Do you remember how, when we were children, nothing in the world seemed impossible? When you speak to children and ask them what they want to be, there’s no shortage of creativity in their responses. They’re not limited by broken dreams.
The same is not always true of adults. Many of us have met with disappointments in life, that it’s sometimes difficult to allow ourselves to dream with the same abandon that is natural to us.
Instead of ‘dreaming,’ we’re ‘goal setting, realistic and achievable goals.’ We’ve forgotten that many of the things that exist in the world today at one time seemed unachievable.
Yet every now and again, we catch a glimpse of the goodness of the Universe, when the seeds we planted or dreams we had come to fruition. When this happens, we say it’s happening “all of a sudden.” Yet the reality is, while we may have planted the seeds of our dreams and forgotten about them, God certainly did not.
Some of our dreams, particularly the bigger ones, may take longer to manifest. What’s more, we also amend them with each experience we live. When what we want takes somewhat longer to manifest, it’s not because it’s not coming. It’s because God wants the perfect way to deliver it to us; a way that’s best suited to our current circumstances.
Psalm 55:22 tells us to “Ask and it is given.” It doesn’t add, ‘but make a plan.’
Yet many of us want to go beyond mere asking. We want to work out how what we want will come to us. But as human beings, we’re limited in our knowledge; and our resources can never match those of God, who flows throughout everyone and everything. At any given moment, God can orchestrate the delivery of what we want in our lives in a way that we never could.
But many of us have convinced ourselves that we need to ‘struggle’ to be worthy of anything good. We try to compensate for our faltering faith with uninspired action; and then get frustrated when what we want so desperately, and have been working so long and hard for, doesn’t arrive in our lives.
I always tell my clients that, one of the quickest ways to bring what you want into your life is not to worry about it. Trust that it will come. It seems counter-intuitive, particularly when we’ve been taught our whole lives that only lazy people don’t work for what they want. But we all know people who’ve worked for years, yet have relatively little to show for it.
Do you know the story of the Baal Shem Tov, the founder of the Hasidic movement?
The story goes that one day, he lead his students to Romania. When they arrived there, they saw green fields in the horizon, a sign of the earth’s unlimited abundance and fertility. Yet in a far off corner, they also saw a dry, brown patch of land.
The Baal Shem Tov lead his students to the desolate area and on it, they saw a farmer toiling away on his soil. He buried his seeds one at a time, row by row and didn’t stop for two whole days. Despite this, nothing grew.
After two days, the farmer returned to the first row and dug up the first seed, cleaned it off and replanted it in the earth. So terrified that some worm, or bacteria would damage his seeds, he took matters into his own hands and did this with all the seeds.
After observing him for a while, the Baal Shem Tov approached the farmer and offered to look after his field while he rested. The exhausted farmer agreed, and trudged to his hut to take a nap.
Barely a minute after putting his head down, the Baal Shem Tov screamed, “Hey, are you asleep?”
The startled farmer jumped up and said, “Yes. Are the seeds OK?”
“They’re fine,” said the Baal Shem Tov. “I was just checking if you were asleep.”
Again the farmer lay his head down to sleep and yet again, the Baal Shem Tov woke him: “Are you asleep now,” he said?
“Yes,” responded the man impatiently. “Can’t you see that I’m asleep?”
“Okay,” said the Baal Shem Tov. “I was just making sure that you’re really asleep.”
After a few more times of this, the Baal Shem Tov climbed into his carriage and headed home, leaving the farmer and the field alone in peace.
After seven days, the man awoke from his nap. In a panic, he rushed outside to check his seeds, but what he saw astounded him. In every corner of his field, there was growth! Because his seeds had not been interrupted, they had blossomed!
In what way are you like the farmer, disturbing the seeds you’ve planted in your own life? Do you have faith that they’ll grow, or do you hamper their growth by taking action too soon?
Don’t over-estimate the importance of ‘hard work,’ in your life ÔÇô it can never compensate for a failure to connect with the Divine, and stay in the flow of life. Get into the flow of life by staying positive; and having faith that those things you want are on their way to you.
Water the seeds of your dreams with faith and watch them bloom. Every now and again, when the weeds of doubt show up, uproot them carefully, but don’t uproot your dreams with them.
Don’t give up on your dreams, then claim that you never get what you want. Believe in them at their inception. Or, as Leo Tolstoy put it, “see things in the seed, that is genius.”
Hold an unwavering vision of the end result in your mind; and it must come to pass!
*Primrose Oteng is a Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) and the Founder of the Positive Peace Project, an organization dedicated to creating positive change through personal empowerment. For more information please visit: www.positivepeaceproject.co.bw