Early yesterday morning I posted on Facebook a quote from Walt Disney that shared “”All our dreams can come true – if we have the courage to pursue them”. It is a profound quote, one in which opens our hearts to allow our minds to dream about what passion fills us.
Walt came from a poor family, growing up in Missouri, with a passion for art. From an early age, he sold his work to earn money and pursued his art career while in High School. He had no wealth but had a talent and worked hard. Although his first business attempt ended in leaving him with $20 in his pocket and bankrupt, he continued to work towards his dream, using his artistic talents. In 1925, during the depression, he produced his first classic animated film “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” which was later followed by Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi. These classics, along with his hard work, produced enough for him to start building his dream of a “well-organized amusement park” with the first being built in 1955.
The Facebook comment I received shared how they felt that this quote shared was a “nice sentiment” but disagreed with it as they felt you need to have enough money to make your dreams come true. This comment has made me think hard about what our dreams really cost. Do our dreams really have a price tag attached to them?
We all have dreams that we would like to have fulfilled. Some dreams will be complete disappointments. Yet, as I gave her comment some thought, I asked myself about my dreams and how do they compare to desires. What they were and what are they now. What cost is attached to our dreams?
As I left home at age 17, leaving behind a past of dysfunction, I had four dreams.
- To have a husband who loved me unconditionally, loved children, and someone who did not smoke, drink, or treat women poorly, and believed in a healthy marriage.
- To raise a family of children who knew that they were loved, and teach them to have faith, to love life, strive for their dreams and to work hard in life.
- To have a family that respected and loved one another, through the hardships as well as the good times
- To write my life story
My fifth dream came about after being married six years when we began growing our family.
- To heal from the scars of life
My other aspirations in life were to become a nurse and to become a professional musician/singer.
For me, dreams are aspirations of what we see ourselves actively participating in and becoming a part of. Dreams are not given to anyone on a silver platter, as even the wealthiest can “want” to do things, but just because they can, doesn’t mean that their dreams are being fulfilled. Money doesn’t always provide one with internal joy, creating a sense of completeness in life.
My dream of finding a good husband and a lasting relationship has resulted in 32 1/2 years of marriage, while having known him for 35. We have traveled mountains, fallen down slippery slopes, and endured bruises of life. We stuck by each other even when things got rocky. As we continue to grow closer, we are finding that the love and admiration we had for each other when we were teens, has blossomed into something beautiful. We are older, we laugh at the silly things we do and more easily accept and find humor in what we would otherwise see as faults. I pray we have many more years in front of us, yet my dream of a healthy relationship with a man who I love and can count on, has been fulfilled.
Having children was a struggle as I needed to heal from my past. I immediately discovered this upon the birth of our first child. I suddenly became afraid to repeat and become what I was taught, of the bad memories of my past, which now faced me head on with each choice that I would make. People told me that healing was impossible, yet I was determined to make it an opportunity. I immediately sought out counseling, and continued for a number of years. I praise God for my children and thank Him for guiding me as a mom. I made some mistakes that I made sure I was accountable for, made changes each day to improve. Yet, for many years I compared myself to my mother and not for how far I had come. My daughters taught me through their words, that I was a great mom, which they have often thanked me for. The doubts in myself were strong, yet as I learned to see how far I had traveled, I was able to let go of the past, embrace what I had, and enjoy being the mom that they loved.
I have reached my family dreams, yet the dream left remaining is that of writing my book. I wasn’t able to fulfill this dream before, as tears of pain would swiftly flow, blurring each written thought. I had self-doubt that crippled my dream, not allowing me to let go and be free. Lately as I write, there is more to what I’ve gained. I’ve learned that I have let go of my past, and although still visible, the scars are now filled with love and compassion. I am now able to write what I need to say without the pain I once had.
My desires are things that would be nice to have but not something I need in order to be happy. I would love to have or vacation at a home on the mountains or near the ocean front. I would love to go to Disney World, Ireland, Australia and Sweden. I would love to experience a month of Amish living, along with some other USA destinations. These trips do require one to have financial resources saved in order to enjoy. But, not having the resources to do these things now doesn’t mean that they won’t happen for me some day. Since these are desires in life, and not a passionate dream, I consider them “extra’s” that I hope to someday enjoy, yet do not feel as though I failed if they are not meant to be.
For me, dreams are aspirations of what we see ourselves actively participating in, in order to improve ourselves while becoming a part of something big. Our dreams should make us want to become a better person and to make a life better for someone else. It doesn’t mean that they won’t change from time to time, as a result of life events, but our dreams have a way of improving who we are as a contribution to those we affect.
Desires are many times a selfish want of things we feel we must have. There is nothing wrong with having desires, of traveling and having things that are nice. But when they get in the way of true happiness they then become a crutch that can cripple ourselves and others around us.
When asked by my daughters as they were trying to decide what they should study in college, I asked them two questions: “What is your passion?” and “What makes you happy?” To do what others tell you to do, means that you will fulfill another’s dream. To travel the road less traveled, of following your own heart and passion, is when you create and live the dream that will be full of promise and make a difference in yours and other people’s lives.
Their dreams will be fulfilled one step at a time, while maneuvering through each road block that comes their way. A dream doesn’t just happen, and although might come at a cost, it doesn’t have to be a hardship if you are willing to work and struggle to achieve it. The financial needs will produce themselves when the dream becomes the reality of your heart.
Find joy in your travels as you reach for your dreams in life.