Read first lines from: Dare, Dream, Do: Remarkable Things Happen When You Dare to Dream By Whitney Johnson
PART ONE: DARE. Why Dreaming is Essential
1. To Make Meaning of Life
When I was seventeen, my parents divorced. In retrospect, it’s not so much the divorce that was painful, it was everything that it meant—that my parents didn’t really love each other, that maybe they never had (my mom was pregnant when they married), that they weren’t happy. As their oldest child, I wondered if perhaps things might have been different if only I’d been brilliant enough or attractive enough. Or would they even have married if I hadn’t been born?
Sharing those memories is still painful, even decades after the fact; but as I get older, I recognize that some of my greatest strengths were born of that sadness. For example, my desire to have a happy marriage and a happy family life is resolute. Period. (My household is far from perfect, but we’re happy.) When someone I know is affected by a divorce, I understand. I know that the situation is complicated and that, regardless of why the marriage is dissolving, the experience is wrenching. My drive, my intense focus on improvement, is likely a means of trying to measure up, and I’m quite certain that my laser-like focus on encouraging and mentoring is my attempt to be the encouraging voice I wanted to hear.
Difficulties we don’t deserve happen to all of us. Yet, when we dream, we begin to make meaning of these challenges. We give ourselves hope, and we can hope that the sorrow and pain we’ve walked through will help lighten someone else’s load.
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© 2012 by Whitney Johnson