Most of the people who know me personally know that I have had a huge dream to own and operate a full serviced coffee shop to serve the community. This dream has been one that I have had for over 10 years and have diligently worked on to bring to life. Over the past few months, circumstances have shown my wife and me that it is a dream that isn’t going to come to past…at least for now.
I have had to process the death of a dream and come to grips with it. It was strange, at first, coming to grips with the fact that I had to lay to rest something that I have lived a long portion of my life trying to obtain. I have a firm belief that dreams do not fully die. Sometimes, it is very hard in that regard because it keeps resurfacing, but we have to come to grips that until the right time this dream is not going to thrive.
As I processed this, I came to the realization that there were four ways that I handled the grief of this death.
1. Acknowledgement. The first thing I had to do was acknowledge that this dream was dead. Pretty harsh, isn’t it? Though it is not my intention, it is very important that we acknowledge the fact that this dream is now dead on arrival and cannot be resuscitated. For now, this dream has to be put on the gurney and wheeled out of the emergency room.
2. Recognition. Recognize that this dream was a part of your life. It is so easy to break away from the emotion of the fact that you had a dream and this was a reality. It is easy to bury our emotions and say something along the lines of “that was a foolish dream from a childish wish.” Here’s the thing. If we believe that every time something that we are dreaming about dies on the table is a childish wish, we will never want to dream again. Some of the greatest minds watched most of their dreams fail before they obtained success. Thomas Edison is one that I like to quote when the invention of the light bulb failed, which is “I did not fail. I just found 10,000 ways that it didn’t work.” When your dream dies…you just found a way that it didn’t work.
3. Grieve. Your dream just died. You have acknowledged and recognized that your dream is gone. Now, it is time to grieve. Grieve. Cry. Let it out. I know, it is weird and unorthodox. When you grieve, you give yourself time to heal from the death of this dream. Don’t make any decisions during this step. Why? When we grieve, our brain doesn’t work. We are emotional and logic doesn’t compute.
4. Move Forward. Now, it is the time to move forward. It is time to move on. Does this mean that your dream will never come to the past? No. It just means that you have properly buried this dream and there’s always an opportunity to resurrect it, but until then, it is time to move forward. As a doctor in our church says, “Do the next right thing.” It is time to do the next right thing.
As you do these four things, you will come out on the other side a better person and a happier person. Why? Because you have given yourself a process to go through in order to move past your dream not coming to past…yet.
What are your thoughts? What process did I miss that you thought should be included? Comment in the section below!