Hello my thankful Thursday Dreamers!
Valentines Day is almost upon us and I find myself thinking about dreaming big, love, gratitude and empowering you to change your life. The frenzy about the day has me thinking about the men that we love, the men that we want to fall in love with, and how love plays a part of the dreaming process.
I want to start this article by telling you that I am grateful for my education.
Education has enabled me to have a career and something of my own where I can creatively express myself. In developing countries it can be difficult to obtain an education, if you are a girl, and education is a powerful tool for making your dreams come true. I know that I am lucky. I am grateful for the opportunities my education has afforded me.
But education also makes me a better partner for my husband, who I love and adore. It makes me a partner in our relationship and gives me the ability to make a living if something tragic were to happen. It gives me personal security beyond the security I feel from being with my beloved.
If you were to ask me, as a young woman, what the most important thing is that you could do to make your dreams come true, even if your dreams are to fall in love, then I would tell you to go to school.
Learn. Read. Expand what you know.
Don’t be afraid to explore the opposite opinions that are not your own. Become more than you are at this period in time before you settle down. If you choose love first, before you have something of your own, then you will forever be turning to your partner to create your life for you. That’s a lot for one person of a partnership to carry in these modern times.
It also leaves you with a sense of co-dependence where you feel powerless when maybe that isn’t the case at all.
Love is beautiful. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by it. It fuels my soul, there’s no denying this, but I don’t expect my husband and daughter to make my dreams come true. I expect them to support me, just as I support their dreams, but they cannot do the work that I have been called to do. They are my first dreams-come-true in their own right, but by dreaming big myself I can take this lovely life we live and expand it as my husband expands his dreams. My successful dreams become their successful lives too and the other way around.
But it all starts with knowing who you are and accomplishing some educational dreams before you fall in love and settle into family life.
Because when you know yourself, you will recognize the right kind of love when it shows up in your life. Education and a dream help you understand if the love that shows up is the right love for you. Real love takes time and it’s built on understanding what love looks like from a place of empowerment.
Many years ago, a respected American advice columnist wrote about what real love looks like. Her name is Ann Landers and this is what she wrote:
Is It Love or Infatuation?
Infatuation is fleeting desire — one set of glands calling to another. It is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager, but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about the relationship that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the dream.
Love is friendship that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Love is quiet understanding and mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you — to bolster your beloved. You are warmed by his/her presence, even when he/she is away. Miles do not separate you. You have so many wonderful films in your head that you keep replaying. But near or far, you know he/she is yours, and you can wait.
Infatuation says, “We must get married right away. I can’t risk losing him.” Love says, “Be patient. Don’t panic. Plan your future with confidence.”
Infatuation has an element of sexual excitement. Whenever you are together, you hope it will end in intimacy.
Love is not based on sex. It is the maturation of friendship that makes sex so much sweeter. You must be friends before you can be lovers.
Infatuation lacks confidence. When he’s away, you wonder if he’s being unfaithful. Sometimes, you check.
Love means trust. You are calm, secure and un-threatened. He feels your trust, and it makes him even more trustworthy.
Infatuation might lead you to do things you will regret, but love never steers you in the wrong direction.
Love is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you better than you were before.
And I would argue about dreaming big …
Are you dreaming the right dream?
Daydreaming is a fleeting desire — one set of wishes calling to another. It is marked by a feeling of insecurity. You are excited and eager, but not genuinely happy. There are nagging doubts about your abilities, unanswered questions, little bits and pieces about the daydream that you would just as soon not examine too closely. It might spoil the daydream.
A real dream is an idea that has caught fire. It takes root and grows, one day at a time. Your real passion has a quiet understanding and a mature acceptance of imperfection. It is real. It gives you strength and grows beyond you — to bolster your resolve. You are warmed by working on your dream, even when it’s difficult. Setbacks do not stop you. You have so many wonderful daydream films in your head that you keep replaying. But now or in the future, you know this dream is a part of who you are, and you have to work on it.
Daydreaming says, “We must achieve this right away. I can’t risk failing!” A real dream says, “Be patient. Don’t panic. Plan your future with confidence.”
Daydreaming has an element of quick excitement. Whenever you are lost in thoughts, you have doubts.
A real dream is not based on hope. It is the realization that major goals have to be achieved that makes dreaming big so much sweeter. You must change and grow before you can achieve success.
Daydreaming lacks confidence. When you are not lost in thought, you wonder if you are crazy when you daydream. Sometimes, you engage in behaviors that distract you from your thoughts.
A real dream means trust. You are calm, secure and un-threatened. You feel your trust in your abilities, and it makes your dream even more real.
Daydreaming might lead you to do things you will regret, but your real dream never steers you in the wrong direction.
Big dreaming is elevating. It lifts you up. It makes you look up. It makes you better than you were before.
Spend this Valentine’s day falling in love with you and your dream. Become who you are meant to be in this life before you share it with someone else. Learn more about your craft. Learn more about you.
Go back to school. Read all that you can. Be thankful for where you are on your dream journey and know that you can be more. Understand that you are special and be sure to love you before you decide to share you with someone else.
My Valentine’s Day Thank You message goes out to all of you who have waited for love and decided in the meantime to invest in your big dreams and learn more.
Learning more is the key…to love…to dreaming big…to practicing gratitude.
You are worth it.
Sue Faith Levy
Just Pursue It!
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Sue Levy is the founder of the South African Just Pursue It Blog and Inspirational Women Initiative. She’s a motivational writer and media designer, who is obsessed with everything inspirational with a hint of geek. She thrives on teaching women how to be brave and take big chances on themselves.