Posted on January 6, 2012 - by Dawn Ford
My first actual finished writing project was a women’s study I put together to help women begin to believe in themselves and live a fuller life. It goes step by step in the process of breaking bad habits while putting better ones in their place, learning to listen beyond the spoken word, and recognizing the labels we put on ourselves or others place on us does not make us who we are but that we can become that which we aspire to be.
What makes me such an expert? Who do I think I am that I can tell others how to live a better life, when clearly I have no degree, no pedigree for which to show? If others only knew the personal struggles I had, they would see me as the hypocrite that I am and never listen to a word I had to say.
These, among others, are the words that play through my head whenever I even think about the study I put together. I used it with a women’s group once, to some degree of success, and has since gathered dust in my basement. I’m just a bit insecure when it comes to this study. Why? Because I know how imperfect I am and how deep inside me I know I am not a completely shining example for others to go by.
But, I do believe completely in the words I put together for that study. I’ve watched people live in a cycle of misery desiring a way to move beyond that into a prosperous life. Often times it’s just that we don’t see the forest because of the trees. We can’t see beyond our day because we are living just to survive. It starts first with a change of mind and attitude and works its way into a changed life. You just have to believe you can do it.
What does this have to do with writing advice? Everything. When I first put words together it was a jumbled up mess. I had stories in my heart that wanted to work their way out, but I had a lifetime of trouble and sorrow that I had to work through to get to the good stuff. I’m still working my way through some of my past demons.
But I believe. Probably stronger about this than I have anything else I have done in my life, I believe. I believe in me.
To many of you this may seem like a given thing. But it’s not for me. You see it took several years to stop seeing myself as more than a victim of circumstance. Daughter of alcoholic parents-victim. Didn’t go to college-victim. Troubled marriage-victim. But I’ve always felt there was something bigger, something more I was destined to do.
That’s where the writing comes in. I believe I am meant to write and reach out to other women through the written word. It’s been one of the strongest feelings I have ever had and it comes from a place deeper than the heart. It comes from my soul.
So the best advice I ever got was from a Journey’s song. Don’t stop believing. I didn’t realize when I put together the study but the theme was the same thing. Don’t stop believing in yourself. Even if that’s all we have is the belief in ourselves and the God who put that belief there. We don’t stop believing. We know some day that belief will be realized.