One of the most profound things that I have ever heard is that we should not be scared of the cemetery because it represents death of the physical but because it represents death of another kind. How many people do you know of that have gone to the grave without reaching their full potential? Those people who could have been doctors, artists, politicians, etc. Why is it that they never reached their goals or potential?
I always thought when I was a bit younger, that no one could touch my dreams. I was going to reach them, period. As I started to get older, I found that reaching those goals, especially when it came to my astronomically high goals, was not going to be as simple as I thought. It takes time, money, stamina, and a whole lot of faith. It takes a lot to achieve your dreams and Lord knows it would be easier to just find a 9-5 and call it quits.
So why do we do it? For those of us who refuse to quit, for those of us who refuse to give up? In my opinion, it’s the simple fact that it’s not an option for us. Ask a nun why she is a nun and she will tell you that there was no other choice for her. Dreamers, the true dreamers, would rather die on the vine, than to admit defeat. To not see their visions of their lives come true is greater and hurts more than death itself.
However, as stubborn as we are not to admit defeat and to keep trying, fear is our greatest enemy. Fear of failing, fear of succeeding, fear that the plan for our lives may not turn out to be the plan all along.
The dictionary definition of fear is, “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined.”
The operative phrase in this definition is “real or imagined.” Many times what we fear is in our minds. What we think is going to happen, or how we think something is going to go wrong keeps us from trying all together.
As I head into my 25th year I’ve reflected on all my fears and many of them were simply in my mind. What I thought would happen if I went to that audition without experience or a head shot or how I thought a casting director would react if he saw that I had braces on. The tricky thing about fear is that it takes hold of you, and starts to manifest into several other emotions like doubt, guilt, pressure, and resentment.
So every now and again I find myself standing on the out skirts of a cemetery looking at the countless tomb stones. Reading the thoughtful words their families and friends marked on each stone and I came across one that changed the way I looked at myself and the future. The tombstone was small, marbled, and read one word, “Dreamer.” The family didn’t think to put an actual name to their loved one’s stone or even the dates to which they were present on earth. Instead they wrote the one thing that this person was…truly was but never became.
I challenge all you dreamers. The next time you take a trip to the dark side of your mind, and find yourselves thinking that that you can’t start that business, you’ll never be good enough to be in a movie, or you are not bright enough to put that invention into practice, I want you to visit a cemetery. Take a look at the names and sentiments on each tomb stone, and think about the dreams that will never be realized, and then think of your own dreams, and your fears, and remember that the only place fear will lead your dreams is to the grave.