The Power of a Dream
Dreams. I’ve yet to meet someone who hasn’t experienced at least one of the two variations. I’m talking about the kind that scares you and the kind that propels you. Oh wait, the more I consider them, the more I realize each descriptor is interchangeable for each type of dream. Let me explain.
I woke up this morning with two dreams. The first was the recollection of the dream I had while I was sleeping. Foggy and vague, but while the rest of the world slumbered, my brain went into dream mode, concocting wild adventures filled with more make-believe than I could dream of. Oh wait, I did dream it! That type of dream – the kind we have when our eyes are shut – can be filled with exciting elements or scary worries. Just take an evening of kid-duty hanging out with my 6 year-old to understand what I’m saying.
Only a few hours into bedtime, he will rush out for a “momma hug” to wash away his scary dreams. Dreams of spiders crawling in his bed or monsters hanging out under it. Dreams that make him feel lost and dreams that leave him more worried than any child his age should be. If an evening vanishes with no crazed outbursts, you will likely find a pleasant boy in the morning, smiling as he stuffs his face with muffins and recalls enjoyable dreams of outings with his P-Paw or excitement for the upcoming school talent show.
Those dreams, unfortunately, we don’t always have control over. They happen whether we want them to or not. We remember some and others run away the moment our eyes open up to a new day. Those dreams have the power to terrify both the young and old. As your brain processes the world around you each evening, these dreams can bring mystery and delight, pushing you to think of new opportunities.
But there is another type of dream too that we cannot neglect. This type of dream can also be terrifying and invigorating all at once. This type of dream is what can give you hope but make you shiver in your boots if we dwell on it too long. I’m talking about a dream that is placed in your heart when your eyes are open. The type of dream that makes your hands sweat when you think about it and your heart race a little as you contemplate the potential. I’m talking about the dream that has the power to change your life.
For years, I’ve had a dream buried deep within that I never expected would become a reality. This dream started as a glimmer of an idea, and the more that I allowed myself to churn it, the more it became something that was worthy of exploring. I had a dream to write a book, and this dream all started from a dream deep in my slumber.
I must have been watching too much “America’s Got Talent” because in my dream I was a judge. I got to make the calls. I stood between people’s dreams and their realities. A young boy approached the stage and painted a picture as his talent. I deemed it subpar from the get-go and with each stroke of his brush I contemplated how to let him down gently.
As I told him this was the end of his road, that he did not need to quit his day job (even if he was too young to have one), I braced for the tears of disappointment. They didn’t come. Instead, a smile crept on his face and he took his painting, folded it up, and delivered it to me while saying, “That’s okay. But will you go color something pretty today?”
I woke up, confused by the vivid nature of this single dream and all day I tried to dissect the dream’s meaning. I struggled bringing my A-game to work because I kept reflecting on the intricacies of the young boy and the words that he shared. Then, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I finally understood, and when I did, I was dumbfounded at the profound message that came from a dream.
“Color something pretty today.” This young boy was dealt a dose of rejection and in that moment, he was given a choice. Would what I told him stop him from dreaming, or would it push him to dream harder? Instead of giving up, the young boy didn’t just keep dreaming, but he challenged me to do the same. In just a few words, he placed a dream in my heart; a dream that I knew I had to share with others.
So what do you do when you have a dream like this? For me, I go for it! And going for it I did. For years I wrote in the quiet nooks of my house, secretively so that no one could poke holes at this newly found dream. Slowly I would leak what I was doing to others in subtle ways to see if it sounded as crazy as I thought it may be, and slowly others started to give my dream fuel. I could never have planned my dream to be ignited in the way that it was. And I could have never dreamed that my dream would be a reality just a few weeks ago when my book titled “Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective” was published for the masses to devour.
While having a dream is amazing in and of itself, the power of a dream is even more incredible. Each time I would sneak away to write a chapter, I was energized by the words that would show up on the page. Yet, little did I know, wondering eyes would also find new energy. Each time I would read a section that I was most excited about to my husband, other listening ears soaked in each word too. And when the book came out, and I finally got to hold it in my hands, two tiny hands grabbed the book afterward, and bringing it to his chest, he hugged it tightly.
You see, the whole time I was fulfilling the dream that I received from a dream, my son was watching. He was listening. He was dreaming and he didn’t even know it. And neither did I. It wasn’t until my husband and I went to his student-teacher conferences this spring that I realized what was happening. Walking down the hall toward his classroom, I gazed as the beautiful artwork on the walls that each kid in the class had made. They were charged with writing a sentence and then drawing a picture that corresponded. The sentence that they had to write began with a writing prompt: “I am unique because…” And each kid had to fill in the blank.
I saw lots of sweet unique sentences. One child said she was unique because she was a twin, drawing a picture of her and her brother to accompany it. Another drew a picture of himself running, touting that he was unique because he could run super-fast. I smiled reading each, but my smile started to quiver and my eyes began to fill up when they landed on one special piece of artwork made by my one-and-only sweet boy.
His picture was of a book, opened with pages flipped. And his sentence read: “I am unique because I write books.” Before hearing anything that his teacher was promised to share, I was filled with more pride than I knew was feasible. All this time I was writing, I never dreamed of my dream being the seed to one of his dreams. And yet, here in front of my face, was a picture of art – much like the boy in my dream – with a dream. He was ready, and I was given the choice to again on how I would impact it.
So together we write. He writes of balls, and church, and food in his two page picture books. And I now write of him. I write about how his dream propels mine and how powerful having a dream can truly be.
When you have a dream, I realize now, that dream isn’t meant to hoard. You can’t collect dreams like I collected bouncy balls as a kid, hiding them away until they will be worth something one day. Because if you try to hold tight to them, not sharing them with anyone, they will never accumulate any worth, just like the useless bag of bouncy balls I now have stored in our basement.
Dreams are meant to be shared, and my sweet boy proved that to me. For when I acted on my dream, he saw it, and he watched every step of my way. Once my dream became a reality, it proved to him that any dream he has is worthy of investing in, for one day, if you dream hard enough, your dream can come true.
As a parent, I know my job comes with lots of amazing opportunities and lots of gross ones too. Changing diapers and making baby food, while critical, aren’t experiences I’d look forward to doing again. Wiping noses and managing illnesses I’d like to forget as well. Important elements to parenthood for sure, but I venture to say that while those expectations are necessary for survival, so is helping your child catch a dream in their dream catcher with the intention of acting on it.
You see, they will grow out of diapers (thank heavens) and they will opt for pizza over your handmade pasta sauce over zoodles whenever possible. They will not want you to wipe their nose, and quite frankly, you’ll be lucky if you can even get a hug from time to time. And they will opt to lie on the couch when they are sick versus cuddling in your lap. Those elements of parenthood are destined to dissipate. But if you opt to not just help plant the seed of a dream but nourish it with them, there, my friends, is where the true, lasting beauty lies.
I have no idea if my son will grow up and publish a book. Honestly, I don’t know if a week from now he will even have fun making picture books any more. I haven’t a clue where he will go or what will excite him. All I know is that right now he has a dream, and to me, it’s one worthy of acting on. I don’t care if he colors his pictures within the lines, I’m just proud that he’s coloring. And if he spells unique with a k strategically and inappropriately placed, I don’t care about that either. Because all that matters is that he has found a dream, and together we will dream until his dreams come true.
About Our Guest Blogger Stephanie!
Stephanie Feger is a passionate communicator who believes that a shift in perspective can help people live truly fulfilling lives. After working in the public relations and marketing industry for nearly 15 years, she learned that happiness isn’t found in what society deems important and felt a calling to do something different. That’s when she began to nurture her entrepreneurial spirit and build a brand intended to help others live to their fullest potential. Stephanie has embraced listening to God on her journey and empowers others to join her through Color Today Pretty. From being a professional speaker, avid blogger, and home décor business owner, Stephanie connects her passion for embracing creativity with her devotion to faith in everything she does. Stephanie has recently published her first book “Color Today Pretty: An Inspirational Guide to Living a Life in Perspective” which is available now on Amazon. Learn more at www.colortodaypretty.com.