Never Stop Dreaming

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ruben Rios
  • 514 Air Mobility Wing
You dreamed of joining the world’s greatest Air Force, but failed the medical. You dreamed of rising to stardom as a dancer but broke your leg. You dreamed of starting a family but your significant other passed in an untimely accident. You dreamed of becoming a pilot but have recently been diagnosed as legally blind.

“Does the dreamer ever stop dreaming?”

Capt. Michael G. Fuentes, 514th Air Mobility Wing chaplain asked this question about dreamers to start off a “Tools to Strengthen Your Inner Self” seminar. The seminar, which was led by Jacklyn Urmey, 514th AMW director of psychological health and Fuentes, was attended by Reserve Citizen Airmen from the Freedom Wing.

“The dreamer never stops dreaming,” said Fuentes. “If you keep looking forward, there are some good things around the corner.”

The seminar used the biblical narrative of Joseph as a case study in helping Reserve Citizen Airmen identify negative feelings, exploring self-value from character traits, and combating adversity through inner strength and faith or spirituality.

There are many situations that can bring upon negativity in one’s life.

In the narrative, Joseph was a man who faced adversity common to those any reservist could potentially face, such as loss and separation, family issues and maltreatment. On top of that he also faced extreme adversity such as kidnapping, human trafficking, and false imprisonment.

Throughout all his trials, Joseph remained positive and continued to dream.

For the average person however, anxiety, anticipation, and worry can make it difficult for one to achieve that positivity through a challenging time.

“Anticipation can actually increase stress more than the stress itself,” said Urmey. “Dwelling on the past brings about depression while worrying about the future brings about anxiety.”

While there is no concrete answer for how any given person should deal with negative feelings and adversity, forgiveness plays a large part in reconciling a problem.

The narrative continued with Joseph eventually reuniting with his brothers who were at fault for his initial misfortune. While he felt many emotions and took time to deal with them in solitude, he ultimately forgave his brothers and found happiness in a reunited family.

“People have to learn to forgive,” said Fuentes. “Forgiveness and reconciliation work hand in hand.”

Regardless of whether a given issue stems from internal shortcomings or the shortcomings of others, acceptance and forgiveness are necessary to moving on and strengthening one’s inner self.

In addition to someone attempting to forgive themself or others to increase their inner strength, simply reflecting on their feelings can help as well

“It’s ok to sit with those feelings for a while,” said Urmey.

Many times, the negative feelings a given situation causes carries over into someone’s feelings about themself. It is important for people to consider the character traits they think they exhibit to self-reflect as to whether they have a healthy mindset.

“What do you see when you think of yourself,” asked Urmey. “That is your character.”

At the end of the day, it is important for reservists to look at the many traits that make up their character, accept but also address the traits that fall short, and be proud of the traits that benefit them and those around them.

Most importantly, everyone should remember to aim high and never stop dreaming.