Allowing dreams, revisited

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While I’m exploring The Sacred Alone with 322 other people (that sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it) I thought I’d share an old post from 2009. I don’t know why I even thought to read this post today, but perhaps there’s somebody out there who needs to read these words. I offer this as yet more evidence that we CAN create the life we dream of. That is IS worth trying, it IS worth reaching high. In a year’s time, or five years’ time, or even in six months’ time, life could look very different. Let’s work towards making that happen…


Sometimes we don’t believe we are worthy of receiving what we dream of; sometimes we don’t believe it could ever happen. Sometimes we are so convinced of our apparent unworthiness we do everything we can to prevent the good stuff entering our lives. We don’t do this consciously, of course. I’m slowly learning that all I need to do to help the good stuff manifest is to step out the way, to stop littering the path with my worries and insecurities, and all the endless head-chatter that scares the dream whisps away. In some ways it’s easier to sabotage our dreams than help them become reality — that way, when they don’t happen we can shrug our shoulders and say, ‘see? I knew it. I’m not worth it.’ But lately I’ve been trying this idea on for size: what if I AM worthy? What if it is okay for good things to come into my life?

There was a part of me that assumed life would be easier once I survived the grief — that I’d embrace a new life-is-short credo and let go of all my fears, gliding through life feeling the power of survival under my wings. But that didn’t happen. Life still felt as difficult as ever, if not more so. But today I realised that I’ve reached a place where I’ve let go of some expectations — of what my life should be looking like by now, of what I am capable of doing, of who I could be. I’m starting to embrace what is, and that includes giving my dreams more space to breathe.

I always thought I’d be married with kids by now, that I’d be more successful by now, and more established blah blah blah. What I’m starting to grasp is that this is it — this is my life — so why not have some fun with it? View it as a malleable batch of bread dough and see what shapes I can create. Because no one else is going to do it for me, and, heck, maybe some good stuff will happen. This weekend I made a good start on my book proposal, and in doing so I drop-kicked the whiny but-who-do-i-think-i-am-to-write-a-book out of my third-floor window.

My part of the deal is to work hard, be committed and have a little faith. And to make room in my life for the good stuff to flow. We are allowed to have our dreams, big and small and everything in between. Think of them like your children, to be protected and nurtured, believed in and encouraged — and when the time is right, you need only get out of their way so they can stretch their wings and fly.

First posted November 1st, 2009

27 responses
  1. Stephanie

    I’m someone who needed to read these words today. I’ve been struggling with allowing myself to believe in my dreams, to the point of not remembering what my dreams actually are.
    I’m taking baby steps in the right direction, and this post popping up in my reader is such a beautiful confirmation that I’m on the right track :)
    Thanks so much, Susannah.

  2. susannah

    well there you go — this post was meant for you, honey :) You’ll be amazed at how quickly those beautiful baby steps add up, so keep going! You can do it!

  3. Gemma

    Oh Susannah, I read this post through tears….it was exactly what I needed to read today.

    After declaring my dreams to the universe and feeling so good, the inevitable self-doubt has been creeping back in. Thank you so much for reminding me to let go and make space for great things to happen.

  4. xanthe

    Oh my love. So good to hear this again and again. Thank you xxxx

  5. ashley

    Man, I needed to hear this today. I’m usually a bit timid to comment, but after opening this post after the night I just had, I had to say thanks.
    So thanks. :)

  6. Penny

    Whenever I read your words, I am deeply touched by how profoundly they resonate with me persinally. I am so grateful x

  7. lucinda

    good for you! it’s a fine line we’re forced to toe between chasing our dreams and keeping our feet on the ground. it seems like you’ve got a good balance of both and a great perspective on you life in general. i would love to read your book one day – good luck!

  8. Kristy Daum

    I am particularly drawn to the sentence “I’m starting to embrace what is, and that includes giving my dreams more space to breathe.”

    You have such a clear, simple and wonderful way of expressing things that I would honestly take paragraphs to say.

    Thanks for continuing to share with us.

  9. susannah

    Actually, the book proposal I was writing was the one for This I Know, which is now published :)

  10. Shannon

    Thank you Susannah for reposting. I have been struggling and in a very dark place the past few days. I seem to have lost that sense of hope and optimism that normally guides me. I often try to avoid social media and everyone’s ‘perfect lives’ during these times but then I find this post and see/feel a glimmer of hope again between the bouts of tears. I’m going to read this every day this week until the dark clouds life.

  11. susannah

    Thank you, love xo

  12. susannah

    see? i knew there were lovelies who needed it! Hugs to you, Ashely x

  13. susannah

    Keep making that space, love!! x

  14. susannah

    No perfect life round these parts, love, just real life :D Hang in there! xxx

  15. sheila

    I am taking The Sacred Alone and I can say – without exaggeration – that it is changing me. The intimacy and depth you are able to convey through an e-course is astounding. Thank you.

    And if I can say one more thing without sounding like a groupie . . . I just finished your book and loved it. I have read other books by people whose blogs I read, and I always feel slightly cheated. As if they were just blog posts repackaged. I didn’t feel this way when reading This I Know . . . it is one I want to keep close.

    So thank you for drop-kicking the whiny out the window.

    Sending you love and light.

  16. susannah

    you know, the me of 2009 who wrote that original post would have loved to have known that i would be sitting here now reading your lovely comment and kind words about the book in 2014. Thank you, Sheila! and i’m so glad you’re enjoying the class – i am LOVING it, too :) xxx

  17. Ani

    You never fail to inspire. Spring (while I love it) is a tough season for me. Thanks for sharing this now…looks like I’m in good company with needing to hear these words!

  18. Sabrina

    Have you ever read “Ask and it is given”? I am currently reading it and it is all about allowing the good things to happen and how to invite them into your life. I am new to all this, I haven’t even finished the book.
    This blog post points me in the same direction. It’s something I have to work on, and I am getting excited about the possibilities that allowing the good things can bring into my life!
    Thanks for posting this again, Susannah, it came exactly at the right time for me!

  19. rebecca

    Hi Susannah – I’ve been following your blog for a while now, and I just had to say hi. My dad passed away five years ago (I was 22 then, 27 now). I thought that the hardest part of grieving was over, but showing up in the world has its own surprising/staggering challenges. I’m about to direct and act in my first feature film that I also wrote – all about the experience of grieving my dad and moving forward. It’s completely terrifying to expose myself in this way. And even more so – to ask for help. And in making a movie, I have no choice but to ask for help – for actors, for crew, for money. Every day is full of really huge deep breaths and allowing good things to come to me – allowing people into this collaborative experience. It’s nuts and completely new for me! I have to let it come in – and realize that I’m allowed to receive this help. :-) I have loved returning to your blog every week and finding warmth and courage and inspiration here. Thanks so much for what you do.

  20. shannon

    I needed this so badly today, too, Susannah. Thank you for sharing your wisdom in such an open, honest way. xx

  21. henrietta

    Just recently discovered your blog, and am very drawn to your book. Having suffered a huge bereavement four years ago, I am discovering the jewels and treasures within the scars and pain. BUT still the self sabotage. This post was so useful, I beat myself up for not having achieved more, It seems to me that my daughter’s death was in vain if I cannot at least shine my light. Thankyou for your post…

  22. Alicia

    Thank you for re-posting this entry, Susannah. Years ago, I would’ve been my own obstacle to my dreams. I have my moments; I am far from perfect. It was a huge step for me to admit my story on Sacred Alone; however, I knew it was time. That was my way of releasing my insecurities and stepping to the side, allowing passage for what is here and yet-to-come.

  23. Angie r

    I so needed to read this post tonight. Thank you!

  24. Nanette Gordon-Cramton

    Thank you for your beautiful words, Susannah. I especially needed to hear the part about getting out of my own way.. I am now starting my day on a livelier foot! xo

  25. La plume et la page

    A very interesting post. Thank you for sharing!
    Have a good week Susannah!

  26. Carol

    I’ve had many thoughts over the last few years about ‘what my life should be looking like by now, of what I am capable of doing, of who I could be’. Almost six years ago I walked away from a 10 year relationship with a man who turned out to be not very nice. I’ve spent the last five years rebuilding myself and learning who I am now but still get frustrated sometimes that I’m not where I thought I would be by this point in my life. When that happens I keep reminding myself things take time and the universe will send things my way when I’m ready for them, as it had done over the last few years. Thanks for sharing as it’s always good to know we’re not alone in these thoughts :)

  27. Vicky

    just found this, and it’s lovely, because I’ve suspected that it’s possible to ‘strangle’ dreams instead of doing what feels right and then stepping back to let magic take place. I haven’t visited for a while, because i find it’s too easy to look at the same sites/blogs/feeds regularly and start zoning out and not really appreciate words and images. I think anyone who consciously dates is very brave anyway, especially after a great loss or life-changing experience.

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