learning to begin again

When one dream falls apart, we can still build a new one with the fragments of the old.

If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again. ~ Flavia Weedn

I picked this quote today because to me it’s about perseverance and flexibility; about believing in yourself and in your ability to pick yourself up and keep on trekking when you get bowled over by circumstance, and about being able to see the opportunities within any circumstances, even if they happen to be currently unpleasant. It’s about finding the strength to begin again, building a new dream when an older one did not work out the way we wanted.

To me, these are essential skills to creating and maintaining happiness. We all fall down sometimes. Sometimes we stumble and trip, and, yes, sometimes we even get pushed. It happens. More so when we keep expecting it to happen, of course, but sometimes these things just seem to come at us out of nowhere.

And the danger is not in getting skinned knees or bumps and bruises; the danger is in never getting up again. The danger is in believing we are victims and never allowing ourselves to know our own strength.  We can always choose to get back up and begin again. Always.

The danger when we fall is not in getting skinned knees or bumps and bruises; the danger is in never getting up again. The danger is in believing we are victims and never allowing ourselves to know our own strength.

And just as this is true of our circumstances, it is true of our dreams (or maybe it’s that our dreams and circumstances are one and the same…  food for thought).  If one dream becomes shattered, we can still pick up one of those pieces and begin again, using that fragment to build a new, and maybe even better, dream based on the foundation of the first.

I speak from experience here. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at almost 11 weeks. The baby had actually died weeks earlier, but I hadn’t known.  I was devastated and spent about a week doing nothing but staring out a window and crying. Then it got worse. Turned out it was an “incomplete” miscarriage, meaning there was still a fragment of placenta stuck inside. This is dangerous as it can lead to mass infection and septic shock, and I had to have a D&C to try and get that fragment out. Two weeks later, we learned that the surgery had failed completely and the fragment was still attached. Which led to more ultrasounds, an additional complication which precluded additional surgery, and I ended up having to take a medication that was supposed to cause contractions to try and shake the fragment out. This drug was worse than the original miscarriage and I spent an entire night on the floor of my bathroom with vomiting, diarrhea and horrifically painful contractions. It worked though; the fragment finally came out. But I was physically and emotionally drained, on a level I had never experienced before.

The point of this story (because I generally advocate moving on the next chapter rather than rehashing old painful memories) is that I could have just curled up in a ball with all of that and given up on my dream of having a baby. Let’s face it – it was a horribly traumatic experience, and I don’t think anyone would have blamed me for deciding to never, ever risk going through it again. However, after taking time to grieve my loss, I stopped thinking about the experience and moved on. My baby died, but I did not. Which is not to say that I’ve ever forgotten about that baby, because I don’t think that anyone who goes through a miscarriage ever does, but I did decide to move forward and live my life. I decided to begin again.

new dreams

Beautiful new dreams are possible when you choose to begin again.

And in so doing, I have since welcomed two new babies into my life. Two stunningly gorgeous (and I’m not just saying that ‘cause I’m their mommy 😉 ), smart, funny and caring individuals who have enriched my life immeasurably. And I have realized that they could not have come into my life without the loss of the first one. Yes, I might have had other children, but it wouldn’t be these children. And I do love these children so very much.

One dream was shattered, broken into a thousand pieces, but out of those pieces came two new little dreams. And we continue to grow and create our circumstances, building new dreams together.  And yes, sometimes we fall; but we always get back up and begin again. We always keep going.

Fall down seven times, stand up eight. ~ Japanese Proverb

Have you ever had to begin again and build a new dream out of the fragments of an old one? What happened and what did you do?

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