I believe there is a lot of power in writing down and acknowledging dreams.
I was in a pretty rough place a few years ago. Life, quite simply, was hard. It was hard to see the good. There was a lot of chaos and pain and I didn't see a lot of reason to hope that it would change.
But, oh, the people Life will bring you.
In that dark, swampy mess of crisis, Life brought me some amazing people. People I needed to meet, to listen to, to learn from. And those amazing people brought me hope. They helped me see that although I couldn't control a lot of what was happening, I could control my reactions, my actions, and that by simply valuing myself enough to invest in dreaming again was a big part of healing as a person.
One person - a gentle, non-judgmental, ever-loving, kind, kind soul, and a person that remains one of my closest friends - helped me understand something: The desires of your heart are there for a reason.
Whatever you believe in - God, Buddha, a vague entity, Nature - put those desires on your heart for a specific purpose.
Let me clarify something - you have to work to find out those dreams. You have to work at becoming healthy. Because the REAL, TRUE desires of your heart come from a healthy place. True desires don't manipulate. True desires don't play games. True desires don't control you or others.
And, oh...can it be hard.
Hard, because you've been let down. Hard, because your hopes might be dashed. Hard, because it makes you vulnerable.
Sometimes it is hard to have faith. Hard to believe that your dreams are a possibility.
And something else before I go on -
Dreams aren't some cheesy, fantasy-world, hippie-nonsense.
They don't have to make sense. You don't have to know right now how you're going to get there. They don't have to be practical. And they certainly don't need to please anyone but you.
So here's what you do:
1. Acknowledge you have dreams. Wild/crazy/practical/impractical/weird/simple/outlandish dreams.
2. Be okay with that.
3. Get a piece of paper and something to write with.
4. WRITE DOWN YOUR DREAMS.
5. Then step back, nod in affirmation, give it a moment, and then -
6. Set short-term and long-term goals - what do you want to happen in the next month? Just for today? In a year? In 10 years?
Because as Elizabeth Messina (an amazingly talented photographer and author of The Luminous Portrait - an incredible and inspiring book) says:
I believe this. Getting those dreams out of your head and out of your heart and putting it down in writing shows that you value YOU. That you are worthy of setting goals to pursue those dreams.
Your dreams are there for a reason. Believe in that.
When I started to acknowledge that my dreams were put there for a reason, I began to heal and I started to have hope. My life got better. My attitude got better. And I was happy knowing that I was pursuing what was in my heart. No, it hasn't all worked out like I thought it would and some of it has been very tough. I've had to pull that list out from time to time and rework it and reevaluate it. And that's okay.
I'll take it.
Embrace your dreams. Set your goals. Pursue an authentic life.
I encourage you, wherever you are.
Sites I Dig
The Road is Home
The Seed & Plate
Sharon Covert Photography
The Define School
The Noisy Plume
Sarah Gee Photography
Fox & Owl Studio
The Stork and The Beanstalk
Mellow Yellow Photography
A Simple Little Journal
What I've Been Reading
The Girls by Emma Cline
A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Never Broken by Jewel
Hold Still by Sally Mann