In the past month or so, two acquaintances and one friend have shared with me that they haven’t dared to dream — to look beyond getting through their current situation — for several years.

Each time I was told this, my reaction was the same:

I nodded in understanding

My heart broke a bit for the speaker

I made a note to pray that he/she would some day dream again

A naughty child told to stand in the corner and not turn around can only see their current environment consisting of very small portions of two walls as they come to meet in a 90-degree angle. Similarly, an adult in very difficult circumstances often can only see his or her immediate situation — whatever crisis they’re in the midst of. 

Just as the child in the corner is devastated and very possibly even angered by being forced to stand in a corner, the adult who can see only devastation, injustice, etc., feels pain, helplessness, and perhaps even anger.

Fifteen years ago, I may have scoffed at that comparison, but life has taught me its truth.

So how does an adult who can’t see beyond their difficult circumstances gain a broader perspective and begin to dream again?

There is no one answer to that question.

Just as what puts an individual into such a dark and despairing state of mind can vary wildly, so does what it might take for him or her to see beyond the present, feel glimmers of hope, and take even a single tentative step toward dreaming of a better future. 

I’ve been thinking about dreams quite a bit these past few weeks; a dear friend and I are completing a “book study” on the topic. We’ve talked about what holds us back from dreaming, we’ve each been developing a list of possible dreams, and this week we’ll begin looking at those dreams more closely.

If you haven’t thought about your own dreams for awhile, or if your life circumstances have caused you to put your dreams on hold, I hope you’ll find some time this week to dream, to consider what you want your life to include, what endeavors you want to pursue, and what adventures you want to embark on.

Dream. Dream big, my friend!