"Your past is not your future; you have the power to make new decisions for your life starting today."
- Deb Sofield

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Don’t Stop Dreaming Just Because You Had a Nightmare

Don’t Stop Dreaming Just Because You Had a Nightmare!

There is nothing so sad in life as someone who has given up on their dreams because of a nightmare someone put them through at some point in their life, and the damage seems to have doused their future for the rest of their life.

Due to the lingering pain or agony of memories or the visual reminder of the scars that people carry, many good people choose to just drift along for the rest of their lives. They just plod along, remembering, retelling and reliving their past instead of putting their oars in the water and rowing in the direction of their now-faded dreams.

These good people are choosing to allow the pain of their past to dictate the rest of their life. Yes, I said choosing because that is what it is. No sane person would allow any nightmare, no matter how many monsters under the bed it had, to be the final say in their life while they still have breath. No, someone who has a hint of a dream still in their memory will fight to the finish to create their ending on their own terms.

So, as your friend, here is my advice: Never stop dreaming just because you had a nightmare.

We all know people who lived through a nightmare of a bad marriage, or truly suffered at the hands of an unhinged boss or were betrayed by a friend or family member. But it is wise to remember that those damaged people–the partner, boss or friend–feverishly worked overtime to extinguish the flame that you once had in your life. Why? No one knows why they did, so it stands to reason that small-minded, jealous people hurt other people. Not to excuse their behavior, but without a doubt, they were not who you thought they were, or they changed due to jealousy, sickness or anger, and you can’t fix that. And you can’t fix them, so why allow them to continue in your amazing life?

That being said, never underestimate what you can control in your life, and that is how you react to the situation you find yourself in today or did at one time in your life.

Please hear me, don’t stop dreaming just because you have had a nightmare of a life.

Don’t let them win.

Don’t give up and don’t give in.

Wake up, push past the pain and start again.

Why? Well, let me turn that around and ask why not?

Really, why are you not living the dream that you once had? In many cases, you are now free of the jerk who made your life miserable, so what is holding you back?

Memories? You can make new and better ones.

Feelings of responsibility? For goodness sake, stop it! Stop allowing yourself to be tethered to your past. It is in the past so leave it there.

Financial worries? You will come to realize that there is not enough money in the world that will fix the situation, and then you’ll still die broke.

I wish I could make you realize that with freedom comes rest. Will it be easy? It might if you have a great attorney, or for many, just the relief of not having to listen to or be around a constant condemning attitude would be freedom enough.

The problem with losing your dreams is that life then becomes a duty. Sure, you might have a day of occasional joy, but for the most part, it is just one day after another with little to nothing to look forward to. And, friend, that is not what you were put on this earth for–merely to exist without joy, gladness or delight. On your worst day, you know that is just not true. You were made for more.

And if you’re not experiencing it personally, I’m sure you see this kind of unhappy situation within your network, and without a doubt, you have said to yourself that your friends would be better off alone than being with someone who makes them feel so alone.

Or you have friends and family who are counting the days until the kids are out of school so they can leave their job, their personal situation and feel free enough to move on and start over.

I can remember having breakfast with friends, and one in particular who told us the exact number of days until her child graduated from high school, then the time it would take to move out of the house and on to her attorney. She had it planned down to the day. We were all stunned into silence at the table. We had never realized her situation.

If you were to ask me, that is not a great way to live life. Only you know what you can do or feel that it is appropriate for you to do, but let me remind you that the dream of writing the great American novel or screen play, of traveling abroad or learning to scuba dive is most likely not out of reach with the right planning and saving. And remember, not all dreams are big expensive options. For many people, a good book, a great meal, a walk in the woods or volunteering is enough to keep alive their dreams of being a person of value.

The problem comes when, due to nightmares of the past or present, there is no respite or rest for the weary to even think of or plan a way of escape.

Dreams, hopes, possibilities are the tonic for a weary soul to be sustained through the hard times and flourish when the time is right.

Just don’t let the nightmares of your past due to the actions of others ruin your dreams. It is not fair to you, and deep inside you know that to be true. I have always liked this quote from Steve Maraboli. He says, “My past has not defined me, destroyed me, deterred me, or defeated me; it has only strengthened me.”

No matter what dream you set aside in the past for whatever reason you had at the time, consider that now is the time to pick it up and begin again. Use the strength you have built through the years to make a better life for yourself.

Do not let your past mistakes (caused by you or others) define who you are or who you want to be, not today; not ever.

Remember, every day has a new beginning, a new blessing and a new hope and it is your job to find them.

Today is a new day for you to dust off the dreams you had and bring them into the light of your current situation to see what can be done to create the future that is yours for the taking.

Don’t stop dreaming just because you had a nightmare. Wake up and re-work your dreams for your future.

Thanks for reading. If you have a friend who needs to hear today’s message please forward this email and suggest they sign up! I am reading this week’s podcast in the link below – it is a 13-minute listen. You can listen now or download for later. Download all my podcasts from iTunes, Stitcher, Podkicker or Soundcloud. I am now publishing on Medium – please follow me here.

Here is the link to the video I posted in the newsletter ~ Wake up with Determination

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see. - Mark Twain