It is OK to dream and have hope.
This morning I was on a recovery meeting and this was the affirmation for discussion.
I remember the first time that I realized that I never really dreamed as a kid. It was a Monday night about 6 or 7 years ago. I was sitting around a table and all the sudden, it hit me.
I DIDN’T REMEMBER THINKING OR DREAMING ABOUT MY FUTURE WHEN I WAS YOUNG.
This realization left me with a deep sadness. My little girl never had the experience of excitedly dreaming about what her future might be like or what she wanted for it.
I distinctly remember laying in bed during my child and teen years and specifically fantasizing about living someone else’s life. I had specifics too. I am a very adept people worshiper and there were 2 in particular that I spent hours dreaming about being them.
Almost 4 years ago I sat with my soon to be daughter, a bright eyed 14 year old who had spent some time hoping and dreaming. She described exactly what she wanted her wedding dress to look like and some specific details about her ceremony. I listened in awe and delight as this young girl shared she excitement and preferences with me. It felt like a breath of fresh air, so refreshing to see that she was spending her time on teenage things.
I realized there that I had never hoped and dreamed about my wedding day as a child. Sadness and grief.
Today I looked up the definition of hope (I love words and their meanings). Here is what I got…..
Hope – to cherish a desire with anticipation: to want something to happen or be true.
In my Christian faith, we hope for what we are told will happen. We know it will happen because the Bible tells us so. I have expectant hope that I will see Jesus face to face. I have hope that I will live with him forever in heaven when I leave this earth. I have hope that when I draw near to God, He will draw near to me (James 4:8). I have hope that God will never leave me as this is stated many times in the Bible.
I have internal tension about dreaming and hoping. Plus I’m a naturally melancholy, cautious, pessimistic person who has endured so much trauma and hurt throughout my life. My nature and experience do not lend themselves to cheerful optimism or trust. This is what I wrote in my journal this morning about hope…
Hope often seems useless. Why hope for something if it might not happen. I don’t want to deceive myself. I don’t want to become dependent on things I’m hoping for. I’m afraid of disappointment. I think that I think dreaming and hoping is a waste of time.
Then my mind went to a bucket list that I wrote about 5 years ago. I was remembering some of the things on it. I realized that all those hopes were about things that I wanted to do. Maybe some will happen and maybe some will not. I hope they do, but today I’m not so attached to them. Today I wrote a new list.
What do I dream and hope for?
- Knowing and living as my true self
- Close relationships
This list is all about being rather than doing. I like this list. I can get behind it. I can have expectant hope that these things will continue to happen in my life because God and recovery give me blueprints for them. I may never write a book or go to Alaska. If they happen that would be awesome, but if they don’t I will be OK. But if I am without peace, healing, wholeness, my true self and close relationships that will be devastating.
So I’m going to keep trying to hope and dream and working together with God to open the door to these beautiful states of being; to be fully awake and alive.
Back to that conversation on the beach 4 years ago. I learned a lot from that wise 14 year old. For my second wedding 6 months later I had the dress that I dreamed of. As soon as the engagement ring was on my finger, I immediately new what kind of dress I wanted. I could picture it so clearly. I found it easily for under $100 on Amazon and when it came, it fit like a glove.
It is OK to dream and have hope.