content='index,follow' name='robots'/> Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom: “…live the life which he has imagined…” Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 18, 2008

“…live the life which he has imagined…” Henry David Thoreau

I was recently reminded of a quote I once read from Henry David Thoreau on a site called Heron Dance. It sparked something in me that I needed to share. I’m not quite sure at this writing what that is and ask you to join me in this adventure of being led to do something but not knowing the outcome. It happens that way sometimes.

The quote (taken from A Pause for Beauty (#238) – The Heron Dance E-Newsletter – Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) - from Walden, excerpted in Thoreau and the Art of Life) is:

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”

As I sit here looking at this quote, I wonder about my life and if I’ve moved in the direction of my dreams. I believe I have, maybe not as confidently as I would have liked. I’ve been a work in progress and still am. But my life reflects what’s been important to me and that is the love of family and to have a living, growing, spiritual relationship with my Creator (no particular order here). This has taken me down many paths and I’m sure there will be many more paths before it’s all said and done. I can imagine you writing your own dream stories, as you look at this quote, and what directions you took to arrive there and the successes you had unexpected in common hours.

As I’m writing this, I’m getting a better understanding of my life and why I had to take the path that I did. As I see it, earlier I had to learn about family and establish that for myself. I grew up in a dysfunctional family, which I believe most families do in one form or another. My parents were not abusive or drug or alcohol addicts. They just had their own personal relationship problems and jealousy issues and while they were in the midst of their challenges, which was most of the time, my sister and I felt cut out, excluded. There was very little peace or family unity. It was as if my parents were in a world of their own unconscious of anyone else around. There always appeared to be a black cloud hanging over our home and the energy was gloomy and heavy.

I didn’t know it then but, as a result, I had to find my own family and the give and take of love. I don’t remember having this kind of love as a child and through the weaves and turns down this path the stages of discovery left me sometimes more confused (see my post My Time to Trust – Again!). I felt disconnected with a hole in my soul. In the earlier stages of my youth, I realized I had an invisible friend who was always there. I later learned to put a name to that friend – God. This made me feel complete until I began to hear people tell me how you have to believe or else and what they said didn’t match the feeling I had for my invisible friend. As I got older and observing the expectations of the world, I tried to comply with teachings of hell, fire and brimstone but it never quite felt right. I missed my friend. Supernaturally, He would come into a dream or I’d hear His voice in prayer but another connection was broken – by me. As I got older and fell in love, this relationship was a part of the answer to reconnecting and filling the hole in my soul. When the children came, I felt so much more complete than I had ever felt – almost, but still not quite there. My husband and children fulfilled the love I needed to find what I had looked for so long but there was still some need to connect.

Now, in the second half of my life with the extended joy of family love and grandchildren (see my post Making Memories), I have advanced confidently in the direction of my dreams and endeavored to live the life I have imagined. But there’s more. Now, I will meet with a success unexpected in common hours, as I continue down this path learning to connect to me (see previous post Who Am I – Be True to Yourself) for there is my invisible friend as I once knew as a child, pure and innocent. He was there all the time and as I learn I will put old beliefs that no longer serve me behind and pass an invisible boundary. As I continue to learn to live connected in every way to God, myself, everyone and everything, I will live with a license of a higher order of beings.

I love Thoreau’s reflective thoughts and the messages that deeply speak to me. I thank you for taking this adventure of discovery with me. I hope you can see the journey you have been on and realize that it’s all perfect and that you’re never alone. In Jeremiah 29:11, it says:

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Check Out These Books to Read – Henry David Thoreau:
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience - Thoreau's Classic Essay (Paperback) by Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau: Three Complete Books: The Maine Woods, Walden, Cape Cod by Henry David Thoreau
Walden by Henry David Thoreau, Introduction by William O. Douglas. Time-Life. 1962 by Henry David Thoreau and William O. Douglas
Walden, and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau and Brooks Atkinson

Additional Information on Thoreau:
Online Literature – Thoreau
Biography of Henry David Thoreau – American Transcendental Web
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)
Image Results of Henry David Thoreau
The Thoreau Reader

From the kitchen table - Pat
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