I remember a favourite childhood game of mine was playing "Make Believe" . My friends and I would dream up all sorts of scenarios in which we would all take turns to be the star. From owning shiny fiery red sports cars to elaborate fairy palaces to wearing long silver gowns dipped in liquid diamonds. The more fanciful the ideas, the more excited we would become and we would feel euphoric with happiness. There was nothing we could not become. Of course this earned me the reputation of a dreamer.
Today I am still that dreamer, and I am a great advocate to follow your dreams and to live them, but last night, after spending some time with a friend of mine over the telephone, I started looking at it from a different point of view. I realised that we have to be careful that our dreams do not take over our lives, our existence to such an extent that we forget to live in the here and now.
The reason I say this is that Lucy, my friend of many years, has yet to find happiness. She's been poor, she's been rich, she's currently financially comfortable, she's been single, married, single again and very popular with the male species, her son is a qualified doctor and her daughter a successful designer. From the outside she lives everybody's dream life, yet Lucy is always dreaming of something more. She always begins a sentence with "If only". "If only" I can get that promotion, "if only" I could meet somebody as financially well-off as myself, "if only" I can buy that car...... ended of with "then I would also be happy".
Needless to say, all these things have at some time or another come true for her, but the happiness has never followed.
Why? It is a question I have often pondered.
The answer lies in this simple truth. Lucy has never learnt to appreciate one of life's greatest gifts, the gift of now. This very moment is what I have. When I appreciate this moment, then I can also count the blessings I have in this moment. There is no need to drive a bigger car, have more money in the bank if I am able to value what I have right now. Happiness is here right now. Happiness can never be found in having the things you want, happiness is when you want the things you already possess right now, right in this perfect and beautiful moment. Start right now and count your blessings and see the abundance you already have in your life.
By all means dream, and dream big, but never forget to also be absolutely aware of what is around you now, embrace and appreciate it. Do not let this moment just pass into the lost moments of time. Treasure it.