“I dreamed a dream in times gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I dreamed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted” [*]
Let’s say that you have a dream that you’ve been pursuing for years. There have been ups and downs, good times and bad times. There’s nothing wrong with that – in the flow of life everything fluctuates in a wavy pattern. On every journey we pass the hills and valleys but eventually we are bound to get to the destination – our ‘top of the mountain’.
If you really, REALLY want something you cannot let yourself be discouraged after a few failures. You don’t quit if things don’t work out the way you expected. You keep going. Let’s face it: big breaks rarely happen. Success, and by ‘success’ I mean reaching your personal happy place , takes time, work, dedication and persistence.
“Patience, my friend. It will all work out. Keep up the good work”.
But what if you’ve been persistent, dedicated, patient and put all of your energy into your dream, and after years and years of trying hundreds of ideas, many different approaches and giving it all you’ve got, you’re still in the same place? Despite small victories and little signs of hope, nothing major improved, no significant change has happened, you are not closer to your goal. What then?
Sisyphus has been pushing his rock up the hill for centuries, only to have it roll down to the bottom just before he reached the top. Over and over again. It was a punishment worse than death. What if that’s happening to your dream? What if it starts feeling like a never-ending struggle, where all the excitement and fun has vanished with the passing of seasons? Would you start questioning your dream or keep on going?
I’ve had a Dream. I’ve spent my days doing everything with the Dream in mind. The Dream was my motivation, my joy, my everything. It helped me survive when I felt down and made me smile, despite daily hard work.
I’ve had a Dream for years and years. There has been moments when I saw myself closer to reaching it. Quite a few times. The moments came and went, taking with them bits of my hope and faith in the Dream, in myself.
After each small success there was always a big sadness – that it didn’t last, that it was so insignificant, that it was only an illusion of a success. That I’ll have to start again.
I felt like Sisyphus pushing my Dream up the mountain again and again. Eventually the doubts started crawling into my thoughts – is this Dream even possible or am I just delusional in my pursuit? How ‘real’ is my Dream? Is this Dream worth dreaming?
In the dreams we’re always alone. It’s only our belief that drives them. Others have their own dreams and don’t understand why we dream what we dream, why we want what we want. So many people are afraid to go after their dreams so they do everything in their power to discourage anyone else from pursuing their dreams. Just to not feel bad about not going after what they want. “It’s not the way the world works. Be real. Stop lying to yourself. It’s never going to work.”
I started wondering if they were right. After all – how long am I supposed to believe in something that just doesn’t want to happen? Is it time to give up, let go and move on?
Oh, the sadness! I am sinking in silent tears, inside and out. Losing a Dream is not that different from losing a loved one. I loved my Dream. I cared for it. It became a part of me.
Dreams and passions are the engines that runs our existence. When the passion is gone, the grief shows up. We must allow ourselves to mourn the death of our dreams before we will be able to move on.
Maybe it’s not about giving up on our dreams, but realizing that maybe this particular dream is no longer valid. That it’s not what we want and need anymore. Everything changes, so do we, and so do our dreams. As with anything that ends, we must first let go of the Old, before we can greet the New into our lives.
Dreams drive us into becoming better, stronger, smarter. But it’s not the dreams that help us grow, but the pursuit of them. And maybe, just maybe if we gain all that we were supposed to gain from a particular pursuit, the dream dies to make a place for a new dream, the kind that will drive us even closer towards our personal Heaven.
It’s hard to know when it’s time to let go and move on. I have done all I could have done, tried all I could have tried and drained all the energy I’ve had, so I have nothing else to give to my Dream. I say it’s time. I will mourn and I will grieve. And then I will look inside for a new spark that will ignite my passion for life.
Or maybe I’m wrong and one should never let go of their Dream?….
[Lyrics from by Herbert Kretzmer 'Les Miserable's]