Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. William Shakespeare
I'm not sure how a scholar would parse the sonnet line above, but here's how I read it: Pay attention to your "lily"--to the thing that, deep down, matters most to you--or pay a price.
That dream you have to play the piano, paint portraits, or walk across Spain, to campaign for peace, write a novel, or build a cabin in the woods, isn't going to just disappear--even if you manage, day after day, to ignore it. A dream deferred will, in Shakespeare's words, fester.
For me, "festering" means feeling empty, anxious, sad. When I stay away from my painting too long, I fester, in all those ways.
And so, every day I make a choice: grow my dream, or let it wither. Pick up my brush and get to work, or do something else--read the news, clean, weed, shop. Do anything that seems easier, in that moment, than painting.
But it's never easier, not really. Not when my choice is grow, or fester.
If you're struggling to make the right choices that will help you follow your dream, try starting very small.
Set aside just ten minutes at the same time every day to gather materials, do research, make a list. Then expand the time you spend on your work (because that's what your dream is, in the best sense of the word) a little every week.
Regularity, this choosing to show up every day to make your vision a reality, is better than occasional bursts of energy. Small steps can get us where we want to go.
I believe that the drive to explore, to connect, to make something out of nothing, exists in all of us.
Look inside, what’s your lily? When you find that dream, you can chose, every day, to bring it a little more to life. To protect it, feed it, let it grow.
What are your experiences with making choices? Your comments are welcome below!