Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date. Take a deep breath, and try again.
Dreams are a very vulnerable part of us. I learned an interesting thing about the word vulnerable this weekend. Vulnerable’s root word is “wounded.” So literally you are putting your heart, dream, and/or life out there to be wounded. Um, no thanks! That’s my honest automatic response. It is so scary to dream about the way you want your life or the impact you want to make or the career goal you have for yourself. If you are one of the lucky ones that have been able to identify and articulate your dreams (more on that in a later post) then you know that often times those dreams stay silently deep inside us.
I look at my current life and wonder how I got here some days. I wanted to be and do so much by the time I was 40 (which is just 2 short years away! Yikes!) I look back now on my 20’s when I thought I was pursuing my dreams and realise I wasn’t, well not quite. I was being led by a strong dream that overtook my thoughts, choices, sense at times, finances, and even relationships. I dreamed of being loved, I just didn’t know it. Now before you judge or comment be gentle with my vulnerability. I laid it out there knowing that I could be wounded but I think it illustrates something quite deep that happens to the best of us. I really thought I wanted to accomplish certain goals and I worked towards them with great fervor and a lot of obnoxious piousness. Deep down though I was terrified of not being loved. Each dream or job I went after had that as it’s foundation. And guess what? I failed at a lot of my jobs, relationships and dreams. I didn’t take the time to uncover the dream, to listen to my heart and then do something about it. I acknowledged it at times and thought I knew how to get love, but I was SO wrong. In fact one of the biggest regrets of my life is that I didn’t really listen to my heart and dreams. I thought it was stupid and weak to want to be loved (because I “knew” I was) so I masked that with good religious talk and action and moved onto what I thought were more appropriate dreams. Funny thing about dreams is they keep popping up. You can’t get rid of them if you try.
Here is my opinion or interpretation on why that is true of dreams, take what you like and leave the rest. Dreams at the very core of us are us. They are an expression of our desires, personalities, gifts, strengths and history (both good and bad), hence the vulnerable nature of them. For whatever reason I couldn’t get my mind wrapped around this love thing. Many times, sadly, I often found reasons and situations in my life that pointed to why I wasn’t loved proving one of my greatest fears: I am not loved. I grew up in a great home, loving parents, good aunties and uncles, a fair amount of bullying/teasing, but also had incredible life long friends that became family and love me still unconditionally, so I had a good life, yet I struggled deeply. I needed to uncover that dream and deal with it and go after it before the other dreams that were in me could fully emerge and come to fruition. My “dreams” I was going after actually were just a misguided attempt to feel loved.
I don’t have the love thing figured out, but I moving forward each year. Two steps forward and ten back sometimes and other times three steps forward and only one back. In that process of really seeing what the core dream I held was I have discovered some other dreams in there that are oh so much more fun. And weirdly enough more “me.” To be fair I didn’t choose this road with grace and dignity. In fact it had more to do with moving to a new country, new family, no friends, having a baby, having no good community until said baby was born and then stumbling my way through relationships in a different culture, not knowing how to get a job that suited me here and then my gorgeous husband after his own hard work identifying his dream of Medicine, while I fumbled along no longer knowing who or what I wanted to be. I landed in the city we live in a mess to be quite frank. I can remember looking down at my 16th month old as we slowly tottled down the street to Starbucks (because I had no other familiar thing in this country and new city so I made that home base for quite a few weeks. It was my safe place and I am ever so thankful for the workers and manager there that loved me in my up and down moods and poured love on my wee boy. See I was a mess!) I digress, while walking down the street I looked down at my precious son bundled up in his tiny down jacket and thought I don’t know you or me, guess we are both going to figure this out with Daddy in school now. My husband definitely co parents and to be fair often did way more than me and easily connected to my son. All of a sudden I had to figure it out which led to a process of me figuring me out. Like I shared in the previous posts I still don’t know what my “dreams” to do are but they are seemingly constantly being uncovered, but the process intensified the moment I stepped foot in New Zealand and again ramped up when I drove into our new city.
I was, for all intents and purposes, thrown into the uncovering of your dream/dealing with your need to be loved process. I believe in God and that He loves people fiercely. No rules. No religion. No politics. He just loves us with a parent’s love that is unmatched. For me I think He is the major reason I am on this journey. He cared more about me knowing I was loved than me accomplishing all I so desired to accomplish. So here I sit 2 years later after moving to this city and almost 5 years later after moving to this country and I am still figuring it out, but I know this: dreaming is vulnerable. Some dreams need to be uncovered and met before our other dreams can be accessed. And sometimes it’s not about you going after your dream but stepping into the current moment you are in and allowing the dream inside you to be uncovered.
Dreams are an irritatingly beautiful enigma. They are who we are at our core. They are the expression of all we are past, present and future. We are created to be and do something. They are breathtakingly thrilling when we see a dream fulfilled and painfully torturous when a dream is delayed. Everyone has a dream though. Want to know how I know that? I believe everyone is created with unique gifts, talents, strengths, personality and desires that are specific to them. Our dreams are just the tangible outward expression of who we are. They might be covered up. They might be debilitatingly delayed. They might take more work than you believed imaginable. They definitely will cost you something. But they are worth it because you are seen and heard in your dreams and you are human and humanity is worth being seen and heard every last time. So take a deep breath and start again. This isn’t your forever it is just your now.