27 Jun 2011

What dreams may come

I’ve been thinking about dreams. Not the ‘lay your head and close your eyes’ kind; rather the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ kind. It’s good to keep in touch with the little person you were who wasn’t afraid to dream big, brave dreams. The heart of who you are now grew from the seeds that dreamer planted long ago.

A friend recently asked me what my dreams were, and I was appalled to not have an answer. I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to do. What had become of wanting or hoping for things, no matter how wild and implausible? There used to be many things I wanted to have a go at: archaeology, hot air ballooning, doo-wop girl, acting, Spanish, travel to Russia, developing elegant penmanship.... It was a long and varied list of things possible, and unlikely; long desired, and impromptu.

Then what happened? Life took on a day-follows-day quality and my focus became survival. I chose the path of simplicity and abandonment – both qualities of which are true, good, and beautiful – but also empty because I had left behind what makes me, me – namely my dreams.

Dreams are what fuel our fire; motivate and energize us; distinguish us from every other beating heart out there; and ultimately draw us to God. We are designed to dream, to yearn, to reach, and to strive. It doesn’t matter a button if we accomplish any of them, only that we have them.

Since that conversation with my friend, I’ve been poking around in my heart, looking for the box I buried my dreams in. Just as we grow and change, however, so do dreams grow and change. I realized those in the box were old and dusty, and belonged to a different person. I needed to discover what are my dreams of today.

Here’s what I found:

They are more mellow, and more attainable than the old ones.

They focus more on growth and virtue than accomplishment and experience.

I feel more inclined to pursue them, rather than keep them in a list.

Having acknowledged them brought a measure of peace and contentment.

Can you dream a dream?


  1. My dreams are to visit the former East Berlin, which I will be doing in August this year.
    To become a secular Carmelite :)
    To eventually qualify as a Spiritual Director.
    ...and to hopefully follow wherever else God leads me!
    I didn't think, years ago, that I would become a squashed piece of meat in a sandwich compriing of dependent elderly mother and young grandchildren on either side, but there you go!
    Thanks for this,
    Autumn xx

  2. I had a dream! For a very large family..& thanks be to God I got my dozen children..2 in heaven...great post.

  3. Autumn - Carmelites are the way to go! And the Church is in such need of gifted Spiritual Directors. God bless you for stepping forward in that way. I hope your visit to Berlin will be everything you dreamed it would be. Squashed sandwiches need dreams too.

    Jacqueline - you are greatly blessed... a quiver full of answered dreams!

    <>< T


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