Or has life knocked you back so many times that you’ve stopped dreaming altogether? Or do you expect nothing so that you lose nothing?
I’ll be honest. Until fairly recently I’ve never been much of a dreamer. Whilst I admired and encouraged those who pursued life with positive expectancy, I used to feel that it was different for me.
Abandonment and abuse as a child had stolen so many things from me. Among them was the ability to dream. Or wish. Or hope. As I grew into adulthood my expectations of everything and everyone were so pessimistic. My outlook was limited to blocking out the past and managing the demands of the day. Life had always been so harsh that it was all I could do to survive.
I didn’t dare to have ambitions. I never imagined having a fulfilled and happy life. The words that had been spoken over me for years would reinforce that I was never going to be good enough, clever enough or pretty enough for anything or anybody. So why set myself for even more disappointment and failure?
“Hope is the dream of a waking man.” ~ Aristotle
Yet behind the mask of alcoholism and the cocoon of depression lay a woman desperate to believe that life could be meaningful and loving. Even in the depths of despair there was the whisper of hope. It gave me the determination to want to start living my life as the person I was meant to be.
My journey of emotional healing started with accepting the past and letting the hurt go. The nightmares of yesterday could no longer be allowed to shadow the dreams of tomorrow. Recovery meant looking to the future and believing in myself, not living the miserable existence prescribed by others.
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” ~Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
It’s never easy to change the thoughts of a lifetime, but somehow I found the courage to dare to dream, and the faith to believe that the dreams could come true.
In my spirituality I found my dreams could be nourished without fear of failure. With faith I learnt that even if what I had hoped for didn’t materialise, that it was for the best and I could expect something even more beneficial at the right time.
“Faith is like a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark.” Rabindranath Tagore
Today my life is filled with so many good things that I would have never imagined. I know now how important it is to look to the future with hopeful anticipation. It makes life challenging, purposeful and joyful. And as my faith has strengthened so has the certainty of my visions for my future.
I’ll never stop dreaming. I’ll never stop believing.
What about you?