Dream Slayers

I started talking about this on my tumblr and got sidetracked by really digging into some of the thoughts behind my gchat statuses...

Earlier today, my gchat status said
It really is true what they say about not sharing dreams with people. Not always because they want to steal it from you or prevent you from achieving, but rather because sometimes their lack of support/caring/encouragement is all it takes to stop you from trying. 
I'm not sure where that came from. But I know that the other day one of my cousins had a facebook status up that said, basically, you shouldn't tell everyone your dreams because if they don't try to beat you to it, they'll try to keep you from it. I believe that to be so true, but I've been blessed enough to not have experienced that, at least as far as I know.

However, what I have experienced is an inability to be happy for me or supportive of me. Recently, I've shared a hope with several people and for the most part, I've actually gotten a lot of verbal support... "I bet you'll be great..." or "That's awesome..." or "That's right up your alley, I think you should go for it..." Just really great and nice things. But I've also gotten some verbal equivalents of a ::blank stare::

Now, I've told y'all that I'm changing my life in 2011, and I am. So I'm trying not to dwell on the disappointment I felt at those verbal blank stares, but rather sit with the appreciation for those who are supportive; however, I do have to acknowledge the disappointment I felt and in my own status about sharing dreams had to acknowledge the damage dream slayers can do if you let them.

Now, I could rattle off a number of reasons why a person might hesitate to support a dream shared with them. Maybe they think it's off the wall and impossible, or maybe they think it's not something one should aspire to or maybe they just don't know how to express support, but in the end, none of that matters. Dreams really are fragile things and I don't care what anyone says, if you've ever had someone tell you you couldn't do something, you know exactly what I mean.

There are those with the tenacity to ignore naysayers, but the truth is, it hurts for just a minute. We all want to believe that not only can we be anyone but that those closest to us will support our endeavors.

I myself have been guilty of being a dream slayer. I know that at the time I thought I was doing the right thing by being honest about what I thought the person could really accomplish, but I now realize that supporting positive dreams doesn't mean you agree with the plan. It means you support that person's right to set a goal for themselves and reach for it. It's that chasm in understanding that, in many cases, causes person a to dismiss person b's hopes and dreams. What do I mean? I mean that as a dreamer, you understand that when you share your dream you just want some support to have the dream. Not necessarily support to achieve it. But when you're the person being approached for that support, unfortunately we often read it as a request for permission to do that thing, instead of a request for general support.

I've not had any dreams slayed but I've had people try -- both on purpose and in some wayward attempt to make sure I stayed in touch with planet Earth and it's horrid realities.

In the end though, I don't write this to discourage people from being dream slayers (though I do wish you wouldn't) I write this to encourage people to think about their own dreams when confronted with someone else's, but bigger than that, to encourage folks to continue to dream. Whether another person beats you to it or tells you you can't or tries their best to make you look a fool on your quest for what you want, keep on dreaming up what's next. Even the best dream slayer can't take away your ability to create one.


Akirah said...

Interesting. I think it's important to encourage other people...there's already so much negativity in the world. It's funny to me that people feel threatened by other people's success. I can't say I've never been jealous of the good things another person is accomplishing. But it's not a good thing to stand in the way of people's success, obviously. Reminds me of the key lesson in Mean Girls...stealing someone else's thunder does nothing to enhance me.

A.Smith said...

This, stealing someone else's thunder does nothing to enhance me, my dear Akirah, was EPIC.

♥ CG ♥ said...

I hear ya, Ashley. A few years ago my constant self-reminder involved be able to encourage myself because I felt that I didn't have the support I thought I earned and deserved. I often think some people don't want to see you get ahead because of their own fears and shortcomings...actually, I'm sure of this.

A.Smith said...

I think when someone is being negative or discouraging it is ALL about them and has NOTHING to do with you. Absolutely!

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