A few weeks ago, I wrote a post titled "I Have A Dream," but I didn't publish it because I pish-poshed my far-reaching goals, giving self-doubt a temporary win.
(My inner dialogue went something like this: "Who amI to make such big changes in the world? And how embarrassing would it be to put myself out there like this and then FAIL PUBLICLY??")
But this weekend, somebody laughed at my dreams. When my proud husband shared my exciting news about being on Mastin Kipp's blog (The Daily Love) last Friday, this person exhaled patronizingly through her nose. So you're an "inspirational blogger," she said, all snarky-like and with condescending amusement.
AS IF I aught to plant my feet on the ground and do something more "realistic"!
[Time Out: Am I aware that I am a sensitive person? Absolutely. Are my hurt feelings in this situation a reflection of my own self-doubt? Probably. Points acknowledged. Moving on.]
As much as I've worked to overcome my egoic pridefulness, I do not wish to overcome it completely. There are times when the ego is not only a strong character trait but is also fundamentally essential for the improvement of our world.
The instant one corner of that person's mouth lifted--as if her smirk was fundamentally UNCONTAINABLE, I knew I would be publishing my "I Have a Dream" post. I looked that person in the eye, smiled politely, and resolved to show her exactly what I CAN do.
Nobody--but NOBODY--laughs at my dreams but me.
That's the beauty of the doubters, dear readers: they show us how much we believe in ourselves. They show us the urgency of our forward movement.
We send the doubters light and love and empathize with them, since we know that their doubt in us is only a reflection of how much they doubt themselves. We have been in that dismal place of crippling fear. And--similar to how we feel when we leave the DMV--we know we never want to go back to that place again.
It's also our job, Dreamers, to do our damnedest to prove the Doubters wrong. They may never "see the light" that the future can be brighter than today (if only we vow to make it so.) But if we DO go valiantly in the direction of our dreams, then at least our actions will give descendants of the doubters hope that they, too, can change the world.
You've probably heard it said that "from s/he to whom much has been given, much is expected."
I've always thought of that saying in terms of material wealth. But now I think it's even more important in regards to intangible things. I think that saying applies beautifully to the possession of HOPE.
Many people have been led to believe that positive change is hopeless. They think the "good ole' days" are forever gone and that society, our country, and our planet are plundering head-first to an even more dismal future.
But some of us do have hope that our actions--OURS, PERSONALLY and collectively--can make a positive difference in this world.
We all have doubts. Even the most successful people in history have doubted themselves, and doubted themselves often.
But if, in addition to our doubts, we ALSO feel drawn towards our HOPE, then it is our right--no, our DUTY--to pursue those unrealistic dreams because from s/he to whom HOPE has been given, much is expected.
The person who doubted me this weekend was right: my dreams ARE unrealistic. I would be doing the world a disservice if I returned to my "realistic" goals.
[Hint: if you're feeling depressed by the daily grind, that may be a sign that you need to make your goals a little more UNrealistic. Also, if you perceive your sensitivity as a "weakness" (that's a rut I was stuck in for 31 years), I'd wager a bet that most of the people who have elicited positive change in our world have been motivated to do so BECAUSE they were so damn sensitive.]
The very fact that my dreams are "unrealistic" is exactly why I'm going to be so giddy when I am doing the back float through a proverbial swimming pool of accomplished unrealistic dreams.
So, my next post will be my "I Have a Dream" post. Until then, please brainstorm and share your "unrealistic" hopes. I really want to hear about them.
With light and love for the Doubters, the Dreamers, and the Candlestick-Makers, Bethany