This week’s article comes with a visual — the Bold Innocence art print by Steve Henderson that encourages us to Dream Big!
“Yeah, well I tried to follow my dreams but I got a big fat nowhere,” somebody told me the other day.
“I could follow my dreams,” another person commented, “As long as I had unlimited money and time.”
These statements hide a lot of hurt behind them, the sad remnants of people’s efforts to climb out of the carpeted cubicle world into a place where their talents and passions can be used to make a difference. At the end of the day, they want to feel satisfied that they have done something meaningful beyond earning profits for somebody else.
It’s hard work, following dreams; if it weren’t, most of the world would be ecstatic to start the work week, and as I’m sure you know, most people aren’t excited about the beginning of their individual work week.
Following our dreams implies movement — walking, climbing, persevering, picking ourselves up after we fall. No one said it would be easy, but things worth doing generally aren’t.
If you take a close look at the artwork, Bold Innocence, you’ll notice that a very, very small child is standing in front of a very, very big ocean, and you and I know that she’s not going to conquer anything without some major help.
And so it is in the fulfillment of our dreams — as strong and intelligent and creative and passionate as we may be, we are very small in light of all of the factors that can play against us. Whether we realize it or not, we’re that child, confident yet weak, standing at the edge of a grand place.
We need people along the way to help us along, holding out a hand, pulling us up — and reminding us that there are others behind us who could use our hands, our help, to pull them up as well.
More importantly, we need Someone helping us along — the Creator of dreams and passion and love and meaning. And while it’s not chic or savvy to mention God in polite circles, He’s a primary element in moving us where we need to be, since He’s the one who imbues us with the very talents and abilities that we seek so earnestly to use.
These talents and abilities are gifts, given to us so that we can give to others. The first step in following our dreams, then, is realizing that their fulfillment is not so that we can be rich, or famous, or honored, or noticed at the grocery store, but so that we can reach out to others and give.
And the second step to following our dreams is acknowledging just that — steps. Dreams are not fulfilled quickly or overnight — they are journeys requiring day after day of walking, broken by rest in the evening so that we can prepare to walk the next day. In the process of fulfilling our dreams, we are changing into better people as we in turn work positive change in the world around us.
If you have given up on your dreams — if you have been hurt, bruised, disappointed, and damaged — please, stand up again and start walking. Reconnect with that bold innocent person inside of you, absurdly confident yet simultaneously aware that you are small indeed, and you are dependent upon the bigger people, the Bigger Person, around you.
This article was originally published at ThoughtfulWomen.org