Keeping Hope Alive by Debra HollandEvery once in a while I have a dream that I consider significant. Sometimes I have a psychic dream that later comes true, or something from my subconscious illuminates part of my life for me. Even more rare and very special have been the dreams where I’ve been given a spiritual message.
The spiritual dreams usually come when I need the answer to a question, or I’m upset and struggling with an issue.
In the middle of February, I’d had a particularly difficult and painful weekend--one that left me feeling like I wanted to retreat from life and never, ever interact with ANYONE. The rare times I feel this way, I entertain fantasies of selling my house, taking the large amount of money I’d make from the California real estate market, and moving to a rural cottage in the country near a small Mid-western town. There I’d live on the proceeds of my house, read books all day, and garden, and I’d never talk to anyone ever again. Well, I’d go into town once a week for groceries, and that was all the exposure I’d have with people. I might, or might not, retain contact with my wetnoodleposse friends. (The might not is because I know they would NOT let me follow this particular fantasy.) And I’d fly back home on holidays to see my family.
While I was in this upset, depressed, retreat-from-life place, I also questioned why I should bother continuing to write books--I’m investing a lot of my time and energy into writing, that I could be using elsewhere.
Also while I was in this dark place, I examined a few other areas in my life, and experienced similar doubts and negative thoughts.
When I was in my dark cave, I knew that these feelings would pass. (They always do.) Soon, I’d pick myself up, start the steps to heal my feelings, and turn my thoughts in a positive direction. And after two days, that began to happen. Yet on day three, I was still aware of some lingering feelings of doubt and discouragement.
Then came the dream where I was given a spiritual message. Unfortunately, I didn’t immediately write down the dream, thus in the morning, I was only left with fragments.
In the dream, an editor’s assistant came up to me and handed me a card-sized envelope. She was eager for me to open the envelope. I don’t remember what the assistant said. There was something about the editor liking my writing. But she did specifically say that the editor had included a gift in the card. She repeated that several times.
The envelope was a little thick, and when I opened it, a broken piece of an angel’s wing fell out. The white wing was about an inch long, and it looked like it had been snapped off from one of my ceramic Christmas angels. On it were some words in cursive letters. I can’t remember the words, but the assistant said, “Don’t give up hope.” Perhaps that was what was written on the angel’s wing.
There was also a mention of the singer Lional Richie. I think the editor had included the words of a song of his, but I woke up before I saw or heard them. (If anyone can help me with suggestions for one of Lional Richie’s songs, I’d appreciate it.)
When I woke up, I felt as though I’d been brushed with an angel’s wing. Throughout the day, although still healing, I was once again hopeful. Life was good.
Three days later, I received the news that the screenplay I recently adapted from my first book, Wild Montana Sky, was a finalist in the Kairos Prize competition for spiritually uplifting screenplays. Of course my mood skyrocketed, and I was happy and excited to the point of tears. Life had reaffirmed for me the message in my dream--don’t give up hope.
In fact, I realized that the message really is don’t give up. For if I retreat to my solitary fantasy life, then I won’t experience the joy of my accomplishments, most of which have to do with interacting with people.
I have to remember that writing, like life, is a journey. On the journey, I’ll experience difficulties when my steps falter and my spirit grows heavy. But I’ll also encounter special people and have wonderful successes. But I won’t find the special times, if I don’t walk the path. The important thing is to keep following my dreams and never give up.
For all of you who are struggling, remember:
DON’T GIVE UP HOPE! You don’t know what lies right around the corner.