Sunday, September 20, 2009

Missing Your Dreams

Most of us grow up imagining the great things we will accomplish in life. Perhaps you wanted to be a dancer, a painter, an athlete, a pilot, a singer, or a writer. The list is as vast as the individual's imagination. While few of us will ever have the opportunity to fulfill these dreams, does it make them any less important? The answer is no.

While we may not realize it, every childhood dream served a purpose. They allowed us to envision doing something greater than our situation might allow. Dreams open us to possibilities bigger than ourselves, leading us down roads we may never travel. Our childish dreams gave us a chance to see all the possibilities without the constraints that reality places on us as adults.

Our society places little importance on dreams. Adult thinking emphasizes responsibility based on tasks, considering imagination unimportant in landing a good job and making a living. The feedback we receive growing up often convinces us to abandon our vision of what others consider impossible. In the process, we lose so much of ourselves.

Growing up, my dreams and imaginations were as vast as the stars in a desert sky. They were my escape from a difficult and painful situation. Dreams allowed me to see a better world full of happiness and intrigue. One by one these dreams were compressed into a little ball named reality as the necessity of living replaced fantasy. For a long time I lived without dreams focusing on placing one foot in front of the other believing I had no choice in the path. I was wrong. Learning to dream again allowed me to see that I could walk around the roadblocks I saw in front of me.

As adults we have choices. We can blame our parents for smashing our dreams into little pieces, holding on to bitterness and resentment. We can blame our situation for not placing enough opportunities in front of us to allow these dreams to be realized. Hopefully, we will come to understand that our parents and others were trying to protect us from being disappointed since they too had childish dreams that went unfulfilled. They most often simply did not have the tools to guide us in the safest ways or the understanding that imagination is a healthy manifestation of a growing mind.

Regardless of how much we may have suffered from being told we would never be good enough to be the things we dreamed of, it is not too late to put this in the past. We cannot undo what is behind us. Forgive yourself for falling short of your goals to open up the possibilities of what you can become now. Allow yourself to dream again.

There is nothing wrong spending a little time with your head in the clouds. Go places in your mind. See yourself for whatever you want to be. Some things may be possible given enough effort. If you believe you can, go for it. Many things we dream of may not be within our reach. Providing that we do not cling to the impossible, we may find that our wildest dreams lead us to see possibilities we would have missed with our minds closed.

I believe I read it best some while back on Amanda Linehan's blog "Look Far, The Art of Self Awareness". "It's OK to have your head in the clouds as long as your feet are on the ground". Living in reality comes with being an adult. Imagination simply makes life more fun.

Dream!

15 comments:

Julie P said...

Great post! And you're quite right. I think our dreams are vital to our wellbeing and progression through our lives. If we never dream or don't have any ambitions, nothing to move us forward through life then what is the point?Even if we never fulfil our dreams, it's the journey that's the important thing, the working towards what it is we want.

I think part of the reason people supress their dreams is that they are afraid of failure, scared to go that extra mile. I'm all for people being realistic and being grounded as a lot of people have dreams that are just impossible to achieve without destroying who they are. It's fun to have dreams and keeps us out of mischief I feel!

Julie xx

Tess The Bold Life said...

I'm spending time with my head in the clouds today. Thanks for giving me permission on a Monday morning!

CheerfulMonk said...

I agree with Julie: "I'm all for people being realistic and being grounded as a lot of people have dreams that are just impossible to achieve without destroying who they are." I also agree that dreaming is important if we want to be flexible and creative. It gets us in touch with our values and makes us more aware of the opportunities in our everyday lives.

Thanks for the post.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Now that quote you ended with is fantastic. I live for my dreams! I, too, stopped for awhile, believing nothing was possible beyond my own ordinary existence. And then a light switch went on and I saw that I could have anything I wanted, so long as I took the time to dream and believe I was worthy of receiving that thing.

Today my life is the manifestation of my best dreams, and it keeps getting better. And just last week, I had the thought, "I haven't dreamed in awhile." So on a clear night, I drove out into a hayfield, sat in the back of a truck, watched the stars and let my mind drift off into the land of soon-to-be-believed. (smile)

Joeshico said...

I think we all spend time in the clouds. And I always enjoy that time. It only takes a short time as an adult or if the dream causes an unprepared for expense or an embarrassment, you learn where the feet belong.

dcrelief said...

A wonderful post; so enjoyable to read. I could feel some 'missing dreams' return on my horizon! Thank you for your inspiration.
Peaceful peeps,
Dixie

Lance said...

What a wonderful reminder that our dreams matter, and they are so worth dreaming and believing in. Even if they don't happen, there's just something very freeing about dreaming, and letting your imagination take over. It's so good to be here today and allow the dreams to flow in...

klahanie said...

Hi Roger,
Although their were folks who tried to stymie my aspirations, my goals; one day I gathered the strength to ignore the 'hype' of the negative 'nay sayers' and moved forward along the pathway that lead me to my dream.
My dream? To find inner peace and with that inner peace be a kinder, more compassionate human.
I think that not only does the 'fear of failure' as our friend Julie P notes, but here's one to think about, 'fear of success', can
also be a stumbling block in our realisation of dreams.
With respect and peace, Gary.

Lord, I want to be whole said...

Thank you for this, I needed this at this time in my life!

The Buddhist Conservative said...

Thanks to all of you for the wonderful comments. I can't help feel a bit humbled by the great people who have become friends through this site and the incredible things you write on your own sites.

Thank you all for inspiring me.

@Julie

The fear of failure is a big part of why we don't pursue our dreams. The way you pursue yours is a great inspiration.

@Tess

Thank you. There is nothing wrong with spending a little time in the clouds.

@CheerfulMonk

It is a balance to let our dreams guide us without becoming unrealistic in our expectations.

@Megan

I love sitting out under the stars. It helps me realize just how insignificant most of my worries really are. Dreams can be a bridge between what we are now with what is possible.

@Joeshico

Unrealistic dreams can get create difficulty as adults. It is a balance of using our dreams wisely yet doing so can lead to so many great things.

@Lance

Great comment. It is not about every dream coming true, just that we leave ourselves open to the possibilities dreams show us.

@Gary

I agree that it is easy to fear success. Often we are taught that we do not deserve success leading to blocks in our ability to see ourselves in a better way. If we let our dreams break through these barriers, we open ourselves to what is possible.

@Lord,

I am happy you found something in the post to help. Many of the blocks that prevent us from moving forward is from abandoning our dreams.

Jan said...

Roger,
Lovely post. I am a big time dreamer, but I have also learned to not be too attached to my dreams. I do believe the Universe has a mind of its own and what we dream of may not be the ultimate "best" path for us--even though our conscious mind thinks it is. Sort of like this: Be grateful you didn't get everything you ever prayed for.

For example, for a number of years, as a writer, I dreamed of being a bestselling author. I put a lot of eggs in that basket. So many in fact, that it closed me off to other possibilities. Like one-on-one mentoring, which I absolutely love now, as I do not love business travel, being overly busy, media hype, etc. So I let go of my concrete dreams to be open to more. Does that make sense? As a result, the blessings have been amazing, one of which is blogging and meeting wonderful new people who expand my horizons in untold ways. :-) Today, my greatest aspiration (dream) is to be a woman of peace and compassion. How the universe helps me create that is just fine with me. (LOL)

I call it "living in allow." Blessings to you.

The Buddhist Conservative said...

@Jan

Thank you for the lovely comments. I have had the same experience of putting too much into a single dream only to realize that I was glad it did not come true.

It is amazing to me how many wonderful people I have been privileged to cross paths with since starting to blog.

Keep dreaming...

Jillian Livingston said...

I couldn't find an email address for you so I am letting you know here that I have given you a well deserved award.

Go to my website to see it at http://isdisnormal.com.

The rules of the "One Lovely Blog Award" are:

Accept the award
Post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Have a great day,

Jillian

Robin Easton said...

This is SUCH a beautiful beautiful post. You are a kindred soul. You speak of things I feel and believe, things etched on my own heart.

I am a great dreamer and over the course of my life have fulfilled many dreams. I have stumbled and fallen and sometimes even dragged myself to my dreams, but I don't care about that. I am STILL a great believer in ALL kinds of dreams.

You covered every aspect of dreams here so beautifully, gently and yet at the same time boldly. I love what you wrote about out past and parents. Your writing in itself is so very lovely.

I would have to say that dreams are the essence of all good things in me. I guess I do not fear failing at my dreams because for me it is not the outcome that is the most important (although it is important). For me it is the sense of courage and hope and freedom and joy and determination and boundlessness that I have when I move toward a dream. I get to FEEL who I really am, which is very free, limitless. I really couldn't even tell you if I've failed at dreams, because every single thing I've dreamed and reached for made me grow so vastly that it was often all I saw. I always walk away with a sense of accomplishment and deep inner strength and sense of self.

Thank you for being such a powerful inspiration in my life.

You are a bringer of dreams and freedom of thought.
Hugs,
Robin

Count Sneaky said...

Perhaps, the real problem here is imagination. Imagination is not the same as dreaming. Dreaming may be rather harmless, in fact; but, imagination can deliver a fatal blow to living in the moment...to seizing acceptance and living the Four Nobel Truths of Gautama.The most unhappy people seem to be those who are preoccupied with meeting imaginary goals and desires. My best. Count Sneaky