When Your Dream Has Died, You Can Still Dream A New One

A woman with long brown wet hair and dripping forehead smiles against a blue background
Omar Lopez / Unsplash

My friend, I know you might have had a picture of how you wanted your life to be, but some uncontrollable tragedy swept it away.

We all have a certain picture of how we want our lives to be, and sometimes it gets ripped from our grip and smashed to pieces. Our dreams can get crushed in an instant, in the most horrible ways, with irreversible results.

In counseling, this is called intrapsychic grief: the pain of losing what could’ve been and will never come to pass. It’s just as painful as any physical loss, and like any kind of grief, will remain overhead like a dark cloud for a long, long time.

We might be living in a life right now that doesn’t feel like it’s ours, you and I. We might be in a different place than we had hoped for. Today could be different than you had imagined and planned a year ago. Your heart will pull for another chance, another door, another world.

We wake up in a daze, wondering how things changed so fast.

We wait, hoping it’ll go back to the way it was.

The three hardest words to live with are often: In the meantime.

Yet — in the meantime is the whole thing.

If you’re waiting for your “real life” to start, after graduation or when you’re married or when you get to the big city, you’ll stay in a holding pattern. The time will pass anyway. The tide doesn’t wait.

So I hope you’ll consider starting in the meanwhile.

When a dream dies, it dies. We can mourn. We can pound our chest. We can bleed. And at some point, we must let go and not linger. You can open your hands to another dream. I hope you find this new dream. I hope you don’t try to revive something that’s dead.

You can get over what’s over because you’re not over yet.

When the 10 count is over: you can count to 11.

What comes next will not be what you had envisioned. It might be better or it might be worse. I hope you will keep dreaming anyway. I hope you will consider God can do a new thing.

You are free to pursue something new. TC mark

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