My brother and I are a lot like my dad: we’re dreamers. Not to say my mom isn’t. But, she’s more of a factual, be in the present kind of gal. My dad, on the other hand, he loved to dream. I can still remember him and I talking about the B&B, tossing ideas about menus and gardens and everything in between. I remember when I told him I was gonna be the first female to play in the NBA. We went out and bought me a  brand new Nike basketball shorts and spent time shooting. He always nourished my dreams, my mom did too. My parents taught us that nothing in this world was unattainable. And my brother and I, well, as adults we’ve been reaching for the stars, never content about being where we are, always striving to be better versions of ourselves. And this month, it was all about looking beyond the horizon excited of those very dreams, hopes and goals being reached.

The month started off with an energetic anticipation of good fortune, of excitement, of the adventures of the last half of the year. Looking forward to things is always half the pleasure of them. July was softball month and the start of a game always got me a little nauseous knowing of the fun I’d have. We went floating twice and my heart beat wondering what kinds of adventures awaited. I had my first black dress date night and sitting in the chair watching my friend beautify me gave me butterflies thinking of how my partner would feel at first glance of me.

And then I realized something.

Too often we look in life’s rear view mirror ensuring we don’t make the same misstep as before. We walk on eggshells during certain points in hopes that life continues on with no disruption. We often find ourselves holding back feelings to save others or ourselves. We don’t jump because we’re too afraid. We keep our eyes closed during roller coaster rides too afraid to see the beauty of the world at that height or speed. We are afraid to love, forgive or let go because we don’t want to be hurt.

I’ve learned in July that missteps will happen, life will be disrupted and feelings will get hurt. I’ve learned that if you don’t jump when you feel it you never will. I’ve learned that the most beautiful things come when you least expect it. and when you can’t love, can’t forgive or you can’t let go you’re already hurting yourself.

In July, I woke up every morning in anticipation of the adventures I’d have for the day. With my move this month, a dependency hearing at the end of the month, a golf tournament in the middle I’m still doing that. So many things happening – even through some tough times – that the sheer energy of the possibilities is breathtaking. And I realized that’s how I want to live my life.

I want to misstep because that means there is growing being done. It means I’m stumbling and finding my roots.

I want my life disrupted because it opens my eyes to see what I’ve not given to God. And it forces me to make the decision of trusting Him or trusting me.

I’m so sensitive that my feelings get hurt pretty quickly. Hurt feelings allows me to rest on God. Rest on knowing He knows exactly how I feel and knows exactly what I need to soothe my heart.

I want to jump because if it excites me and scares me at the same time it probably means I should do it. Also, you literally only live once.

I’m tired of having my eyes closed. God made this world for me to enjoy and I’m too afraid of forgetting that I never look at the new.

I want to love, not just be in love, but to love. Love the child who comes into my home. Love the kiddo that looks up to me as their teacher. Love the lady needing help carrying her groceries to her car. I want to love in a way that is unselfish and nonjudgemental, loving in such a way that I bless them.

Forgiving and forgetting? I want that too. I don’t want to be held down in hurt and mistrust. I want to live a life of freedom, of healing, of love.

July has taught me to anticipate everything that comes with my dreams and hopes. All the good, all the bad, all the in between. Because it is accepting it all, wanting it all, that I truly get to live my life, reach for the stars and become the better version of myself. So, today, I’m challenging you to do the same.

For the love of self I have learned my dreams help plant the seeds of our future and it’s up to me how they are watered. xoxo