Today I saw a construction worker drive over his own ladder, thus confounding his dream of completing his work in the near future, and bang went the homeowner’s dream of moving in ASAP. He had been working on a site when it began to rain. Grabbing his tools, clothing and ladder, he hastily packed the first two into the back of his van, having thrown the ladder in front of the wheels of the van. He didn’t check the front before climbing in and driving off. It may have been the loud noise of the protesting ladder that stopped him as he attempted to drive off, or maybe it was because the wheels lost a bit of traction. He stopped, and in disgust removed the now mangled ladder, threw it onto a pile of building rubble, climbed back into the driver’s seat and sat contemplating for a while.
And I thought how we all do this. We have dreams about all kinds of things: work, friendships, relationships, writing, a new possession—and in one fell swoop—a thoughtless action, a badly inserted word—we manage to either destroy them, or cause such damage they either need to be completely rebuilt (more often than not becoming parodies of the original), or thrown away and, hopefully after a time of introspection, new ones copiously made.
We have a dream—the moon at the top of the ladder (finish the house according to the contract—or, the more immediate, get out of the rain) and sometimes we think the rungs through before placing our feet on them (put implements away and do not throw ladder in front of wheels). This is my dream; I am here; how do I get there; what do I need to do this in the easiest way without causing damage or losing a limb; if causing damage is on one of the rungs, do I really want this dream; is the dream worth the collateral damage or will it turn into an apocalyptic nightmare; if I decide it is worth the collateral damage, what can I do to minimize it?
“How do I look today,” your best friend asks and true to your dream of “always speaking your truth regardless” you tell her she looks weird or that her outfit would look better in a circus, and her dream of looking stunning goes up in a pile of smoke, and just maybe so too does your friendship. One woman dreams of having an idyllically fulfilling relationship with her husband and children; another woman has the same dream—unfortunately it just so happens to be with the other’s husband. One man dreams of using the power that comes with his existing position to help and uplift the people working for him; another man dreams of taking this same position to help himself. A child dreams of having a toy, and receives it; another dreams of having the same toy, and takes it.
When we set our minds on our dreams—our work, our relationships, our health, our possessions—we put intent into action; and the power of intent is awesome in its doing. Do we ever stop to think about how what we want—our dreams—affect others? If we use the Mindfulness Ladder and set our feet on the first rung of unconditional love for all things, stepping up with compassion, caring, honesty, trust, determination and courage, the dreams we realize open the dreams of those around us to be realized too.
There is something wonderful about a dream—we make it come true. There is also something very much not wonderful about a dream—we make it come true. Be careful with your dreams, they affect others. May we make only wonderful dreams.