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Unexpected wealth

walking through the forest in my mind.

By Emma WhitePublished 2 years ago 10 min read
Unexpected wealth
Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

Once upon a time. There lived a woman, who spent most of her time heling others, helping them to find happy endings as a therapist, giving people hope. However she had lost her love for happy endings and her purpose. Until she stumbled across a treasure that changed her life forever.

Now my life is entirely different from where it started three months ago. Although similar in some places, I feel like a new person, and my season looks so different from what it was.

Fast forward to now, and there is this great peace and weight off my shoulders. It is funny how a bit of money can change your life. I always loved happy bedtime stories, where the good guy always wins. The knight in shining armor rides up to save the day, and we all go home happily ever after. You move into the castle, with all the treasure, and life is magical.

These stories made my face light up as a child, and my belly fee,l like butterflies, were floating inside.

It is safe to say, those days were gone. As an adult, I had not felt the butterflies for a while or even really looked for happy endings. Although I was content and enjoying life, I had lost my love and trust in happy endings when it came to my purpose.

I had just decided that this was how it was. I had all these blessings in my life, yet my life purpose was lost and my dreams shattered.

It all started on the eve before Christmas Eve. I was sitting there by myself on my kitchen floor, drinking a never-ending glass of wine. Not that it was hooked up to a tap or something, but I brought a set of four wine glasses, each holds a bottle of wine and room for ice. So, naturally, I was just using one of these luscious glasses. I had tipped the whole bottle in the glass and was now only a quarter in, and on my third ice cube trip, to top it up. I don’t condone drinking to solve one’s problems, but honestly, I was curious to see if the glass lived up to its expectations. I had not attempted the full bottle in a glass yet. Seeing as it was close on the pursuit of the festive season and, work was drawing close to the end of the year, I had decided to try it out and celebrate. The problem was my celebrations and intentions had quickly turned into a walk down the dismal lane.

Suddenly, I was revaluating my life. I was not unhappy, but I was not sure anymore. My faith guides my life, and everything is to his plan. But I found myself doubting if there was even a plan, or had I even been listening correctly.

I sat there patting my cat, questioning myself like I was on the crossbench.

“What am I really doing?

Have I made the wrong decision in my life?

Had I invested all this time in the wrong thing?

Am I studying a field I felt called into, at first, or had I got it wrong?

I spent my life in recent years convicted and consumed by my purpose. I thought I was to be a tool to help mental health. I had this debt for my study and still have one. I felt for the first time I doubted my purpose. That the butterflies had died. That thing that made me happy and alive was no longer there.

Some weeks passed, the Christmas season was a blur, and the weeks back at work was even more of a blur. I was out walking to a friend’s house. The fear that I had it wrong, once again, I wondered if I was doing all of this in vain.

We are studying the same subject now, so we engage in study nights. We are currently learning to become Hope Therapists. So, I have been thinking and feeling that I am all wrong for the past month or two. I had invested in a dream not meant for me because I was wrong. A dream that I was not good enough to do.

We logged on to our newest online lecture. It was all about how hope in people is like forests. This just got me. I always use this quote when feeling melancholy or just sad.

“Today, my forest is dark, and all the butterflies have broken wings.” Unknown

In that moment of learning about how hope lives like a forest, I just felt this sense of peace. That despite the doubts, the frustrations, and the fear I was feeling recently, the forest was still standing. My purpose was still there, and I had not got it wrong. I knew that I was meant to be there. I wanted to be the hope bearer. The person who gave people the light for the forest path because the forest was still there. It had not died yet; it was just being forgotten. Overshadowed by the dark. But I just loved this analogy so much. The butterflies were back, the happy ending had become a new love again.

I learned the story of hope and forests. Our instructor told us that,” We are like forests because they are unique, need oxygen to stay alive. There are many layers of trees, like our thoughts, some are big, and some are small. The forest goes through storms, fires, other natural disasters. Many tracks in the forest weave about bring new things, dark scary places, and beautiful places. Parts of the trees might get broken or fall in the storms. But the forest always stays. It does not waver. The forest needs water and soil to grow. In trial times, the parts that break off or die, regenerate new shoots. The forest is full of many places, some dark like described before, some almost have their own climate, some are just full of brush. Some have lookouts into the mountains and views. But together, all the forest elements create this beautiful, magical, amazingly individual place that is often the subject of the most beautiful things. Like poetry, paintings, drawings, photography, and other people collectively spending time around the forest for happy snaps. All the good times and bad times the forest goes through make it a must-go-to destination.

On the walk home, I could again feel that overwhelming excitement of a child. You know when you are up to the page of a big book. Your Mumma suddenly states.

“This is the last page tonight; we will read more tomorrow.”

As the child, you beg your mother to read more; you know it’s not possible. The book looks like it’s 4 inches thick. You’re only a quarter of the way in. You know the happy ending is coming because your Mumma told you. That is because she has pre-read it for herself. But you are left in suspense. So, you live in hope for another night, another cuddle, and re-join your journey in, the world of faraway pages and find the happy ending.

I had that feeling again—a feeling I had not had in such a long time. I had forgotten the magic after the plot. When it thickens to the point the reader knows the hero will not get out of it, but we read on, and there is the happy ending. But instead of reading on, like we would in a book. We, as adults, give up on happy endings.

I was that adult. But now, I had been redeemed in my childhood. Knowing that all I had to do was commit to trusting the process and reading the rest of the pages.

I walked slower home. Watching the stars. Thinking about the butterflies. Remembering the dragons and how they were not around anymore. I had rekindled my love for the journey in the book thus far. A book about the adventurer who is on a quest to find the treasure at the end.

I got home and went to do some paperwork. I needed a particular folder, which I have not required for a while. I lifted it up off the shelf, and something fell out. I looked on the floor and found a small black notebook. My old notebook, come diary, come address book, come visual art diary. It was filled with whatever I, had needed and felt, crammed into this small collective of bound pages.

I picked it up and started to flick through it. Like my guiding force that I rely on, he was telling me to read it. I was amazed the book had this nostalgic smell it had always carried, a combination of old leather and coffee. The pages were coming to life. It was like walking down memory lane. When I was working as an administration officer at the local hospital. I looked through busy days, car problems, goals, and tasks—countless pictures and quotes. Then, I found something that stood out like gold.

I had been listening to that voice back then. There was a photo of my beautiful black gelding, named Bud. This wonderful, talented horse was so capable of anything. I set him to compete in any discipline he passed with flying colours; the Photo was taken at pony club. It is so ironic. I am poised and sitting up in the saddle, looking over the treetops trying to make myself taller. As we wanted to win the march pass in our group, where judges look at your group of riders and your horses and pick the best group. I had issues that morning with Bud getting scared of everything, and my confidence in winning this advent was not great. There were only six of us that day, the smallest group in the march pass. We were up against all these great well-known groups. We had all the things most judges hated, western saddles; I was wearing jeans not jodhpurs. We all decided the game plan was to just sit tall and be strong, chase the dream of winning and not let the others get to us. You know what, us the bunch of “misfits,” as the other kids called us, we actually won. Bud was a dream; the others were great and looked amazing. On the back of the photo was a note I had written to myself, “don’t give up chase your dreams.”

Under these photos was a statement I had written to myself.

“One day I am going to write and paint, onto the hearts of people. I will help people with their trauma and help them learn how to heal their hearts and find hope. One day I will chase my dreams and, work doing what I love, painting, writing, and I won’t be in this place anymore. I will be building my dreams doing all I love, helping others on the way.”

I somehow felt I had to share this. It was just amazing; I had been listening to all this time. I had just got lost in the forest. I decided to write about my experience a friend got a hold of it and submitted it to a competition, on my behalf. Where I won.

I received $20,000.00 in prize money. I was so excited, I used it to pay off my study debt, and I had some leftover to buy a new car and still had some to invest. The moral of my story is. Don’t give up on that small voice inside you or your dreams. Your forest is not dead; you just need to relight the lantern. Happy endings exist, and you never know where they will come from. A Little black notebook might be a little black notebook; it may also lead you to unexpected treasures.

The end…..

Written by Emma White.


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