I remember the first time I felt like I was “special” and put on Earth to do amazing things. I think I must have been in high school or maybe it was middle school. I remember holding the dream close to me and not wanting to say it out loud to anyone. Eventually, I could not hold it in anymore and I finally said it out loud to my best friend. I expected her to be as excited and elated as I was, but she was not. Instead, she knocked my kite out of the clouds, let all of the air out of my sail, and I fell back to earth. She merely said, what I had already heard in my head, “Yeah, everybody feels like that”. Instead of me remaining excited, I was deflated. Instead of me interpreting this as still being a good thing and still believing I was in fact here to do great things, I allowed those words to frame more than 2 decades of my life.
That incident was seemingly insignificant but powerfully defining. I did not fully receive the statement but I also did not refute it. It took me over 20 years to recognize what I allowed it to do. I allowed it to keep me in Familiar. I allowed it to keep me Ordinary, even though I knew I was created to be Extraordinary and do great things.
I now accept that my choices did not qualify me nor disqualify me for the dream. I was given the dream before I ever took a breath. My actions merely dictate how I get there, the dream is mine, I merely have to be a willing vessel to allow it to flow through me. I did not earn it and no one can take it – it is mine.
As an adult I understand the power of words and thoughts. As an adult I understand that when someone offends me, I owe it to me and them to acknowledge that offense (just as they should be free enough to do the same). You acknowledge the offense to prevent animosity, bitterness, and unforgiveness from taking root in your heart. It is unreasonable to assume someone knows they have offended you. The enemy will try to use this offense as a means of holding you back and preventing you from being able to grow or self-actualize. He may use it to keep you from opening up, he may use it to keep you quiet, he may use it in a million different ways, so you must work to address offenses as they occur. Confrontation is rarely easy, but it is worth the energy – allow it to grow you.
Be mindful of the words you accept into your life, be mindful of the words you speak. Be mindful of the words and people you allow to speak over you, around you, or to you. When someone speaks a contradictory word over your life call it down, immediately. Do not allow it to live in your atmosphere and poison you. Do not allow it to hold you hostage. Be mindful of the music you hear, because again, words are being spoken over you and you may pick up some poison unaware.
To that end, I love my best friend and she loves me. God only knows what caused her to respond in this manner and I release the offense. I am positive I have offended her over the years as well, and one at a time I hope she releases them as well. But for now I have dreams to build and realize, as do you. Bid Familiar adieu and go build something that will remain. Build tomorrow for the generation to come. Invest in a millennial, invest in a Gen-Xer, we need the wisdom, experience, and maturation you have to offer. Our future depends on it. Your dream is big on purpose, you feel incapable because you are not suppose to depend on your own strength to get it done. Build it and they will come.
I encourage you to read the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, you can read an excerpt here. To date this book is probably one of the most impactful reads I have ever picked up.