You know how images trigger emotions? You can see something that can leave you warm and fuzzy for hours or fill you with hope and wonder for days.
Something that has always struck me as sad has been closed, boarded-up shops and businesses. Namely the ones which would have been individually-owned, a mom and pop shop, if you will. I never was 100% sure why they always left me clouded until yesterday. We were driving around Kentucky looking for something fun to get into and I saw what was once obviously a beautiful little restaurant. The landscaping had taken some a lot of thought, the fixtures were shiny, the siding blindingly white, the accent colors were beautiful, the sign was adorably Kentuckian....the windows were boarded up, and there was a little For Sale by Owners poster on the side.
This beautiful little place was once somebody's dream that filled them with hope, then their reality that had filled them with joy, then their past that left them empty. It hadn't been open terribly long - that much was obvious. For one thing, we hadn't seen it a few years before, and for another - everything was still too pretty and fresh.
What if the owners had given the place more time?
What if they closed shop and shut down just before their business was about to explode?
What if one tiny little month was all that was needed for enough people to find them - what if they quit 30 days too soon?
What if they had believed more in their restaurant and more in themselves?
What all did they miss out on by quitting, giving up and throwing up the boards on the windows?
They'll never know how close they may have been! Never's a word that doesn't work for me.
Sadly, we're all just as guilty. How many of us have beautiful, brightly colored dreams that we craft and nurture? The future is bright and our hopes are soaring....then, if things aren't moving along fast enough for us, or if the work is too hard, we board up the windows and abandon it. We whip out the "Closed for Business" sign and broken-heartedly move on.
*** "If the dream was worth dreaming, the work is worth working."
How many dreams have we "boarded up" too soon? What all could we have all ready missed out on?!How many days were WE from success when we quit?
What if we believed more in our dreams and in ourselves?
You know the good thing about boards and nails? They come out and they come down. The owners could, if they had the stuff, give it another shot. They could take the boards down, sweep off the front walk, call the realtor and tell her they'd found the perfect people.
Granted, it would take guts, boundless courage, a strong backbone and 75-pound, brass willpower, but isn't that what it took in the first place?
If they had the legs to walk the walk the first time around, they have the legs to walk the second time around - and this time they'll know the path better!
Do you have any dreams you need to unboard? If anything springs to mind, it's still important to you - you see it through the boards! Take the nails out, the wood planks down and let some light get in. Spruce it up and get reacquainted - promise to never give up again. YOU may be 30 days away from utopia as well, but you won't get there if you stop in your tracks.
It goes without saying, if you have dreams that you're tempted to board up - keep the nails in your pocket. Stay Open for Business and FIND A WAY....MAKE A WAY. There is always a way.
*** "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Think about that little restaurant. What would you have told the owners to encourage them right before they threw in the kitchen towel? I know there's advice you would have given. I also know you would have done all you could to help them - you would have stood right between them and the boards. That's where I'm planting myself right now, between you and your boards!
*** "If you want to reach your rainbow, you have to keep walking."
Author: Joi Sigers
Copyright 2005 The Mental Fitness Center
Joi Sigers, Publisher and Writer of www.thementalfitnesscenter.com">The Mental Fitness Center and blogger on a mission with www.thementalfitnesscenter.com/blog">Out of Bounds!
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