Have you ever had really big dreams for something? Have you ever tried so hard to help your dreams come true, but even though you thought and felt that you did everything right, something just didn’t work out? If so, you’re definitely not alone. I know I’ve had this experience many times.
When we have huge dreams that end up not coming true, especially if we feel we’ve done all we can do, it can really rattle us. We can be easily led into a path of self-shaming and self-judgment. “What did I do wrong? Is there something wrong with me? Why didn’t this work out? I tried my best and gave it my all! I thought I was doing everything right!”
I know that I’ve definitely been taken into that spiral of thoughts and feelings more than once in my lifetime! And I’ve learned that if I’m not careful, this kind of spiral can quickly get out of hand and send me into deep frustration, anger, resentment, depression, or even purposelessness at times. These patterns were particularly brought to light over the time that I’ve been writing this blog!
I came to a point when I celebrated the first anniversary of launching this website and starting this blog. I was thrilled to celebrate it, and I continue to be so grateful to you for your support of my work and your openness to connect and reflect in greater ways within your own life. But as I’ve shared in different ways here before, this process has challenged me in some very deep and great ways. And one of those ways has definitely been learning how to better approach my big dreams and how to healthily move through them if some of them take other directions or don’t work out as planned.
In the few months before I started writing publicly, I had huge dreams! I felt confident in my writing style and skills, and I was enjoying creating my own website and anticipating the release of my first book later in the year. I had a huge vision for my work, as well as a general yet specific timeline for it! But looking back, I realize that I didn’t consider what might happen if these huge dreams of mine didn’t pan out in the ways I’d hoped.
After several months, after receiving rejections to sharing my work on larger guest blogging sites, and after attempting to connect with others in the fields I was drawn to and receiving no response back from them or being kindly turned down, I was really starting to wonder why things just weren’t working out as I’d hoped.
Hadn’t I done everything “right?” Hadn’t I done so much internal work on myself? Hadn’t I found so much more peace within? Weren’t my intentions to share myself with others authentic and real? Why wasn’t my outer world lining up yet with what I’d expected after all of the changes I’d made to my inner world?
What I couldn’t see during those months of feeling more depressed over some of my dreams not coming true was the rising of three very big lessons which I’ve blogged about previously. Things often come in threes in my life, so the fact that I now see that these three lessons presented themselves in big ways to me this year really doesn’t surprise me one bit! :)
First, even though I prefer peace over conflict, I really had to come to stop fighting with my own life!
Second, I needed to continue to work through my lifelong struggles with connection and belonging.
And third, I needed to make peace and find much greater health with my relationship with what was “enough” in my life.
Because of my understanding of these three huge lessons in much deeper and healthier ways, I’ve learned that, in all reality, it doesn’t matter so desperately to me now if my big dreams come true or not. And coming from a huge dreamer, that is a very big statement to make!
Of course, I’d love if some of those dreams would show up someday, and I certainly don’t want to push them away! I feel more than deserving and worthy to continue to hope that my external world might line up with more of what I feel my internal world is reflecting. But in all honesty, another huge lesson that I’ve learned is that, as human as I am, as much as I love connecting with you and others in my life, and as much joy as that brings me, I’m really on this journey of life for my own greatest growth. That’s my biggest purpose here.
So if I write a blog post, and it doesn’t take off, now I can really feel that it’s okay, because I can truly fall in love with my own writing and know that I’m giving from the deepest part of my being. If I try to put my work out in larger ways and it may not stick, that’s okay too, because I’m still learning and growing so much from the process! And if I try to connect with others in my field and fail to make the connections, I can know and trust that in my future, there may be more and maybe even greater opportunities where those came from.
I can also remember that sometimes some of my dreams may come to fruition in even greater ways than I could even imagine now—which says a lot, because I have a very active and vivid imagination! But this has happened before in my life, and it has always turned out well.
A couple of examples:
When I was in college majoring in vocal performance, I dreamed someday of being a Metropolitan Opera star. I’d dream of singing the most complex and beautiful opera arias and stealing the show. Everyone would love me, I thought! But that dream was not meant to be, for many reasons. Actually, I never landed a role in a college opera and was really disappointed and frustrated. Yet, several years later, I committed to studying voice again, just for my own enjoyment and progress. Now, not only can I sing many of those dream arias I’d always wanted to sing, but that phase of my life so amazingly propelled me into this current phase in ways that I never could have imagined!
During another time in my life, I struggled with chronic acid reflux for 2-1/2 years. This entire journey led me down so many paths of exploration of the human body, of disease, and of different methods of healing. It taught me tons—about myself, my emotions, my body, health, disease, diet, healthy and unhealthy relationships, forgiveness, boundaries, and so much more. And I was extremely grateful to come to experience a wonderful complete resolution of the reflux after working with an energy healer.
So sometimes, we may never know—our dreams may actually come to fruition at another point in our future, in more amazing ways than we can even imagine right now!
What happens, though, if our big dreams are connected to the actions or states of being of others around us? What if we dream of a cure for a loved one who is sick, and they don’t get that cure? What if we dream of deeper relationships with loved ones, yet, they don’t seem to be open to the same, or maybe we ourselves have changed so much, or they’ve grown in different directions, and it just may not work out? Or what if we start a business and find ourselves very attached to the hope that others will love our work and share it and benefit in huge ways, but it just doesn’t seem to turn out in the ways or the timeframe that we’d hoped?
It can get very complex, I’ve learned, especially the more we attach our big dreams to the actions or states of being of anyone else around us.
That’s why one of my biggest lessons this year, as I mentioned above, has been to grow in becoming so satisfied and content within my own self that I can much more easily accept and feel at peace in the world if the actions or states of being of others don’t seem to be lining up with what I may have dreamed of.
There is no joke about this way of living.
It takes daily, often situational, practice to be able to feel so content and filled up within ourselves that we can more easily find peace no matter what else is happening around us. It can be very easy to fall off of this wagon, but we can always get back on and keep trying. This is another daily practice that I’ve committed to. Why? Because when all is said and done, I really want to enjoy more of my life! And I don’t want that enjoyment to be dependent on any actions that others may or may not take, or ways of being that they may or may not be. I want to enjoy my life regardless of any of that. :) I really, really do. And my "enough" practice has been really helping me with this.
In summary, sometimes when our big (or any) dreams or hopes don’t pan out, there can be many reasons why.
There may be future lessons for us to open up to and allow in, perhaps at a much later time in our lives. There may be greater ways that our dreams may come true in the future. There may be the great lesson to learn that we can come to be content within ourselves and in our daily lives no matter what outer circumstances may arise, including how other people may or may not act towards us.
We may not know what the lesson is that is seeking us. We may be temporarily closed to it, or it may simply not be the right time for it to show up in our lives, or to show up in a way that makes even greater sense to us and really hits us more deeply.
During that time, it can definitely be easy to get pulled into a downward spiral. But the more we open to the lessons which may be seeking us, especially in times of great change in our lives (even though it may feel like those times are the hardest times to stay open), the more we can learn, grow, and ultimately love our lives, both inside and out.
And isn’t that what we all really want anyway? Isn’t that the deepest reason behind why we envision those huge dreams in the first place? ;)
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I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me a personal note through my Contact page, or leave a comment below. Have you ever had big dreams that haven’t come true or have come true in much different ways than you could have imagined? What lessons were you able to learn from those times?
Are you wanting to do some deeper self-reflective work at this time in your life? Check out my first book right here!
No matter what, always remember this: You are deserving, you are worthy, and you are good enough. Keep being you, keep shining, and keep growing!
With great love,