I was listening to one of my favorite songs today and and it led me to thinking about the struggles so many of us tend to have. So I decided to use it as inspiration to write. One of the lines is “her daddy had dreams but he drank them away”. I thought about my father and wondered if he had dreams that got lost somewhere in life. Whether from drinking or something else. If you're interested, the song is She Said by Collective Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXi9PwuDABc (not my favorite version, but couldn't find a better one).
My initial reaction, based on my experience with, and what I know about my father, was he probably didn’t really have a dream. I think that’s sad. I thought about my own dreams growing up. My first inclination was that I never really had dreams either.
I quickly realized I’ve always had dreams, as I’m sure my dad did, but couldn’t/wouldn’t acknowledge them to myself or anyone else.
I’m guessing more than a few of you can relate to the idea of not allowing yourself to dream because you think it could never happen, for whatever reason. Or maybe you just never shared the dream with anyone because you might be embarrassed or ashamed for having the dream and maybe it would be confirmed that you shouldn’t even bother by their indifferent or dismissive response, or maybe even agreeing with you that it would be too difficult. Like my community college advisor saying to me before I even started classes “you know you will have to go to medical school to do that, right?” Well, that was then end of that idea.
I remember being a child and having occasional thoughts about something I thought would be nice to try, experience, create. Then immediately my core belief of unworthy would squash the thought with “who are you kidding” or “you could never do that, give it up”.
I told myself I didn’t have dreams. There was nothing I really wanted to do, experience, or create. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was to protect myself from experiencing a sense of longing, sadness, etc. that comes with hopelessness. If I didn’t want it, I couldn’t be upset or disappointed about not having it.
Over the years I’ve realized that without dreams hope cannot survive. We all have dreams, whether we acknowledge them to ourselves or not. Some realistic. Some a little more lofty.
Whatever your dreams are, dream it! If you shut down those desires you will never be able to experience them. Unless it just falls in your lap, which is pretty unlikely to happen 😉 .
I know it can be scary. I still sometimes have difficulty allowing myself to dream big. But, because I’ve allowed myself to imagine the possibility of things I once thought were impossible, I am living a life I never would have been able to dream of as a child, or even a young adult.
It’s not because my life is perfect, though most days I feel like it couldn’t be much better. It’s that instead of feeling fear in those moments when a dream or desire shows up, I allow it, which allows me to have some pretty incredible experiences, meet some amazing people, and learn that I am worthy of my dreams.
Did you relate to the idea of not allowing yourself to dream? What fears hold you back from acknowledging or going after them? What would you try if you knew you could not fail?