Permission to Dream
It was freezing outside, and the rain was picking up, turning the gravel road into a sloppy mess, so I started into a sloppy jog. As I got closer to my car, I heard some footsteps behind me and quickly turned around to see a young man following me. As I turned, I gave him the once-over: ripped jeans, worn hands, hood pulled over his head.
My eyes went immediately to his, and I could tell he was on the brink of breaking down. I stopped, and as he inched closer towards me, he stuck out his hand and pushed a crumpled-up wad of cash into my hand. He looked me in the eyes and said, “This is the last four dollars I have. Can I get one of your books?”
Let me back up. I had just given a talk here in Oklahoma at a local treatment center. I’d shared my story, and then shared about dreams. How while I was in treatment I began to dream of a new life. A life full of hope and freedom. My dream consisted of real friendships and honest relationships. No more shame or guilt but rather a passion-filled, inspiring life that left me smiling at the end of every day. It was a purpose-driven dream.
I talked about how dreams motivate us, encourage us and inspire us to keep pushing ahead. I tried to speak to their hearts and tell them it’s okay to dream. I explained that, even if your dreams in the past have failed or flopped, it doesn’t mean your dreams have to stop.
When I finished, a few of the guys stuck around to shake my hand and visit. I sold a few books, gave out some business cards in case they ever needed to talk to someone, packed up my stuff and started walking to my car.
And that’s when this guy stopped me.
So there we were, rain falling on us and around us, soaking the wad of cash and bouncing off my head. I looked back and forth between these crumpled bills and the man’s rumpled exterior—my stomach dropped. Stunned, I stepped back and muttered, “Sure, but you keep your money.”
He refused and said, “No, I want to pay you for it.” He went on to tell me he hadn’t dreamed in years and that what I had said really moved him. By this point, he was crying and I was trying not to. I attempted to muster up something to say, but nothing really hit me so I just gave the guy a hug and told him today was the day he could start dreaming again.
This guy didn’t know me from Adam. He may never remember me again. But by simply giving him permission to dream, his life could be changed forever.
Maybe now he is dreaming of a world where….
- His family is reunited
- He has a new job
- He lives a life free from the insanity of addiction
- He’s the dad he always wanted to be
- His parents are proud of him again
- He is successful, appreciated, and respected by his peers
- He has friends and is valued
- He is married to the woman of his dreams…
Wherever you are today, whatever you are up against—whether you’re stuck in a disappointing relationship, struggling to believe you’ll ever get clean, or trying to understand what it is your supposed to be doing with your life—today is the day it can all change.
I give you permission to dream again.
Because dreams change everything…
Emotions and passions that used to lay doormat inside you spring up to life with a dream.
Impossible thoughts begin to become possible again with a dream.
Journeys and experiences that you thought could never be obtained become conceivable with a dream.
Depressed, lonely nights grow to echoes of laughter and the chatter of friendship with a dream.
Hopeless situations and relationships blossom into rewarding and satisfying connections with a dream.
Ideas tossed aside for years transform into world-changing solutions with a dream.
Your story begins to change people’s lives with a dream.
Take a moment and think of the life you’ve always wanted…
What does it look like? What does it sound like? Who is there? What are you doing? Where are you at?
Whatever it is, I believe you can get there…but it starts with a dream.
So today I give you permission to start dreaming… Have fun!