Shattered Dreams Have The Power To Change Our Lives For Good

“Everyone needs wishes and dreams, because the bridge you build between them and reality is your life.” – Marilyn Bagel

Many people are afraid to dream, either they simply don’t know how to, or more often because they are mired in only knowing how to color within their comfortable world-view box. So many of us are afraid to color outside our limited lines. Sometimes the fear of failure and imagined pain keeps an individual from reaching higher. So, many people don’t dare to dream!

Many walking wounded have walked through my psychotherapy doors in pain, hopeless, and hurt. Often, life has dealt them a harsh blow and their ache from something they wanted that went awry has resulted in a sense of helpless defeat. Then there are others who have reached too high without laying the necessary groundwork and planning the requisite steps to get where they want to go. They come bringing shattered dreams with little sense that a better outcome is possible.

One dream may die, only to be replaced with different dreams holding deeper appreciation and greater joy. The journey, though, is not without times of despair, eventually to be replaced with hope.

A less threatening and often more realistic way to follow your dream is something I call “The Three Bears Rule.” Finding the right balance between too little, too much, and one that is just right is a process that entails the ability to be both focused and flexible. Focus keeps your eye on the goal. Flexibility allows you to let in new potentially useful information, to try new ways of being, and to let go of emotional and pragmatic tools that simply don’t work. It also allows that magical “aha” moment when an idea suddenly takes a new shape and answers seem to appear from out of the blue. This is rarely an easy balance, and few are prepared for it without flips, flops, and failures along the way.

Those in creative fields tend to be our most imaginative and frequently leading-edge dreamers. They do dare where others fear to tread. The most productive of these dreamers are often born with and/or given the opportunity to create without being stifled. Not only do they have talent, but also they usually score high on a measurable scale with a quality known as Emotional Intelligence, what we loosely term intuition or a sixth sense. More pragmatic types such as scientists can also dream big. However, they tend to follow their dreams in a more logical, systematic, and goal-oriented fashion.

Whatever type or combination you may be, it’s always a mix of luck, timing, ability, and the discipline to practice as a great athlete, dancer or musician must to achieve one’s dream.

Ah, but, as Shakespeare might say, “There’s the rub.” Life is not linear and neither is the achievement of dreams. Anyone who has tried to dream beyond their current status knows they risk physical and emotional injuries. Frequently one feels like a small sailboat tossed by turbulent waves. Yes, we often get “seasick” when we follow our dreams. Shattered dreams happen every day in everyone’s real world. At the end I will list some ways to go beyond enduring pain, growing, and, in fact, learning to thrive.

A few exceptional people are akin to Cervantes’ Don Quixote or Voltaire’s Candide who live for their dreams and, a sin the latter’s case, are carried by an eternal optimism that whatever happens “this is the best of all possible worlds.” We humans embrace this sense of a hopeful dream. That’s why the varied, eternal productions of Man of La Mancha are sure to be available in a play, ballet, opera, or some other creative art form in a theater near you at several points in your life.

What is a shattered dream? It isn’t always not flying to the moon or not winning a Nobel Prize. In the world of the mundane, most of us fall short of expectations daily. Our positive attitude, how we “roll with the punches,” makes all the difference.

  1. Perhaps we didn’t get the “A” we anticipated.
  2. Or, we didn’t get selected to be on the baseball team we always dreamed of playing for.
  3. Or, the marriage we anticipated holding for “better or worse” forever didn’t last.
  4. Possibly we became a caregiver and gave up our own desires for someone we loved, as illness took over our life.
  5. Our child became a drug addict, not the star we raised her to be.

The list is endless. Yet, we can reframe our expectations and a cathartic change can occur. In that change we may find greater joy in small accomplishments or in a transformational love that we never dreamed possible.

Shattered dreams are never fun and always require time to heal and the ability to morph into what will be. In fact, many believe the very act of dreaming during sleep is one way we stay balanced and heal. Old dreams may die. New ones can always emerge. One only needs to believe they can succeed.

Dr. Dorree Lynn

Used by permission from Life’s Journey Magazine

Dr. Dorree Lynn is a well-respected psychotherapist, mentor, consultant, life coach, author, educator and workshop presenter. Her lectures are peppered with humor and salted with wisdom. She is available for presentations. Dr. Dorree can be contacted at: DrDorree.com

 

 

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We All Need A Spiritual Bypass Surgery

We get heart bypass surgery when fatty tissue blocks blood flow to the heart.

We need a spiritual bypass surgery when our fear blocks us from feeling our feelings.

You see – your Soul doesn’t need any personal growth work.

Your Soul doesn’t need therapy. Your Soul doesn’t need yoga, green juice or an alkaline, gluten free diet – your body does.

Fear is not the opposite of Love.

Fear is a biological response to uncertainty that comes from the amygdala that causes your body to be filled with cortisol (stress hormone) and adrenaline.

We can spend so much time trying to hang out in the “spiritual realm” that we don’t allow ourselves to feel the fullness of human emotion.

We tend to carry so much shame with us when it comes to feeling our feelings because we believe that feeling our fear or negativity are “unspiritual.”

The only thing unspiritual is the judgment of our feelings, which is actually keeping us blocked from happiness.

A Friend once told me that generally de-pression comes from re-pression.

If we don’t allow ourselves to feel and be honest about what’s inside without judgment – we can never really change.

We can change our clothes, we can change our diet and we can start to move our body, but none of that will do any good without going into the depths of the feelings we have suppressed for so long.

What feelings are you afraid to feel?

What feelings do you try to escape?

What feelings are you holding back because you think you are a bad person if you feel them?

You see – these places are the places we need to go if we are to liberate ourselves.

“Enlightenment is not imaging figures of light, but making the dark conscious.”

We can’t make our dark side conscious if we are too self-judgmental to allow it to come forward – this is a spiritual bypass and it’s as deadly as a blocked artery.

When_shall_I_be_free_by_TiaraMia

The Woodsman and the Leprechaun

Long ago, a woodsman saved the life of a leprechaun and was given one wish. The woodsman thought for a long time and finally wished that each of his three daughters find a good husband.

But the leprechaun was full of games. “How am I to know what’s good in your mind? I’ll give them husbands, but you can name only one quality and it’s got to be the same for all. What’ll you have? I can make them clever, strong, beautiful, rich – you name it.”

The woodsman said, “Then give me men of good character.”

The leprechaun wasn’t done playing. “And how am I to know what good character is?”

“Do you have children?” asked the woodsman.

“I do,” said the leprechaun.

“And do you love them?”

“More than life itself.”

“Then give my girls the kind of men you want for your children.”

“Ah,” the leprechaun said, “then you shall have honorable men with kind and loving hearts. And I’ll throw in a strong conscience too.”

The woodsman was a shrewd man and a good father. He knew the well-being and happiness of his children depends on the quality of their relationships. The quality of their relationships depends on the quality of the people they are with.

But what if the woodsman was asked what one quality he wants in his own daughters? As a wise father he would again ask for good character. Whether it’s in one’s spouse or oneself, cleverness, good looks, and money are nice, but in the end the most essential quality of a good life is good character.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

Michael Josephson
www.charactercounts.org