Learning to let go
If you want to fully embrace a new dream for your life, you must first let go of the old one. You can only receive what God has for you with an open hand. If your fists are clenched because you’re holding onto an old dream, you can’t receive what God has for you.
Here are three actions you can take to help you let go of an old dream:
1.Let the old dream die.
There is a certain dream I have been holding onto for about twenty years. (It has nothing to do with my job as a college professor.) Over the last couple of years I have come to realize three things:
- The dream is probably never going to happen.
- The dream is no longer relevant to my life. I don’t even really want it to happen, but am having trouble letting go.
- My emotional attachment to this dream is dragging me down.
When an old dream is no longer serving our current or future goals, we have to let it go. It’s hard and it’s painful, but it’s necessary for our growth as artists.
2. Stop “driving by” your old dreams.
Brad Paisley has a great song called “Pressing on a Bruise.” It’s all about our tendency to keep poking at an old wound. As he is mourning a lost relationship, he sings,
I could start a new life, I could move on
I could do a drive by and see if you’re home
It’s tempting to keep “driving by” the old dream.
Have you ever spent hours journaling or talking to others about your old dream? It’s easy to devote hours to wondering why it hasn’t happened or trying to figure out what went wrong.
Have you spent time on Facebook stalking people who are connected to the old dream? Checking up on them? Wondering why it was them, and not you?
Are you having trouble moving on? Maybe it’s because you keep driving by the old dream “just to see” what is going on there.
3. Actively work on the new dream.
Do you want to write a book? Make a transition into a new career? Learn to paint? Start a business? If so, you must do the work to make your dream happen.
Dreams are like plants. They must be fed and nurtured. The way we feed and nurture them is by doing the consistent work that will bring success.
It can be difficult to find the time and emotional energy to work on our dreams. Here are a few resources to help you: