Counterfeit Dreams


I have a long commute to work. Much of the time is filled with prayer, reading, and writing.  I’m strongly inner-focused as I travel; yet I often travel with a smile. The time will pass anyway. Why not enjoy it?

I can’t help noticing, though, as I ride the subway part of my journey, how “serious”, how “dark” many people seem to be.  They carry their life like a great and painful weight that they can never be free of.

We all have different challenges in life. I won’t compare myself to anyone else.  Still, for myself, I know that the emptiness that I feel at times comes from abandoning or suppressing my unique gifts and dreams, and going after something that “everyone” says I should do. I call these dreams that you acquire from other people “counterfeit dreams”. The funny thing about these dreams is that they can be great and wonderful dreams on their own, but if they’re not yours they’re still counterfeit.

Have you ever noticed how some of the most wonderful activities in the world lose their sweetness when we do them out of obligation instead of passion and love?  If we can turn the wonderful into an endless burden, imagine how we’ll feel with a life centered on goals that aren’t wonderful at all, or at least were never wonderful to us.

And, on the other hand, you can be passionate about something that a billion other people are passionate about—say, for example, raising a child. And, if you’re truly passionate about that activity or goal yourself, not simply because you’ve copied someone else’s passion, then your passion is true for you, and with that truth there’s tremendous power.

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