Hope and its Role in Making Dreams Come True

"Hope is not a dream, but a way of making dreams become a reality." – L.J. Cardinal Suenens, Archbishop of Malines-Brussels and Primate of Belgium (1904-1996)

Think about the most wondrous dream you have ever had. Close your eyes and remember how sweet it felt, how utterly content you were during the course of the dream. You may also recall that when you awoke, you carried with you remnants of that lovely dream and that some trace of it lingered with you throughout the day. From time to time, you found yourself once again back in the dream, relishing it like a savory morsel from a satisfying meal.

What if we could bring that same feeling into our day-to-day lives? What if we could literally make our dreams a reality (the really good ones, that is)?

Actually, we can. How, you ask? In order to construct reality from a dream, it is first necessary to have the hope that we can accomplish what is necessary in order to reach that ultimate goal, the realization of the dream.

Where do we find hope, especially if hope isn’t something we’re very familiar with or have never had before or have long ago given up on as impossible for us to achieve? Hope springs from within. We can pray for hope, and that is certainly a good start. We can read inspirational stories and accounts and that may spark a glimmer of hope within us that will take fire and spread so that we feel more hopeful than we’ve felt before.

We can also help cultivate hope by working to the best of our ability on each and every recovery-oriented task that we do, each and every day. Add up the little successes and they amount to a record of accomplishment. This helps build our self-esteem and self-confidence. We feel more up to the job of tackling the problems and difficulties in our lives. The more success we have, the stronger we become.

That’s called growth, and it is possible for everyone in recovery. It doesn’t matter if we were hard-core chronic addicts or only recently became addicted to painkillers or gambling or pushed ourselves into workaholism. When we have committed ourselves to recovery and work it every day, we will make strides forward. We will see positive results. We will benefit from all of our successes as well as our mistakes along the way. As long as we adopt the attitude that we will learn from everything we do, we are bound to gain from the experience.

If we’re sitting back and saying that we don’t dream, that we don’t have anything worthwhile that we are looking forward to, then we need to take a good, hard look at what we’re doing to ourselves. Surely there is something in our lives that we want to attain. Maybe we don’t consider it a dream goal, per se, but it’s something we want to accomplish.

Well, how do we get there? It isn’t by just sitting on our duff and doing nothing, is it? No, if we want to achieve that 30-day sobriety milestone, we need to be actively involved in doing the work of recovery. If we intend to try for a promotion at work, we know there are certain qualities or results that our employer is looking for in a potential candidate for that promotion. In order to be considered, we have to lay out a plan and get busy tending to it.

Diligence and perseverance is required in order to achieve anything we deem worthwhile. Whether the goal is large or small, short-term or a long ways off, it requires careful thought and a logical strategy. Once we figure out what it is we want and identify a way to approach getting it, the time comes to act – and keep on doing what’s required until we either reach the goal or another one takes its place.

There’s something else that’s important to remember with dreams and making them a reality and that is that we need to remain flexible. What seems our dream goal today and something that we’re fully prepared to work hard to achieve will very likely change over time. It may evolve into something even more desirable or it could fade in importance as another opportunity that we find we want to pursue comes across our path.

We need to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. Look at it this way. If we put everything we have into achieving our dream goal, of believing wholeheartedly that we can be successful in reaching that goal, we are likely to be presented with many more opportunities along the way. Some of them will be like an added attraction, something that we can enjoy as we continue our chosen route of travel. Others may cause us to reconsider whether our original goal still holds as much allure or does this new one promise to be even more rewarding and worth our effort and energy?

Fostering flexibility, an open mind, a willingness to entertain new possibilities – these are the traits that will help us in the pursuit of our dreams. Along with hope, they are the key to bringing those sweet dreams into reality.

But what about the dreams that are nightmares? What are we to do about them? Remember that our subconscious mind will work to resolve unresolved issues, some of which are painful or things that our conscious mind refuses to grapple with. If we are plagued by recurring nightmares and this causes us no end of worry and anxiety, let alone nights of fitful sleep, we may need the help of a professional to resolve them. It could very well be that we’re avoiding something that we know we need to tend to but are fearful of. We may just need a little professional help in sorting things out, separating emotion from reality, and crafting a solid strategy for dealing with what needs attention.

Getting back to hope and dreams and making them a reality, we can all benefit from seeing ourselves in that desired state and then working to make it come true.