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Imagine being born in the midst of the smallpox epidemic. By the age of 4, you lose both parents and your brother to the disease. You're left alone, blind and disfigured. You're now a young 19 year old native woman refusing to marry a tribal man like you're supposed to. You also refuse to practice the spiritual teachings expected, demanded. Instead you convert and you are baptized. You're treated like a slave and denied food on Sundays. You cope with meditation. You are grateful for that. You are aware of the constant danger around you due to your desires and beliefs. Conversion is frowned upon. Being an unwed Native woman is frowned upon. A priest suggests you leave. Runaway. Go towards safety.

This is the story of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. She walked from Auriesville, New York to a Christain Indian village near Montreal, Canada two hundred miles away. Let that sink in. She walked 200 miles.

Poverty, disease, death, are all circumstantial but they're obstacles most of us encounter. Life is hard. I think we can agree on that. Kateri suffered physically, mentally and spiritually. Through it all, she held true to what she believed and who she wanted to be. Time, distance, exhaustion...There was no obstacle too great for her. She walked 200 miles to practice her faith and live her dream life.

There comes a time in life when we have to ask ourselves if we're willing to walk 200 miles to live the life of our dreams? In other words, are you willing to do the WORK? And WHAT are you willing to do to become that person?

We all have aspirations. All of us. Oftentimes those aspirations feel like literal visions in our head, distant, impossible attainments. Life guarantees difficulties and obstacles. We already know this. So what if we believe in the possibilities far more than dwelling on the difficulties and confidently walk the 200 miles needed to achieve our goals? That's the lesson I take from Saint Ketari's story today.

Account for the exhaustion and thirst along the way. It's a long journey, you might even get lost a time or two. So be it. Keep on friends.

Xx Dee


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