the importance of relationships. Our lives are about connecting with others, and even more importantly, they’re about connecting with ourselves, for only when we go within can we find contentment and re-birth. We are constantly growing and evolving to become the people we were made to be. We are not meant to stay stagnant in our own comfort zones. We are meant to keep pushing our edge and trusting in the process knowing that we are never done evolving. We are worthy and wonderful beings with so much to offer the world with our unique gifts. We can make such a difference when we are willing to share our light with the world. We are loved, and we are enough exactly as we are.
I hope people connect with The Refuge on some level. It’s been an amazing journey, and it is my gift to those who wish to read it.
So, think about your journey. What challenges have you faced? What lessons have you learned along the way? Have you taken the time to go within? What unique gifts do you have to offer the world? Take time to be silent. Discover who you are and believe in your worth. Evolve into the person you were made to be. Live your life without letting fear hold you back. Never give up and reach for your dreams. For when you live from love, all will indeed be well. And whenever doubts begin to appear, simply remember Lao Tzu’s words. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Then take that first step and keep moving forward.