fbpx Skip to content


Many people have had their loftiest dreams crushed by this heartless life. There are countless books and blogs about how to deal with that kind of trauma.

Then some achieve dreams to find they feel more like nightmares. And after all the soul-crushing work it took to get here! Now the dream is about what life would be like if we’d been smart enough to take our budding ambitions by the throat and strangle them before they had the chance to grow up and steal our happiness.

What do you do when you feel like that?

Be Reasonable. Do you have a practical way to course-correct your entire career path? Is there a real action plan? If not, worrying about those “what ifs” will only make you crazier. Ignore yourself, stuff those stupid feelings down, and find something else to think about. If the answer is yes, great! Move forward in both cases. Dwelling (excessively) on and staying mired in depressing feelings will only dig you into a hole straight downward.

Be Grateful. Force yourself to be grateful. Stop staring gloomily at the disturbing parts of your situation and try to remember what excited you about this path so much you nearly killed yourself to climb it. There are always things to be thankful for. Shift your focus off your disappointments to those more.

Be Outward Looking. Look around… Stop worrying about yourself and start worrying about the other miserable humans around you. Many of them had dreams once too. And many of them still do. They could use your help. Focus on your loved ones especially. This is hard in our morose moments, when all we want to do is feel sorry for ourselves. Get out of your head and be with the people you love, the people who need you. As the poet of paradox (G. K. Chesterton) said, “Yourself, yourself, yourself—the only companion that is never satisfied and never satisfactory.”[1]

Along those lines, remember those in your life.

Remember Your Loved Ones. Who do you keep ignoring? Who may find you a nightmare while you bemoan your nightmares? This is not OK. Others shouldn’t have to suffer just because you feel empty. Give up for them. No, even more… Get back into that nightmare and fight for them. Refocus your energy from useless wistfulness and self-pity to actively serve them with whatever you can muster. You’ve learned it the hard way: career paths lie, ambitions shimmer with pyrite glint, dreams that seem so alive one day fade. But the efforts we put into those we love can last a lifetime.

(A note: sometimes you need more than you can do yourself. If you need additional, professional help from a pastor, counselor, or doctor, make that appointment. Now.)

Remember Christ. Christ’s kingdom can be described in the same way, but infinitely more. The great Poet of Peace said it best: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and destroy and where thieves break in and steal but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.” All this life will but seem but a moment when we are with Him (Philippians 3:20).

He never commanded you to feel happy. He does command you to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

So get back up once again on those shaky knees and lift your bloody knuckles for the thousandth time. Take a deep breath and get back in there.

Some things are much bigger than our dreams.

[1] https://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Gilbert_K_Chesterton/Manalive/Part_I_The_Enigmas_of_Innocent_Smith_Chapter_IV_The_Garden_of_the_God_p2.html

Published inMusings

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *