All of us are born with hopes, dreams, and desires running through our veins, often wishing upon the stars that certain things and people would emerge, taking us to where we long to be. We pray on our knees, seek out advice, look for certain signs, and make our case to whomever and whatever will listen that what we have in our hearts is what's best for us, and destined to happen. Sometimes good things do come true, often they don't. After all, we're only human, and have a right to go for what we want. But differentiating between reality and hope-filled dreams is often a brutal wake-up call that lots of us never want to face.

I've had many dreams and goals, some have come true, many have left me standing on the sidelines wondering. But one thing I've learned from a little bit of life experience is that recognizing the tell-all-signs when things aren't meant to be has saved me lots of grief, and even more, a lot of wasted time. Don't get me wrong, I still get blurry-eyed and eager while wishing that something I desire might come to pass, but coming to terms with reality is really what I'm talking about here.

We've all had our hearts broken--that terrible feeling which rips out our insides when the object of our affection doesn't reciprocate. But look at it this way: were there obvious signs that the balance inside the relationship wasn't tilting the right way? Were you not getting the respect you tried so hard to earn? Did your partner have a wondering eye? Were you being taken for granted when all you sought was to please them, even going that extra mile? Was the communication between you always about them, or did you share 50/50? (see my article on narcissism) Did the major problems linger on for months, even years, without being solved? Did you live with that never-ending, pit-of-your-stomach, omnipresent feeling that things would eventually end, pushing you to enter the exhaustive dating world again therefore making you stay? Was the energy mostly lighthearted and fun, or was there always a certain amount of tension and mistrust?

Relationships can be very difficult, but using our God-given intuition and ending bad ones early can save a lot of heartache, pain, and negative energy no matter how much you want it to work out.

How about your career? Have you ever stuck it out with a job when you knew there was no chance of advancement or promotion? Year after year, the signs were everywhere. Favoritism, company politics running wild, lots of co-workers getting the recognition you always wanted, yet you stayed instead of trying a different employer that could've appreciated you more for the talents you offered. Just like relationships, the workforce inside of every good corporation or company must have the right chemistry for it to succeed. If the fit isn't there, best to move on and jump aboard a faster moving train. Although, oftentimes doing this is really tricky, especially in an economy and job market like we're experiencing now.

Facing reality is difficult. Like filing a tax return or slugging through a never-ending moving day, it's just one of those things we hate doing. But, I believe we're all equipped with a little chip inside that's always working overtime trying to keep us grounded. We have that inner voice, feeling in the gut, ache along our shoulders, and recurring headache letting us know we're on the wrong path, keeping us from our true destiny.

I'm a Christian and believe in the power of prayer. So naturally, I often pray for things to come true. The trick to this, I believe, is realizing that sometimes God's answer is no. And he says this because he always identifies what's best for our lives, therefore advertising clear signals that what we're wanting isn't the right choice, or the right timing for things to happen. The problem is when we're staying in faith really hard for something our mental picture often gets clouded with wishful thinking, blocking our receptors to the obvious signals. We fight against reality not wanting to hear, or open our eyes; many times having to be hit-on-the-head before we'll see the light. But, the signs are everywhere, once you're truly open.

Think about everything you've desired throughout your life. Those wishes that never came true? They were the ones that weren't meant to be. After all, I'm one who believes that everything happens for a reason.