The Outcast: How to Embrace Your Life and Your Dreams

We all feel left out at times. This illustration from Zippy and the Stripes of Courage resonates those feelings perfectly.

Somewhere along the way, we have been taught that we need to be like others and do things as they do them to be happy, accepted, loved, and successful. That statement, however, couldn’t be further from the truth.

Happiness, acceptance, love, and success all come from within. When we follow our heart and do the things which feed our soul, then we are able to achieve the greatest level of all of them. We need to remember that no one else has ever finished our purpose. That is why we are alive today. The world needs our gift.  
When I first started writing, I joined tons of online groups. People from all levels of experience and ambitions told me how to write a book. Instead of just giving suggestions, they specifically stated the dos and don’ts of writing. And they didn’t leave any room for creativity or big dreams.
Every post was so discouraging and negative. After awhile of hearing the negativity, I became very discouraged. The voices, of what I considered to be the experts, aligned with my inner critic and overwhelmed me. The words of my heart no longer had a voice because they were silenced beneath my self-doubts.
And I was miserable.
God doesn’t want me to take my gift and mimic someone else. He gave it to me to nurture and grow. Once I decided to write from my heart, wonderful things happened. People would approach me in the grocery store, send me emails, and tell me how my blogs or books had helped them. Through similar experiences we bonded and shared a connection. That’s what writing is for me—a connection with someone else.
It saddens my heart now, but I allowed others to delay my journey. Once my blog and books were doing well, the negativity poured in, too. People criticized my writing and I listened. The frequency of my blogs changed, until I nearly stopped.
Why did you start writing? Why do you want to write?
When I asked my heart these questions, my answer was the same as it has always been. I want to help others, give them hope, and perhaps a little glimpse of my God. I know what’s it like to feel hopeless and overwhelmed, and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way. As they sink into the horrible hole of depression and feel there is no way, I want to challenge their perspective and encourage them of a better day. And if I can only help one person, I want to help that one person with my whole heart. 
So I wrote myself a note of encouragement:
Don’t spend so much time listening to the negativity of the world. Tune into God’s word. Listen for His voice and instructions. Embrace His words of encouragement. Open the Bible and allow God to restore your soul. And when you feel inspired, use what you have learned to inspire others. You and God can do great things.
Whatever it is that you want to do, do it. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your dreams. 
May God bless you,

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