All My Dreams Lie Broken in the Dust & I Dance on their Rotting Carcasses.

Via Ben Ralston
on Jun 6, 2013
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Many times in my life I gave up everything I had for the hope and chance of a dream.

The dream of enlightenment.

The dream of relationship.

The dream of family.

All of those dreams lie broken in the dust right now.

And that’s really ok.

Actually, that’s what dreams are for – that’s what happens to all our dreams, one way or another. They are either realized and then forgotten, or just simply forgotten.

We romanticize dreams. We place them on a pedestal. We worship them. Partly because so many of us are afraid to even dream… let alone try to realize those dreams.

But when a dream dies – as all things must do – we grieve. And while we grieve we lose ourselves in the idea of what the dream meant to us.

Of what could have been.

Remember that you are not your dreams.

Each one of your dreams – and let them be countless because the more you dream the more awake you are – is just a signpost, a lantern, guiding your way through the wilderness of life.

And when a dream is over, it’s time to celebrate.

Over the last 6 months I’ve been going through the process of separating from my wife, and I have to say that for a while it was incredibly difficult. I made it difficult for myself (or rather, we made it difficult for ourselves and each other) by not embracing and celebrating the end of a dream.

But there came a moment, recently, when we remembered our love for each other, and put all our fears behind us.

When she said to me:

“I wish that for you, because I was never able to give it to you”

and my heart, in that moment, sang again.

And when the dream is over, a new day dawns. And we dream again!

Let us dance, and sing, and remember that the death of a dream, just as the end of a life, is really just a new beginning. When one door closes another opens. The sun sets on today, and rises on tomorrow.

And all the while we breathe, the earth spins through space, and the tides keep on turning.



About Ben Ralston

Ben Ralston has been practising personal development—necessity being the Mother of invention—since he was about six years old. He’s been teaching and sharing what he’s learnt along the way for a couple of decades. His main thing is Heart of Tribe retreats—whose very purpose is to help you fall back in love with life, no less. Leading these retreats alongside his woman Kara-Leah Grant—also an elephant journal writer (that’s how they met!)—they combine a deep well of lineage-based yoga teaching experience, with expertise in healing trauma and various other methods of personal development. Ben also works with clients one-on-one via Skype, writes, makes videos from time to time, and is passionate about parenting. He lives in an intentional, tribal community in the hills of Croatia, where you might find him gardening barefoot and talking to the rocks. Connect with Ben on Facebook or YouTube or check out his website for more info.


10 Responses to “All My Dreams Lie Broken in the Dust & I Dance on their Rotting Carcasses.”

  1. Laura Wells says:

    Hey Ben,
    I’ve been following your posts/videos for quite some time now (over a year, maybe two). I, too, am going through the separation/divorce process like you, for the last six months. It is such a mixed bag of emotions and it is definitely like the death of a dream but it is also very liberating and reassuring in that I realize now how attached I was to that particular dream when the universe actually has a better one planned for me. Trusting that can be difficult sometimes but there is one thing I am definitely learning now, the art of letting go and trusting that better times and better dreams are ahead. I wish you the best and just want you to know that you are not alone! 🙂 Take care.

  2. Natalie Baginski says:

    My divorce from my husband was a year and a half ago. But of course, the separating started way before then. I think in a way I wanted out for quite a few years. In the midst of it all I was often buried in the grief of all of the things that would never be. I had had dreams about what we could be together. But the reality was I could never achieve those things in that relationship. They were still only dreams, just like you said. On the other side, living alone for quite some time, faithful in my meditation, in tune with my subtle emotions and desires, the dreams are actually more real. I am in love now, all of the time. I've yet to meet the object of my desire, but spending time with my dreams and my desires alone was the best thing that could have ever happened for me. And he feels the same. He is in a happy relationship and I am free to dream of a future with someone I can love, completely, while I have a lot of fun just enjoying myself and my freedom. My heart hurts for you because I know what you're going through. But I learned from experience that what our grandma's said was right. Time heals all. I don't know you but have been reading your work for three or four years now and you are such a ridiculously amazing man, I can only imagine what you will be once you've fully recovered from this period of transformation. A fearsome thing to behold I am sure…

  3. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you Laura, for following me for so long! And for your sweet words.
    I must say, my (ex) wife and I are really on good terms now. We did some work on our stuff and seem to have reached a place where there's only love left. No more games…
    A good friend said something to me that really helped (and he hasn't met her). He said:
    "She's an awesome woman. Otherwise you wouldn't have married her in the first place"
    That helped me put some things in perspective.
    Actually, the hardest thing for me is letting go of the idea I had about parenting, and coming to terms with how it might be affecting my son. But I'm trying to just take that as a lesson in detachment. We all have our own destinies to live out…
    Wishing you also all the best!

  4. Ben_Ralston says:

    Ah, that was nice to read. Thank you. And I'm gonna take you up on your Spotify offer one of these days 🙂

  5. Gwen says:

    Oh Ben–I am so sorry to hear it. I too have followed and enjoyed your work for some time. Not at all to minimize the heartbreak of separation, which is so profound and was also what launched me on my own journey several years ago, but I felt a real moment of genuine panic when I saw the headline and the photo of your boy…I am just so glad he is okay! Just another bit of perspective. 🙂 You may not be able to give him the kind of childhood you had convinced yourself he needed, but what he really needs is what you're able to give him now, as you move forward in this. And I agree with Natalie above–I am sure that what you forge as a result of going through this will be incredibly powerful for your son and for everyone who encounters you. Much love to you.

  6. tatumann says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing this Ben!

  7. Ben_Ralston says:

    Thank you so much. Deeply grateful.

  8. Renee says:

    Yes, and Thank You! A beautiful reminder.

  9. Maureen says:

    Well written and interesting topic which I would actually like to read more about and deepen. Dreams and the mourning of their death.