"I have a dream!" Most of us are familiar with this now famous line of Martin Luther King as he spoke of his vision for the United States and for mankind in general. He had faith in his dream, in his vision.
Others throughout history have also had visions, dreams, hopes, aspirations... Just like we all do, or at least we all did at some point. Sometimes the dream got buried and seemingly forgotten. Except that it makes itself felt by a vague unhappiness, an undefined longing, an apathy that we can't identify.
What was your dream, your vision of your future when you were younger? When you didn't have a list of "I can't because" or "You shouldn't because", or other objections whether they came from inside yourself or outside from your peers, teachers, parents, etc.
I remember many dreams that I had... many of them could have been valid choices made along the way. When I was around 10 years old, having been selected to sing a solo at midnight mass, I thought I could be a professional singer. At one point, having been named "the discovery of the year" for my performances in the drama club, I thought I could become a professional actress. Yet, because of self-doubt, and because of lack of encouragement from "the outside", I shelved those dreams.
I didn't think I "had it in me" to accomplish these grandiose possibilities for my future. Too many "what ifs" stood in my way, too much self-doubt, too little self-esteem. "What if it doesn't work out... What if I fail... What if I'm just not talented enough... What if I can't make money at it..." These what ifs were the walls between me and my future.
Most of you can probably relate to that. Most of us have grown up with self-doubt -- not receiving the encouragement to "take the risk" and go for our dream. At times, not only were we not encouraged, we may have been actively discouraged and told to choose a career that would have security and a good paycheck. Some of us traded our happiness for that security... and every day, some people choose to stick with their current path, and others choose to go for their dreams.
If You Build It, He Will Come
In the movie, Field of Dreams, another dream is presented... building a baseball field in the "middle of nowhere". The dream is so ludicrous that Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella doesn't want people to know what he is doing...
How often do we also fear ridicule when we share our dreams with others? Or having been the target of jokes and ridicule, how many of us dare keep going and have enough faith in ourselves to stay the course? It's not always easy...
I know I gave up my dream of singing when jealous siblings told me I didn't sing very well. Somehow their input had more weight than the music teacher's who had chosen me to sing the solo at church. Somehow my fear of failure was stronger than my love for the theater. I didn't have enough faith in myself and in my talents.
Have Faith in Yourself
Faith in ourselves. Now that is a big concept. Many of us, having been raised in some form of organized religion, recognize the word faith as having to do with believing in something other than ourselves... Faith in a higher power, in God, in Jesus as the Savior, in angels, in miracles, etc. Even Webster's first definition for faith is: "unquestioning belief, esp. in God, religion, etc." Faith has become equated with belief in something or someone else.
How often do we equate faith with faith in our own self? You may be familiar with Jesus' statement about the mustard seed:
If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree,' Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you. -- Luke 26:34
Yet one thing is unclear in this statement. Was Jesus referring to faith in oneself or faith in God? Most people may have assumed that he spoke of faith in God, yet, his comment says "If you had faith... it would obey you". Thus I take it to mean that if we had faith in our own powers, in our own divinity, then we too could do these "impossible" things. Did not Jesus also say, at one point, that we too do could do these things he did? He made clear that we were children of God, and that we could do these "miraculous" things.
So, what happened? Somewhere along the way, we didn't get the message. The message that we are powerful, that we also can "move mountains", that we also can turn water into wine. I'm not talking about magic here or witchcraft. I'm talking about believing enough in ourselves to believe in our own success, in our own divine potential.
Follow your dreams, follow your heart, and know that success (happiness, peace of mind, abundance) will be yours. Whatever your dream is... whether it has to do with career, lifestyle, relationship, etc... whatever that dream is, believe in it and believe in yourself.
You Can Do It!
I firmly believe that we are not given a dream without the potential to make it come true. If you have a seed, a dream, a vision, planted within you, then you have the capability to make it happen, and the Universe will help you in making that seed flourish into a grandiose creation.
There's a book entitled It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood. Well, it's also never too late to have a happy life, right here, right now. If you're not living where you'd want to live, then do what needs to be done so you can move. If you're not in the career of your choice, then make changes. If you're not the person you'd like to be, then dig deep, get rid of the accumulated garbage (anger, frustration, resentment, etc.), and find the wonderful person you really are.
Whatever your heart yearns for, (and I'm not talking lust, greed, or any of those energies here), whatever your highest vision of yourself is, if you can dream it, you can achieve it.
Start by believing in a loving supportive Universe, and then go the next step by believing in yourself as a "perfect" child of that Divine Universe. Everything is possible. Just go for it!
Book mentioned in this article:
It's Never Too Late to Have a Happy Childhood
by Claudia Black.
Claudia Black, a founder of the Adult Children of Alcoholics (ACOA) movement, has written an inspiring collection of healing messages that offer comfort and encouragement, serenity and hope, to anyone surviving a painful childhood. Touching on such issues as trust, denial, self-acceptance, forgiveness, and faith, each message is illuminated by a vibrant, evocative painting by renowned artist Laurie Zagon, an expert in color therapy.
About The Author
Marie T. Russell is the founder of InnerSelf Magazine (founded 1985). She also produced and hosted a weekly South Florida radio broadcast, Inner Power, from 1992-1995 which focused on themes such as self-esteem, personal growth, and well-being. Her articles focus on transformation and reconnecting with our own inner source of joy and creativity.
Creative Commons 3.0: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Attribute the author: Marie T. Russell, InnerSelf.com. Link back to the article: This article originally appeared on InnerSelf.com