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Dare to Dream
by Sue Augustine

Published in Beyond Ordinary Living

Keep thou thy dreams – the tissue of all wings
Is woven first of them; from dreams are made
The precious and imperishable things
Where loveliness lives on and does not fade.

Vera Sheard

The poor man is not he who is without a cent, but he who is without a dream! 
Harry Kemp


Can you imagine the tragedy of having the ability to go anywhere you choose, but not having the faintest idea where you’d like to go? Many people never experience the joy or benefits of fully using their God-given potential because they don’t have a vision for their lives. They’re not exactly sure what they’d like to see happen. Perhaps they don’t know they have a choice. Maybe they are not aware that vision is what makes the difference between merely living and being fully alive. Many of us spend more time watching television, writing to-do lists or organizing a party than we do dreaming constructively about our life. We often dwell on past memories or hopes for a better future yet have no current aims or objectives. When this happens, our daily activities turn into a blur of handling problems, coping with crises, and dealing with day-to-day tensions rather than moving toward accomplishing our goals. We say we’d like to be healthier and have more energy, improve our relationships, get a better job, earn more money, take up a new sport or hobby, or contribute to the community, but our desires at this stage are really only vague wishes. We say we have a dream but haven’t described it in clear and compelling details. Inside every one of us is the seed of the person we were meant to become. If we have hidden this seed as a result of what we were told by others — our parents, teachers, coaches, group leaders, role models or mentors we had while growing up — it’s never had a chance to blossom. When we lose touch with what we truly want, we end up becoming numb to our own desires. We don’t dare to dream because somewhere along the line, someone told us not to.

When we accept such limitations, we soon lose touch with our heart’s true desires and get caught in the trap of living up to what others think is right. Longing for approval, we learn to act in ways to get it. The result is that we do things we may not want to do, trading our dreams for the more immediate gratification that comes from pleasing other people. For example, people often get stuck in a “real” job rather than pursuing that dream of becoming an artist or musician. Some have passed up the opportunity to change careers altogether or relocate to another part of the country just to appease someone else. For the sake of appearing sensible, we live with our “shoulds,” “have to’s” and “musts”.

So how do we reclaim our true self and get in touch with our heart’s desires? God is the one who, from our conception, has placed our dreams within us, along with the seeds of talent and natural ability. He has a purpose for each life and, along with reconnecting with our hopes and dreams, it is wise to ask the “giver of dreams” for guidance and direction. It is a mistake, however, to believe that God will magically make our way clear. Instead he sends reminders, and opportunities to act upon our desires, while allowing us the freedom to choose — and that is where our responsibility comes in. We must still choose to act upon the opportunities that arise in response to our request for guidance.

So begin today to pay attention to what really matters to you by honouring your personal preferences in small ways. When you’re presented with a choice, stop saying, “It doesn’t matter” or “I don’t care.” Allow yourself to choose from your heart. Purpose within yourself that, starting today, you are going to dare to step out of a life of mediocrity, routine and repetitiveness. Leave the average life behind and go after your dreams!

Dream lofty dreams and as you dream, so shall you become.
Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be.

James Allen

Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies within us while we live.

Norman Cousins



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