Reflections: Recognizing you may be living your dream already

Saturday, February 28, 2009

"Create and begin living the life you've always wanted. Find your dream and pursue it now. Don't wait." Almost everyone has heard those words, and there's positive reinforcement and inspiration contained within them. But does that mean that the life you are living now is unsatisfactory?

My husband and I just returned from another two-day trip. During those journeys I always realize insights that I may otherwise never notice. As we drove along, I was thinking about what I wanted to do next in life. I certainly didn't want life to pass me by because I neglected to continue achieving and meeting challenges.

"Who knows what God has in store for me?" is one of my favorite questions, and every dawn I look forward to what the day will bring. It's truly exhilarating. Life is exciting, indeed.

Unlike my usual pondering about what was in store next and wondering what dream I now wanted to seek, I was forced to stop and evaluate the present. I voiced my newest revelation to my husband, who was sitting beside me unaware of my thoughts.

"I am living my dreams right now," I said. Finally that light bulb in my head lit up, and I saw what was before me. I had always desired to have a great husband, children and a nice home. Then I strove to constantly add to my wish list by pursing education, new goals and using my skills and talents in all kinds of avenues. I recognized I've seldom stopped long enough to enjoy the dream that was already playing out.

Attempting new contests is all part of the journey, and you need to always keep your eyes on what can still unfold. But in the process you have to taste what's on your plate now before adding other delicacies. You may have enough already to fill you up -- at least for a while. You may think if you refrain from unrelenting activity you are not accomplishing anything worthwhile or progressing. We can compare ourselves to a flowing stream. If it stops running for a short time, the stream still stays fresh. Often the period of inactivity only gives the water that's behind a chance to catch up before the whole stream pools in one place. When the water stops moving, you can tell how much water is actually there, the clarity of it and, most important, the depth of it.

The same holds true for a person's life. Although you must set goals, you need to come to a standstill for a while to see what's there. You have to evaluate what you have going on in your life. Do you need to add, take away, substitute for something more worthy -- or do you just enjoy what's there?

Slow the process of living long enough to allow everything to settle in one place and inventory your situation. Perhaps you'll discover that you are already living your dream, that which you genuinely love and desire. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Ellen Shuck holds degrees in psychology, religious education and spiritual direction and provides spiritual direction to people at her office.

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