What Dreams Actually Mean to Teach You

“Readiness to fall is the confidence to walk.” Unknown

We spend all this time reaching for leaves: sending our hands into the sky and grabbing for this and that — things that we’re told we need to have, others that we always assumed are keys to “success” and “happiness.”

But leaves are leaves.

The leaves will wither and they will fall, and new ones will sprout in their place.

That’s the funny thing about dreams — dreams are leaves. They’re a litany of ideas, possibilities, chances and opportunities that we imagine, however close or distant they are to us here in reality.

Leaves are details, they are guiding stars in the night sky, they are mere footnotes to a larger story: beginning somewhere from wherever you are so that your trunk (body, mind, soul) and your limbs (the foundational values of who you are and what you believe) can begin to grow, grow, grow.

But for some reason, we tend to not give a shit about the trunk and limbs.

The limbs are just tools for holding all of our leaves, and the trunk just happens to be there: a body, a frame, something that we know is intrinsically important to us (after all, our body is what houses our everything), but in the day to day and when our minds wander off into distant visages of what life could become, we leave the body (the trunk) and the means to reach our dreams (the limbs) and simply start to reach out for our dreams (the leaves) before they’re even there.

Dreams are just the cosmic sparks that set us upon a wild, winding journey in life that we could not have ever possibly dreamed up. And when we start to journey upon that path — taking action after action, standing up for ourselves, committing and recommitting to who we are and what we believe and what we wish upon the world around us every single day — our dreams, our leaves, they start to shift and change.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Because dreams are just the sparks to get us going.

And when you start to chase those dancing leaves that tempt you with glory and popular fame and instant wealth, here’s what will happen: you’re going to fall on your damn face.

A dozen, if not a thousand times. And you’ll start to wonder, what the hell? Why is this happening? Why are my dreams letting me down? Why did my dreams lie to me? What is God trying to punish me for? Why is the Universe teasing me? What is wrong with me? Why am I failing? What am I lacking that others know better than me, or have more of than me, or are do more “right” than I am?

This is a pivotal moment, this stage of doubt. You’ll want to quit on your dreams. You’ll want to quit on yourself.

That’s because failing is required. Let me say that again: Your failing — repeatedly, publicly — is a requirement in your life. If you do not fail often and repeatedly, you’re one of two things: living your life in an ego-bound shame and fear that doing something wrong means you’ll be cast into the bowels of  a fiery hell, or you’re actually an omniscient, all-knowing God.

What dreams actually mean to teach you is to start too soon, to begin in pursuit of something unknown — to believe, to try, to risk, and to fail.

All so that you can remember the limbs. And the trunk underneath.

What I’m talking about is the underlying core. Your values. Your true essence, your soulful identity that exists beyond any stupid labels and petty titles that you might acquire, dream up or have since been assigned.

These are the divine cornerstones of who you truly are.

And your foundational beliefs, these pivotal driving forces that are etched within your soul and dictate why you get out of bed every morning, and how you behave when walking down the street, and what work you find yourself working, they are the very reason why your fluttering dreams hang off in your periphery, begging you to be seen — all so you can see them and reach for them, all so you can fall on your face, all so you can remember the limbs and trunk beneath.

We spend all this time reaching for leaves.

And that’s good — not necessarily because every dream is a cosmic blueprint for a perfect path you can take, commit to and, “Aha!” you will certainly find success, achievement, joy and lifelong happiness just as you had naively imagined.

No, you ought to reach for your leaves because when you start reaching, you’re finally committing.

When you reach out for your dreams, it means you’re not just contemplating what you want and desire most in life but you’re acting and committing to their pursuit — too soon, before you really know why or what it’s all about, or what your dreams even *are*, let alone how you’ll make them a reality.

Start reaching for your leaves, knowing damn well that they might not be there tomorrow.

Because when you do, you’ll remember the trunk, you’ll remember the limbs, you’ll see that you’re still there and standing tall — all the better for it — and now those dreams seem so small and trivial compared to your towering stature, this visage, a giver of life and love who began to truly awaken into your true self by believing in you, and that you’re worth everything.

If the chances and opportunities and ideas and dreams are there before you, there’s no reason to not start reaching.

Whether you fall first or the leaves wither and fall before you, just step back. See where these dreams are sprouting from– from you. And as you look upon yourself, ask, how it is possible that these dreams could even exist to taught and tease your soul into dawning into life if they were not a part of something much, much grander than just you.

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P.S. – If you’re ready to start reaching for your leaves — and understanding the roots of the trunk and limbs beneath them — I invite you to apply for membership to my premier online writers’ group, The Literati Writers.

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