I write this article to share a personal account; to inspire, not to mourn. It relates to a boat that I once built (I apologize for the poor quality of the photos) and with which I intended to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Surefire had taken me five years of proverbial blood, sweat, and tears to get to the point depicted in the photos. The year was 1990. As you’ve probably guessed, I didn’t make it–not even close. My intended voyage was over before it truly began; on launch day, in fact. TransAtlantic crossings by high-tech rowboats are now, although still not a cake-walk, far more common. When I made my attempt, such crossings were considered relatively rare–if not foolish.
At the time, I was unaware of the True Self beyond the mask of me. I thought I was just a guy with a heart full of dreams. They were my intoxicants. A solo bicycle trip across Canada in 1980 had helped to nurture my belief that I could achieve any goal to which I set my mind; so I knew how good accomplishment can taste. After the experience of my ignominious row attempt, I also learned the painful lesson of how bad a seeming failure can feel. My biggest mistake was that deep down I believed that I was a failure. For many years, I, therefore, believed that the only solution was a second attempt. I worked, I saved, I planned; but for a variety of reasons that second attempt didn’t occur.
Robert Frost one wrote the following line: “Mans reach should exceed his grasp.” This is so true! It is when we are discontent (which doesn’t mean unhappy) that we dare to reach beyond our current circumstances. Every advance in humanity is built on the vision and efforts of dreamers. Each of us is a dream contributor! In our hearts, we hold a reason for being, a purpose, an ideal for which we will rise early and stay up late! If our goal relates to service, invention, and a desire to express the love within our hearts, we are on track! With this type of goal, we cannot fail!
What did I learn through the experience? I learned to dig deep and discover my True Self, the essential “I” that is beyond any of our human drama and suffering. I learned to distinguish between a goal which the egoic self deems so important; and truly worthwhile goals that serve the betterment of everyone. I learned that when we are of service to another, we invariably benefit–for we are all One. I learned that sometimes not getting what we desire works out for the better. I learned to keep on dreaming; and that we only truly fail when we give up trying. I learned the importance of embracing all of me, including the parts that were painful to accept. My message to you is this: Keep dreaming! The way to the achievement of your goal will be discovered as you move forward!
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2020 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020) please press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey.