I have a theory that we keep things, both good and bad, inside too much. We don’t talk about things enough.

Do you ever have things that you struggle with, but don’t say anything about, because you’re too ashamed to admit it to people, or because you’re not even sure how to articulate it?

Or do you ever have a crazy dream in your mind of something you’d like to accomplish, but don’t ever share it with anyone, because you think there’s probably no way you’d ever be able to actually make it happen?

I’ve been in both of these situations, and have come to think the key to changing these situations is to talk about them. Progress is possible when we acknowledge the ideas or thoughts in our heads and do something about them.

So often we have something in our life that we know in the back of our minds is a problem that needs addressing, and yet we fail to address it. We put it off until tomorrow. We bottle it up inside, try to suppress it, ignore it, or distract ourselves from it, until eventually our once tiny problem that affected just a singular aspect of our private life begins to bubble up in other areas of our life. It becomes unavoidable, crippling, and oftentimes unable to be hidden.

Suddenly the bucket in the corner that used to catch the initially harmless leak in the roof is no longer big enough to handle the now massive flood that’s damaging every part of the house. If only we had said something sooner… maybe everything wouldn’t need to be put on hold to tackle something that could’ve more easily been solved by fixing it correctly the first time.

I am convinced that it’s only once we speak something into life that we can make strides to either kill it or grow it.

In the case of a problem, by speaking it into life, you make the problem a reality, and can then work to “kill” it. It’s no longer something that can be ignored and left unaddressed. It no longer has the power to remain in our minds, remain a secret, and fester and grow in private. It’s real. It’s uncomfortable at first, yes, but ultimately it’s recognized as something that needs attention, which is what’s necessary for change to begin.

I guess it really is true that “admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery.” For me, I have found that true and lasting transformations from demons that used to torment me have only become possible by me verbally acknowledging my problems, and thus declaring them into being. It sounds backwards at first, but it’s really only by speaking something into reality that we can actually resolve to eliminate it. A journey to eliminate something that doesn’t belong in your life can’t ever end until it officially begins. (Am I making any sense?)

The same goes for dreams. Dreams should be sought after. They are not meant to remain dormant in the secret places of your mind. Talk about them. Speak them into life. Grant them weight, power, and possibility. To all of the people that say dreams aren’t meant to be achieved, I say you’re wrong… (I know, not my best comeback, but you get my point).

Is it easy for dreams to go nowhere? Sure… alarmingly easy, actually. But if we speak about them (often), then we remind ourselves that they are living and need attention to be able to grow, thrive, and bear fruit. There’s a reason you have that gnawing feeling in your gut telling you to go after that job, to make that move across the country, to get to know that person, to get that degree… it’s okay that it sounds crazy. Crazy isn’t a bad thing. Crazy does not equal impossible.

If speaking about something with someone (whether good or bad) seems intimidating at first, write about it instead. Writing about something is like climbing up the ladder to the top of the diving board. It can be a great first and gradual step to making the jump off that high dive that you know you need to make, but aren’t quite ready for yet. In the end, you’ll know when it’s time to jump. I’ve found God will prompt you when it’s time. And if you ignore the prompt? No worries, He’ll push you if you wait too long.

Happy jumping!