As the days of the holidays begin to run down we think about the future. We hear these words:
- “I resolve to . . .”
- “I stopped resolving because I never followed through.”
- “I keep making the same resolutions each year because I already know the outcome.”
We hear other words also, like:
- “My hope is set . . .”
- “With God’s help, I intend to . . .”
- “I want to dream big about my future – but I am not sure what that dream is anymore.”
- “I want to move into my future, with hope and excitement and intention.”
It is good to reflect on what we have experienced in the last year. Honest awareness can help prepare our thoughts and actions to renew our life journey this year, no matter where we are on the way.
The beginning of our reflection is in the broken places. It’s hard work to admit defeat and start over, to work toward our dreams even after they have been broken. Yet every year we are invited to begin again in the midst of broken dreams, broken hearts, broken morality, or broken vitality. Like good scientists and faithful pilgrims, this is where our journey continues forward in earnest.
Most of us have had our hopes dashed at one time or another. Sometimes, even when we have invested time and energy, hopes and finances, we have not been able to experience the success we desired.
Other times, if we are honest, we have to admit we have shied away from opportunities that have presented themselves. Sharon Good writes:
One of the most difficult realities in life is to look back and regret that you never had the courage to live out your dreams. While we’re in the day-to-day throes of living life, our dreams often fall by the wayside. They seem “out there,” too hard to get to, an indulgence when we owe our time and allegiance to so many other people and things. We feel selfish and guilty rejecting a perfectly good, although less than satisfying, life to pursue elusive dreams. But they continue to nag at us, demanding our attention. (www.goodlifecoaching.com)
Usually, the problem is that we have dreamed too small, and not large enough. We have settled for being safe and, to tell the truth, mediocre.
Our dreams demand more of us. And, what excites us also frightens us, especially after failure. Yet our fear is often an indication of our next opportunity for growth, of the next step we need to take on our journey toward fulfilling our dream and the purpose of our life. As the old year ends, and the new year begins, I ask you to ponder: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” (attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt).
Cecelia Dachtler, MA
Life Coach and Leadership Development