We live in a world where we are constantly plastered with the accomplishments of other people (thanks, social media!). Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to celebrate accomplishments but I do think this creates a false sense of reality. Pictures of a recent vacation don’t show the months of late nights at work which were spent earning enough money for the trip. The sparkling engagement ring doesn’t show last year’s tear-inducing argument. Small bundles of joy, swaddled tightly in beaming parents’ arms, don’t show the heartbreak of failed attempts to get pregnant. If you aren’t careful you will be disillusioned by the same fallacy when it comes to your own dreams. Things aren’t always as they seem and not all dreams actually do come true.
Just imagine yourself facing an unrealized dream, a closed door if you will, with a ring of keys as big as the one your head custodian carries (you can always tell when she’s coming down the hallway!). It takes work to try each key as you stand at the locked door. As you get towards the end of the ring, you start to realize that no one guaranteed that any of those keys would actually open the door. This may be a door that stays locked, closed, and what seems like slammed in your face despite tireless effort to open it. You’re not one to make excuses so you look inward and tell yourself it’s you who fell short. Maybe you missed a key on the ring or maybe you didn’t jiggle the handle of the door the right way to make it open. Perhaps if you keep trying the keys, someone on the other side will finally open the door and your dream will be realized.
Sometimes, though, you must surrender. You tried the keys and none of them opened that door. Your heart can keep telling your mind that this door is one that has just not opened yet but in reality your mind knows that this door will never be opened. It isn’t easy to admit it to yourself because you are surrounded by others who keep opening doors. But deep down inside you know it might be time to take those same keys and refocus your energy. Face reality. Carry your keys to a new door. Your keys do open doors. You might just be trying to open the wrong door or follow the wrong dream.