Sunday, November 4, 2012

*Giveaway* Follow Your Dreams Part 2

This continues the series on how to achieve your dreams.

Dreams Are Amorphous, So You Get to Choose How to Define Them

As a romance writer, my characters always begin the book with a belief about themselves and their lives that is unchangeable.  In Undertones, the first book in the Sweetwater Canyon series, Michele believes she cannot have a career as a musician because she’s put five years into pursuing it and hasn’t made enough money to live. She also believes, because of a bad love relationship, that it is impossible to have a relationship and be a musician. In the second book of the series, Healing Notes, Rachel believes that because of her promiscuous past that she doesn’t deserve to have the loving family she’s always wanted.

In both these situations, the women of Sweetwater Canyon have given up on their dreams because they have defined them so narrowly that it is impossible to achieve. In the case of Michele, she has done what many of us do in life. She has set up a false dichotomy. The danger with false dichotomies is that they can be very persuasive—particularly when we have had experiences in our life that are frightening or painful and reinforce those beliefs. We can easily be led to believe that two and only two options exist, where in fact there may be many other options.  How often do we hear that to be really good in business, a woman must choose to forego having a family? The woman must choose career over love.  Michele has to learn that you can have both, but you have to compromise, you have to open yourself to other possibilities.

In the case of Rachel, she has also done something that many of us do in life. She has accepted a view of herself that is perpetuated by people who don’t know her or care about her—media, her ex, a defense attorney.  She accepts this view because she doesn’t trust herself to know who she really is or can be. Rachel accepted her ex-husband’s view that she wasn’t “woman enough” for him, and she makes decisions about what that means and her behavior follows. Rachel also accepts the view perpetuated by certain groups (media, some churches, some attorneys) that her promiscuous past led to a rape that is her own fault, and thus she believes she is unworthy of love.  How often do we buy into what others believe about us and act on that, instead of acting on what we know to be our true selves in our heart? Rachel has to learn that she is lovable for who she is today. She also has to accept that a family can come in many different variations. It may not be the house and man, with the baby in her belly that she pictured at age sixteen. But by being open to other possibilities, she can find a dream that is so more satisfying than she ever imagined. 

Both in my books and in real life women are given a choice in how to define their dreams.  I believe the key to finding your dream is threefold: 1) Expand the dream to include multiple choices in how it can be fulfilled; 2) As the boulders of life are placed in your path, don’t retreat to the safety of denial of your dreams. Instead step off the path and learn from the wilderness and then get back on at another juncture; and 3) Believe in yourself and your goal(s). If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.

In my final post, I’ll share my personal story around my journey to achieve three major dreams: a happy long-term marriage, having a family, and becoming a career novelist.  I hope they serve as one example of how expanding choices and accepting changes along the way can make dreams come true.

*** GIVEAWAY ***

I am giving away up to five (5) ebooks to commenters on my guest posts during the GoddessFish Party.  The giveaway is being done via Rafflecopter below.  You may increase your chances by also going to my FB, Twitter, and Blog pages.  However, to win one an ebook you MUST comment on a guest blog post.  I WILL check the randomly selected winner against the commenters on at least one of the three posts I make here on November 4th. Good Luck everyone! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Maggie Jaimeson
My educational and career background is in psychology, counseling, computer science, and education. Somehow I found a way to satisfy both my left and right brain and fashioned a career over the past 30+ years that could do that. I am fortunate to now spend the majority of my time journeying into the world of my imagination and writing novels that reflect my passions and my belief that strong women can do anything, that the good guys win in the end, and that love will conquer all. 

Contacts:  * Website * Blog * Facebook * Twitter * GoodReads
Buy Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBookstore | Google Books | Jan's Paperpacks


Catherine Lee said...

I do believe in the whole concept of "believing in oneself," especially when no one else does.
catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

Catherine, I'm so happy to hear that you are able to do this. It is a rare individual who has such self-awareness that she can continue to believe in herself even when no one else does. Frequently, that is the road of a writer. But it is also the road of any person who has spent years pursuing a dream.