With recognition of your dream comes the responsibility for your dream. No one will care for your dream more than you and if you don’t carefully guard your dream, your dream runs the risk of being demeaned and destroyed.
What do I mean?
Unless you respectfully steward your dream, you can’t expect others to show your dream respect.
Unless you carefully guard your dream, you can’t expect others to see its value.
Unless you define the boundaries around your dream, no one else will understand the need for boundaries.
You are your dream’s bodyguard and protector.
Sometimes, protecting your dream means locking others away from your dream. As our dream’s chief bodyguards, we must carefully consider who is allowed to gain access and exert influence over our dream.
When I first allowed my self to name and claim my dream, I didn’t understand the need to practice discernment in sharing that dream.
I allowed anyone and everyone to read and criticize my writing.
My mood, my self-worth, and my level of dreaming fluctuated wildly depending on who was interacting with my projects.
Don’t get me wrong. I absolutely understand the need to surround myself with careful evaluators. I encourage my trusted friends to read, evaluate, critique, and constructively challenge my writing. I know that what they share, they share out of love for me, and a desire to see my dream grow and flourish.
Sadly, it didn’t take me long to realize that not everyone fell into that uplifting category. No, there were people who weren’t interested in encouraging and undergirding me. There were people who were prone to a critical spirit. There were people who couldn’t grasp the importance of dreaming. There were people who knew only how to tear down, rather than build up.
Those types of people discouraged, depressed, and defeated me.
Although they never missed a typo or awkward sentence, they rarely caught a thought or emotion. When I asked them what they thought of my content, to a person they couldn’t remember what they had read.
They functioned simply as evaluators; not as those looking to grow and learn.
For too long, I allowed their critical words and disparaging thoughts to discourage my efforts. I based my worth, or lack thereof, on their opinion of my writing and me.
Fortunately, I had mentors and peers teaching me to change my focus. They reminded me that I alone was the guardian of my dream, the caretaker of that passion that God had placed inside my heart.
Slowly, I’m learning. Slowly, I’m realizing that just because I have a dream to share doesn’t mean that my dream must be shared with everyone.
There are folks who will never see what I produce. Not because I don’t care for them. Not because they’re not my friends, but simply because they have proven themselves untrustworthy to share the preciousness of my dream.
It’s okay to protect your dream. In fact it’s more than okay… It’s essential.
What God has placed in your heart, you must carefully protect.
Just like you shelter your children, you must shelter your dream. Shelter it, protect it, and expose it to those who will build it, improve it, and respect it.
Keep on dreaming and keep on protecting that dream!
Who have you allowed to gain access to your dream? Are they careful guardians of the dream with which you've been entrusted?