"Behold, this dreamer cometh"
They will say you're a dreamer
a dreamer is what you are
the kind that finds a wishing star.
If you have hope to count on,
your hopes are not in vain,
'cause you can't count on rainbows without rain.
You'll find it's strictly up to you.
Take your dreams, and make your dreams come true.
-"It's Strictly Up to You" from the Wizard of Oz (1982 anime)
The topic of dreams and the dreamers who possess them has been brought to my attention this week. The week began with a storyteller reading several books about ambition to small children and songs about achieving goals appeared on my musical playlist. Yesterday, I overheard a prayer about the Biblical character, Joseph and the envy that his brothers felt toward him. Though I had heard the story thousands of times, I decided to take another look at it, for in every tale there is a lesson that may be beneficial to your life.
Lesson 1: Watch Who You Keep Around
I began with Genesis 37:19 and it read "And they said to one another, 'Behold, this dreamer cometh.'" I was taken aback by the pure vitriol of that one line. If it were said in today's terms, it probably would sound like, "Look who's coming, it's THAT (probably insert profanity) again" with a neck roll or eye roll to complement it. Haters are as old as ancient dust. When you are successful or on your way to greatness, everyone in the stands is not your cheerleader. Your ambitions and drive are like a knife through their very souls. It does not matter what field you are in or what path you are on, jealousy's intention is to slither into your life in various forms. You may be concentrating on the betterment or enlightenment of yourself and fail to notice the schemers in your corner.
In Genesis 37:20 the brothers then say, " Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams."
The first lesson that you can learn from the character Joseph is to watch who you keep around you. Not everyone is your companion, even if you have known them for years. Joseph's "enemies" were his own brothers. To them, Joseph's dreams were their demise. Do not be so focused on your goals that you overlook the traps one or many may be setting out for you. Dive into your goals, but be aware.
Lesson 2: Do Not Tell Everyone Your Plans
Genesis 37: 5 -6 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, 'Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed.'"
Sometimes, we are so passionate about our projects or opportunities that we desire to share it with everyone. I advise that you do not share your dreams with anyone until they have either manifested or are in their final, irreversible stages. There have been many dreamers whose plans were sabotaged by an envious party. Some have had others rob their ideas, take credit for THEIR projects, spread lies about them to others or send people to infiltrate your journey toward accomplishment. The error that Joseph made was sharing his prophetic dreams with those who did not have his best interest at heart. His passion came across as bragging to those who despised him. Joseph should have kept his desires safely within until they either manifested organically or were achieved in an efficient, yet subtle way. Only share your goals with those whom you trust.
Lesson 3: Use Your Talents and Character to Create Opportunity in Any Situation
Genesis 41:15 "And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it."
Though Joseph was in a dire situation, he used his talents as a stepping stone to transmute failure into opportunity. His negative experiences enduring enslavement, false accusations and prison only strengthened him. He never lost sight of his goals. Because he kept his focus and saw the grander picture, he used his abilities to gain friends, admirers and to open doors to higher levels.
We may be suffering financially, physically or mentally, but we must hold on to our goals. The metaphysical writer, Florence Scovel Shinn calls this the darkness before the dawn, where everything seems to fall apart before our desires come to pass. The average person in Joseph's situation may not have had the willpower to make it through. They may have chosen a toxic addiction or even suicide. But Joseph had faith in his Higher Power and also faith in his talents. When adverse appearances attempt to ruin you, hold on, for success is within your reach.
Lesson 4: Every Man is a Golden Link in the Chain of Your Good
Genesis 45:4 - 5 "And Joseph said unto his brethren, 'Come near to me, I pray you.' And they came near. And he said, 'I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.'"
The tale ends with Joseph revealing himself to his brothers who believed that he was dead. Joseph could have taken revenge upon them. They had made him suffer through imprisonment, enslavement and had even attempted to murder him. However, he only emphasized the beauty of his tribulations. He had reached a higher level of thinking than them and did not give into his animal nature of vengeance. If it were not for his haters, he would not be in the position of power. If it were not for his loathers he would have not been able to save the lives of so many. He revamped his trials into winning and the only thing that seemed most fitting was to thank them.
Our haters, enemies and accusers are can be used for our benefit. They make us work harder, become more clever and strive to be better. They can be used as fuel to perfect our practice and decision making. Over time, we too may see the necessity of their presence. Every human is a golden link in the chain of our good, whether they know it or not. As we advance in our spiritual and mental development, we will cease to be disturbed by the people who seek to make our dreams crumble. Every human is a golden link in the chain of our good.