Dreams are important. We all know that. But how often do our dreams get pushed aside, delayed for a day, a week, a month, a year, a decade, half a life?
Or we let someone else’s opinion deter us from following our dream. Usually someone important to us, like a parent, a spouse, or that little nagging voice inside our head.
Following up on my “Watching Children Bloom” post, I realized that I left out an important component: the importance of dreams.
From the time we are little, we dream of the future. Who will I be? What will I become? Will I marry? Where will I live? What will I do?
And we start to dream.
We dream of the things we will learn and do.
We dream of the things we will create.
We dream of the people whose lives we will touch in a meaningful way.
We dream of the magnificent things we will do, because we are nearly magical, and can do anything we can dream of!
The future is bright and full of optimism.
We are invincible!
If we’ve thought of it, or dreamt it, we can do it! we believe.
We can be the next Erma Bombeck, or Julia Roberts, or Brad Paisley. We can fly to the moon, invent something that will improve millions of lives, or solve world hunger. We can be a homeschooling, work-at-home mom, or a loving, doting grandmother of dozens. We can cover the walls of the art gallery, or fill the shelves of the bookstore.
Then, the “others” start chiming in, intruding upon our dreams: Our parents, our bosses, our friends, our siblings, and those voices in our heads.
“Don’t dream of that,” they say.
“You can’t do that.”
“You can’t make a living doing that.”
“Be something practical.”
“Nobody will ever want to see anything YOU create!”
The nay-sayers have their day. The door of our dreams slams shut.
Closed so quickly, so swiftly, we don’t know what happened.
“That was MY dream!” we insist.
“I was going to make it happen!”
“Can’t happen,” they reply, and lock the door.
And that is that.
Dreamless, we wander through life.
We go to school.
We graduate, most of us.
We marry, some of us.
We have children, many of us.
We find jobs that pay the bills, barely, that use some of the skills we learned in school, sometimes, and that match our dreams? Rarely.
We work, and work, and work – with nothing to show for it.
We slave away, paying off bills, just a step or two away from “not enough” most of our lives.
We experience lack in our lives, and wonder where the dreams went.
Weren’t we going to be astronauts, and inventors, and dancers and artists and writers and dreamers?
But instead, we have a 9-5, or 7-3, or 3-11, and work M-F, or Saturday to Thursday, or whatever our schedule is, barely ever having time to think, much less to dream.
Yet we know something is missing from our lives.
We had something, once. A dream, something we were striving for, something important we were going to do.
And we were right.
It WAS important. Still is.
Our dreams are important because they are given to us because they are tasks that only we can do. They are our mission for this life, our life’s purpose.
Your deepest dreams are an aspect of who you are. Denying them, is to deny yourself.
So, what can you do?
Break the lock.
Open the door.
Walk through, and remember.
Remember what you wanted to do, what you were called to do.
Remember how you were going to change the world?
Start to do it!
Dream again…remember your dream…remember how it makes you feel.
Feel that again, dream it again.
And go out and do it.
Never stop dreaming, or pursuing your dreams – for they are the most important part of who you are!
And never, ever, EVER quash someone else’s dreams.
For doing so, is to deny who they were meant to be.