You Can't Share Your Dream With Everyone. That's OK.

Are you a dreamer? Just about everyone has a dream – or several. It can be something that gets you through the dark times of life, a rose in December, if you will, or it can be what drives you to keep pressing on and moving forward. Dreaming is not a bad thing; it’s hope and life and the belief that one day your heart’s desire will be realized.

As humans, it is in our nature to share our deepest hopes and dreams with the ones closest to us – the ones with whom we feel a close emotional bond. That sharing is a normal part of relationship building. After all, transparency and vulnerability are vital elements of any relationship. However, not all relationships can or should withstand that level of intimacy. There are just some people in our lives with whom we can’t share certain things. And that’s OK.

Different relationships have different levels of intimacy

There is no standard level of intimacy that applies to every relationship you have; the definitions change and the degree at which you reveal personal aspects of your life changes. What you tell one person in one relationship may not be what you would tell someone in another relationship – nor should you. It is important to determine what is appropriate in terms of the relationship and your own self-preservation.

Bottom line, you need to be able to expose yourself emotionally to someone, but not everyone.

Not everyone is equipped to hear and understand your hopes, dreams, and challenges. Some people may be great at helping you work through complex life situations, but when it comes time to provide you with emotional support or offer encouragement, they fall flat. On the other hand, there are probably people in your life who are incredible at inspiring you to follow your dreams, but terrible when it comes to listening and empathizing with you when the going gets tough.

No one can be everything to you at all times – nor should they be. So, what do you do when you have bared your soul to someone close to you, shared your dreams and visions, only to have them let you down?

Some people are just dream killers – and we need them too

There are some people who can’t see the value in dreaming, or they don’t want to see it. At every turn they will tell you things that bring you down and squash your dreams. They are the dream killers and they can be instrumental in seeing your dreams come to fruition. It’s all in how you handle these people. You don’t have to take everything they say to heart. They are great at playing devil’s advocate though, and they may identify challenges or barriers that you may not have considered. Don’t let them kill your dreams, but do use what they say to construct a more solid plan that will get you where you want to be.

Use the experience to your advantage

No experience in your life should be wasted, no matter how traumatic or distressing. When you’ve shared your dreams with someone and they didn’t act in a way you wanted or expected them to, it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. Take a step back emotionally and look for the lessons nestled inside the experience – not the knee-jerk, overly emotional reactions that you’ll never share again or you’ll give up on dreaming. Shift your focus to finding what you can truly learn from this encounter.

Only you can keep your dream alive

Your dream is yours. It was given to you and you only. Others may have dreams like it, but this one is yours and there isn’t another quite like it. This dream resides within your heart and flows through your entire body, touching your decisions, perceptions, and inspirations. Only you have the power to keep it alive – or kill it - and you need to understand that. Others may be able to offer you support or direction, but only you can keep the lifeblood of that dream flowing through you.

Keep your relationships appropriate

In some of your relationships it is appropriate to share intimate things like dreams. In others, it is not. There are numerous factors that determine this level of appropriateness and it is up to you to do that analysis. All relationships are different with different rules depending on the nature of the relationship and the nature of the person. Learn to discern which relationships are best suited for dream sharing and which aren’t.

There is not a person on the planet who can keep your dream alive for you. You can’t give it away and it can’t be taken from you, so when you share your dream with someone and they let you down, that’s all it is. They didn’t react in the way you wanted or expected – but don’t give them more power over your life than they truly have or deserve. They can’t steal your dream or kill it unless you hand it over to them and allow it.

Dream on.