ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY- Learning to Dream Again Despite Obstacles
Over time, many of us were subtly taught how to stop dreaming.
Some learned by watching the struggles of their caretakers in providing for the family. Dreams did not put food on the table, so life turned in a more practical direction. Over time, dreams were placed on the shelf and gave way to ten-hour workdays, savings accounts, an easier life, and/or subdued discontentment.
Some learned early by being told their dreams had no value; that hope was an extravagance only other children could afford. They learned through abuse, isolation, bullying, neglect, name-calling, shame, and guilt that neither they nor their dreams mattered. They learned early to trade hopes and dreams for control, walls of safety, distrust, fear, and lies that their potential was lost.
Some have learned to hold back their dreams because of words said or actions done to them. Others learned simply through the journey of growing older and living life. The daily news, war, economic crisis, rejection, relationships, work, marriage, failed plans, lack of control, children, health, in-laws, and the day-to-day of life slowly drains the excitement of dreams away and leaves the excuses of obligations, limitations, and obstacles in its place.
Perhaps if we could lock out the unfairness of life and people we could dream freely like a child forever. However, people will always be around us and life will remain unfair. Time passes and inevitably, someone will say something to us or an event will happen to cause us to doubt forever having such a dream. Unless we challenge that doubt, it will become a fear. The fear eventually moves to a distraction. The distraction turns into an occasional thought then eventually, we will place it on the shelf with other “dreams we will get around to someday.”
Unfortunately, most times our dreams, unlike the sun, turn and move away. People criticize, mistakes happen, feelings are hurt, life changes, we grow older and our dreams move away in the process. The hopeful child who once dreamed freely of possibilities with an overflowing imagination slowly learns to be realistic and practical and begins to act like an adult.
Time, life, and growing older changes our willingness to dream, pursue and trust. The wisdom and freedom we once held in our childhood somehow gets lost once we start acting like adults. Unconsciously, we grow older and leave the wonders of being childlike behind.
Our childlike imagination that only knew the limitations of our creativity learned to color within the lines of what we believed we could control with an earnest effort. Instead of allowing our imagination to lead us to take risks, try new things, make discoveries or walk unknown paths, it becomes easier to limit our imaginations to fit what is safe, comfortable, and unchallenging.
What would happen if we believed that no idea is too silly, out of bounds, was too big or too dangerous to come true? That limitations of age, gender, education, background or even handicap are not considerations or seen as obstacles in the way of the dream? That the world is a place of possibilities and a not-so-distant voice is calling out, “Why not?” What if we had the audacity to believe the future held a hope, a promise of some kind, and we will be a part of it?
Dream Madly, Pursue Wildly, Trust Completely tm
Copyright © 2017 by Charlotte D. Hunt All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopy, or otherwise without written permission from the author except for brief quotations in printed reviews.