“What are your hopes and dreams?”

Recently my husband and I listened to spirituality speaker and author Matthew Kelly’s recording, The Seven Levels of Intimacy. To briefly list them:





  1. Clichés – “How are you?” “Fine, thanks.” We use these to socialize, but they can draw us closer or be used to keep people at a distance.
  2. Facts – “I see your team won yesterday.” Again, these interactions can enhance or block increased intimacy.
  3. Opinions – These open us to greater sharing, but are fraught with danger. People think they need to convince others to their opinions.
  4. Hopes and Dreams – Nothing is more fulfilling than chasing down a dream, or more satisfying than helping someone live their dreams. Sharing hopes and dreams enhances intimacy.
  5. Feelings – Knowing our feelings, being comfortable about them, expressing them in the right place, at the right time, to the right person. Contrary to what our culture thinks, love isn’t based on understanding, but rather on acceptance. Some feelings aren’t meant to be understood, only accepted.
  6. Fears, Faults, & Failures – These drive us away from the best versions of ourselves and from intimacy. Do you know your fears? Do you know the fears of those around you? When people allow themselves to be vulnerable and express these, powerful intimacy grows.
  7. Legitimate Needs – Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Spiritual – God gave us these clues to help us thrive. Eat well, exercise, sleep regularly, give focus and priority to relationships, read great books, and finally value silence, solitude, scriptures, and sacraments. You never can get enough of what you don’t need; you only can get enough of what you need. Focus on helping each other achieve legitimate needs and you will grow close.


Driving in the car (the kind of captive-conversation situation that I love but makes my husband groan), we asked each other, “What are your hopes and dreams?”

We are both in a stage of life where many of our dreams have been accomplished. Our children are grown and leading productive lives. My husband is doing well at work, recognized for his abilities. Thanks to his work, we’ve traveled to some amazing places together. I’ve met my goal of having a book published, and recently a second. We’ve lived to delight in a grandchild and are anticipating a second in May.

We feel very grateful for all we’ve accomplished and been blessed with, but it was nice to realize we aren’t finished with dreams. We still have hopes for our “someday.” Hearing each other talk about them drew us closer, and created a sense of excitement. We realized we still have adventures ahead of us, and as a team we can help each other move toward our individual goals. Two of my dreams are to vastly reduce what I own, and to finance a well for a community in need of clean water.

What are your hopes and dreams? Have you taken time lately to think about them? Have you talked to your spouse or soul mate about them? (Maybe one of your goals is to find a soul mate!) Do you know what your “significant other” hopes and dreams about? How about your children? Our intimacy will deepen if we talk to each other about our dreams. It will skyrocket if we work to help each other to achieve them!


So, homework:

  1. Ask yourself what hopes and dreams you have for your future. Write them down. Pick one you can start working on. What’s the first step? Take it this week!
  2. Ask your beloved or your children what dreams they have for the years ahead. Matthew recommends couples keep a shared notebook of their hopes and dreams, reviewing it often and discussing it together. What could you start working on together this week?



You can learn more about Matthew Kelly at www.DynamicCatholic.com

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