Posted on December 18, 2020


I used to lead a workshop to enable women to discover and to declare their visions for their lives. It was created for women over age 50. It’s not easy for anyone, much less for older people and even less for women, to get past the layers we have created to protect us and to declare what is really, truly, our visions for our lives.

There was tremendous resistance. Women said they didn’t know what their vision was. Or perhaps they had a vision many years ago, before Life stepped in and made raising children and feeding men more important. They told me that age had changed everything, that visions were for people who were strong and healthy and who were not beginning to be more concerned with the finite nature of life than with a belief that life was unlimited. They told me that “vision” was too overwhelming a concept. They were ordinary people. Their abilities were too small to fit into the “vision” category.

Some women were able to verbalize, in spite of the fear, an actual vision. Others couldn’t identify their visions but were at least able to see that vision, unlike the years we have on earth, is not finite. If there is any actual definition of immortality, it would be vision. Vision is the single most powerful way I know to live one’s life.

I think of the real women I know and have known who have been led by vision. Most are older, one about to turn 80. Most have circumstances in their lives, some overwhelming. One was in the final stages of cancer and had very recently discovered her vision for her life. She knew the end was near. She said, “This is the most powerful I have ever felt in my life.” All of these women have shared one common belief, that their vision for their lives is the driving force in virtually everything they have done. And that vision has enabled them to do more than they thought was possible. Sometimes over and over again.

I have tried to live my life through vision. I have tried to look at the strengths I believe I have and to be more. I am not physically strong. I am not athletic. I have a paralyzing fear of heights. I am afraid of public speaking, of large social gatherings, of any situation in which I believe I am being judged. I have no sense of direction. I am fearful of driving in unknown places and being by myself in unknown locations. It’s a given that I will get lost between the restaurant table and the rest room.

Because of all this, I remember the words spoken by someone who attended the same workshop I did, many years ago. When the topic of vision came up, she said “There is no vision that is too big. And there is no vision that is too small.” This second sentence has been the driving force of my life, ever since then. It is this that has enabled me to move past fear. Each year I declare a vision for the year. Each year I declare to complete a physical activity that scares me. Most people would consider the things I do to be laughable. For me, they are equivalent of summitting a mountain.

This year, a truly remarkably horrific year, is coming to a close. I am, by nature, a glass-half-empty person (Thanks, Dad). I believe that our problems will not disappear because an actual human being will now occupy the White House. I believe that climate change will have become an even greater threat than it was in 2016. I believe that the vaccine against Covid will help, but that the mistrust of the vaccine will be a huge challenge. I believe that the anti-science, anti-government, anti-immigrant, anti-gay and pro-gun forces encouraged by this administration will not go away. I believe that social media will warp people’s awareness and understanding of the world. I believe that we will continue to become more insulated and less willing to allow any reality other than that which we live in. I believe that we do not have differing opinions. We have different realities.

In spite of all of this, I cling to the belief that there is no such thing as a vision that is too large and there in no such thing as a vision that is too small. Noting that happened this year has shaken my belief that I have, through the power of my words and actions, the ability to shift this world, if no more than it meaning getting the attention of one person who either listens to my words or reads then and pauses for a moment and thinks about what I have just expressed. For me, that’s pretty powerful.

I welcome 2021, not because 2021 will usher in some kind of Utopia. Rather because I am still here, proof that I have outlived the current administration. And because the people I carry in my heart have all survived. And because I owe it to my grandchildren to make good on my beliefs. And most all all, because I have a voice and the ability to use it.

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