Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Letter To A Restless Heart by Jamie Wright Bagley

{A note from Beth: from May through August 2015, I am featuring some delicious guest writers here on the blog as I recover from pregnancy and adjust to our new family rhythms (find more details here).  Enjoy!}

Dear Restless Heart,

I hear you’re not feeling up to things lately. As a pioneer on the prairie of dreams, I know you have given a lot, but now you are worn, and more than a bit panicked. I know what that’s like. Sometimes it feels like the trail is going nowhere, and the dreams are growing cold. What if there is no second wind?

It is going to happen, though. Have courage, friend. Trust the whole process. You have set out on the track, carrying your dreams into a wide expanse of the plains of possibility. There are prospects and there are risks. Both of those things are scary: success or failure, and all the what-ifs it takes to get there. I know, because I, too, am guiding my wagon through the unknown right now. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to turn back the clock and toss the original idea away before it could be formed into a dream.

We are not turning back, you and I. No, we are not! Let me remind you of something: Each road we travel has different challenges. When the land is smooth, oh, you know it’s a wonderful adventure because you are going fast and can see so far in front of you. When the path is rugged, nobody expects their wagon wheels to get caught in a rut, but sometimes it happens. Getting trapped like that can be jarring. It’s then a little voice inside says “Give up! Give up and go home!”

I don’t advise that option today, dear one. You have more mettle than that. This wagon you are steering, your dream, is meant to be. Trust the whole process. The journey is made from all kinds of terrain. Embrace the beauty of differing scenery.

The other thing I want you to remember is that your wagon is one-of-a-kind. If you share the road with a larger vehicle, a faster vehicle, or one that seems more beautiful, let me remind you that each one carries its own unique and important dream, and not one of them got where they are without help. Not one. Where does your help come from? This is the question you must ask yourself now. The other wagons are not meant for you. Stick with yours, in all its weathered glory.

Are you tired of all the jolting and clattering? There will be smooth paths again.

Are you anxious for adventure? The prairie has seen its share of storms.

Be in the moment, whatever it is. Love your surroundings. Say a blessing over every part of your wagon and call it good. Call it beautiful. Call it holy, because it bears your essence; all the rare pieces of your self instilled even before birth. Nothing outside of you gets to determine the worth of your dream. Embrace it. Care for it. And keep your chin up.

Finally, remember who crafted your wagon. You, and the spirit of creation: the inspiration behind every trek. Your wagon is your gift and your charge to care for. You get to steer it, and you get to name it.

Give it a good name. Give it a name that reminds you always of who you are, how far you’ve come, and how much your presence matters to the world you journey through. Things are different because of your dream. Things are better because of your dream. And once you make a habit of rehearsing these truths, you’ll remember why you do this at all: it is not to be the best; it is to be your best. And only you and the spirit of creation get to determine what that is.

May you always enjoy the ride!

Much love,

P.S. Go easier on yourself than you think you should. You really do have the time.

Jamie values connection, energy, empathy, freedom, and happiness. She believes in the lifelong pursuit of dreams, and will write poetry and song and everything else to that end. Flowers delight her and trees are her people. She’d love to bond with you over tea and pie, but will probably substitute the small talk with awkward jokes and deep topics. You’ll find her writing her heart out at, and @jamiebrightley on Twitter.

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"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King