Dreaming has been a semi-elusive experience for me. Not the type of dreaming you entertain in your deepest state of rest, but the ones born in your soul. It’s not that there’s a shortage of dreams in me, but I have a tendency toward hard stops before the dream has a chance to evolve.
Dreaming is vulnerable and risky. It’s one thing to have it in your heart and mind, but it’s another thing to say it out loud. As dreaming turns to hopeful anticipation, disappointment often moves in like a bad case of termites, eating away at the dream until it becomes hollow. Questions choke out promise and pave a short path to doubt. Doubt illuminates all the what-ifs and thrusts me back to “reality.”
Over the years, I’ve gotten good at negotiating my dreams. Instead of giving up on them, I learned to adjust them within the boundaries of reasonableness. If I could imagine the way it might turn out, thus reducing the risk, it was worth investing in. Very subtly, my dreams began resembling reasonable, safe plans.
The trouble with measuring the possibility of dreams on the response of others is that it kills the duration of the dream. When I need someone to validate the dream placed within ME, I’ve already stopped believing. It’s no wonder so many of my dreams have died in infancy.
One year ago, I launched a dream that had been growing in my heart since high school. Let me tell you–I was scared people would think it was silly. I worried no one would understand, and I wondered if sharing the dream with my people was a mistake. Fear told me it was. Hope told me to move forward. In the tension, I somehow managed to press on.
The #sowkind movement began ruminating in my soul decades ago. Because I battled feeling overlooked [and still sometimes do], I was extra sensitive to the words and gestures of others. Though outwardly it may not have been obvious, I was holding out an empty cup hoping someone would drop in the tiniest bit of encouraging truth. During seasons when I did not believe there was anything good in me, it was the sound of someone else’s voice that spurred me on. Words became my lighthouse.
Many times, during the last 365 days, I wanted to quit. Effort seemed to outweigh the effect. At least three times [probably more like 30], I convinced myself I’d misunderstood the nudge to launch the movement. For goodness sake, the night before I unveiled the plan, I had to change the name. Changing the name meant editing graphics, blog posts, and a video. That will give a tender-hearted dreamer pause.
When a writer writes, they hold their work out to the world and hope no one throws rotten tomatoes. When a painter paints, they put their work on display and hope someone connects with their creation. When a dreamer dreams, they hope someone will believe in the dream with them. It’s all vulnerable and scary.
During the first year of #sowkind, many of you walked with me. You nurtured me as I cultivated the dream within me. You bought shirts and posted using the hashtag. You shared images and blog posts. You watched low-budget, also known as no budget, amateur videos. I can’t tell you how much your kindness has meant to me. Because you held space for my dream, I didn’t dismiss it.
Thank you for being a part of this dream, friends. I’m not negotiating year two, even though I’m walking trembling scared into year two. My hands and heart are open to what might become of the desire to make an impact one word and act of kindness at a time.
#momentoftruthmonday #sowkind #sowkindmovement #dreams #fiveminuteimpact