It’s a new dawn. It’s new day. It’s a new world for me.
…and I’m feeling Nina Simone good. :winks at you:
I’m going to be honest, I used to get annoyed when I asked people how they were and they replied with,
“Living the dream.”
My first thought would be,
‘Are you REALLY living the dream? Are you really living at the pinnacle of your life? If so, congratulations. But I’m so confused, you were just blanking and complaining to me yesterday.’
Whenever the question, ‘How are you?’ was posed to me, I never responded with, “Living the dream.” Because in my mind there was too much that I still wanted to achieve and to accomplish before that could be a true statement.
BUT I’ve changed my mind.
I AM Living the Dream.
And what is “the dream?”
Maybe there is no “the dream” because dreams differ from person to person. But then again maybe there is.
You might think it would be better to say ‘I’m living MY dream’ rather than ‘I’m living THE dream,’ but in my case that’s simply not true. The dream I’m living isn’t exactly mine. It’s not one my feeble mind could create. The dream I’m living is greater than what my own heart and mind can comprehend.
Unfortunately, in American society “The Dream” is often associated with a fabulous lifestyle. “The Dream” is associated with ease and an absence of struggle. “The Dream” is supposedly the ability to buy whatever you want or go wherever you want freely; without having to worry about the confines of a budget or a price tag.
In American society “The Dream” is finally capturing the “riches” at the end of the paper chase. It’s amassing more cars, more stuff, more people to wait on you hand and foot, than you could ever ask for.
But is that truly “The Dream?”
And what about the” American dream?”
Assuming “the American Dream” applies to all cultures and creeds, regardless of gender or racial identity. Is going to school, having a higher socio-economic status than my parents, working until I die (I mean “retire”), and “amassing” a spouse (or two), a few kids, a large house, luxury car, and a pet (or two) in the mean time, all there is to life? Really???
I’ve always had a problem with that.
So then why do I say that I’m living the dream?
I’m living the dream because I’ve found joy and contentment.
Living the dream requires striking a certain balance. It requires the exact amount of ambition and contentment. While that may seem tricky, it can be done.
I am working daily to both strike and maintain that balance. I understand that –
My path is my own. I can. I will enjoy my journey.
5 Ways You Too Can “Live the Dream”
Be at home in your skin. Stop comparing yourself to other people. Accept and love yourself. I have learned to embrace every stretch mark, every scar, every kink and curl in my hair, and every other skin-deep “flaw” my insecurities found and at one time obsessed over. Our bodies are exactly that ours. Your body, your temple, your home, your tent while here on earth so it is your responsibility to love it and take care of it.
Love. Have love. God is Love. John 3:16. Receive GOD’s love for you. Accept the love others freely give you and love everyone you come in contact with. I have embraced GOD’s love for me and I’m constantly learning how to empty myself so that I might be filled with His Love. I am able to love. The ability to love is a gift. By allowing GOD’s love to fill me I can (and will) love those who are easy to love and those society deems unlovely. I’m married! I have found the greatest love adventure this side of heaven with Danny and daily working to make the most of it. Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, you can still make the most of the love found in your other relationships.
Have HOPE. The world is ugly and gloomy sometimes. But its also filled with indescribable beauty. To simply ignore the fact that world is falling apart is to be numb and desensitized to the evils around us. The key is remaining sensitive enough to be concerned and deeply affected. Hope ignites the desire to be light; its believing that we can make a positive difference. To be so sensitive without hope would mean insanity and literally losing our mind.
Know your purpose and walk in it. Everyone asks themselves at some point or other what they should do with their life. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time out or puts in the effort to truly discover their purpose and so they end up settling. When it felt like I would never find my purpose I simply created one, “MY dream.” I had an elaborate life plan that blew up in my face. Finally, I turned to the manufacturer of All life, GOD, and I simply believed what He said. As a result I know that writing, and sharing, is something I was born to do, and so I do it. This blog and my commitment to it is a large part of that. But I have also found other ways to use my gift in writing and it’s even producing income. Is it full time yet? No. But the progress in that area proves that GOD has endorsed and authored it.
Use “The Struggle.” Learn to be thankful for every obstacle, every challenge, every disappointment, and every setback. When faced with difficult circumstances we have two options – give up or continue to push through and persevere. I have learned, and consequently chosen, to persevere. Perseverance exercises our inner strength and builds our character. There Is an END to every difficulty. I’m thankful that I’ve learned to embrace the tough times and thankful for the lessons and strength that result from “struggling.”
I write this not having achieved all there is to achieve or having accomplished all I will accomplish. I do not have a luxury car or even extravagant designer clothes and shoes. I do not have a house. BUT I am content. I have a place to lay my head and I’m continuing to make it a home with my husband. I have clothes and shoes. I share a car with my husband. I love myself! :Kendrick Lamar voice: and I’m progressing in my purpose.
I AM Living the Dream. That doesn’t mean I won’t aspire to higher heights it simply means I can be grateful right where I am.
Finally, I’ll share the first message Daniel and I got on our ask.fm
That matters so much!
What other ways do you think we can “live the dream” right where we are? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
There’s a song they sang in the church I grew up in that says,
“If I can help someone along the way, then my living will not be in vain.”
Let’s not live in vain and let’s not live vainly.
Sending you light,
Chat with Cara and Danny here: Ask Us Anything
For more ways to BE light and get involved with X-Ray Wednesdays click here.