Tuesday, May 22, 2012

What Do Dreams Ask of Us?

I just read ‘A Year by the Sea’ by Joan Anderson. It’s about a woman who’s at midlife and questioning the choices she’s made and the life she’s lived. It seems particularly relevant to me at the moment and on almost every page I found myself nodding or smiling to myself in understanding.

One of the things she says that I just can’t shake is “It’s hard for most of the women I know to state what they want, because they’ve gotten used to wanting only what’s available.” An ah ha moment much?! I had to put the book down because of an overwhelming urge to weep.

Instead of weeping I asked myself why I was feeling so sad. Why did that comment ring so true with me?

As I’ve often said here – I’ve never been quite sure of my dreams and for a long time I didn’t even think I had any, but this reminded me that I do have them; I’ve buried them along with so many other things because desire is difficult, it’s hard and scary and nearly impossible to trust. It’s easier and certainly less risky to be happy with what you have, to not want too much. Dream of what you know and what you have seems like sage advice to many of us. It’s so much easier to want what you’ve got and what’s available than hope for something different or something more.

Dreams ask too much of us.

They ask us to be someone we’re not and someone we may not believe ourselves to ever be. They ask us to be brave and authentic and sometimes they ask for our very lives. It can be a high price to pay if we fail. But the price we pay to bury them is higher still. I once asked John Assaraf (www.johnassaraf.com) how we truly know what our dreams are and he answered me with “anything you’re willing to trade your life for”, WHOA – WTF?? Trade my life? You’re kidding right? No; he really wasn’t. Isn’t that the truth, and isn’t it the scariest thing you can imagine? It is to me – and that’s why I wanted to weep and to put the book away forever.

I’ve only ever wanted what was available to me...at least that’s all I’ve admitted to so far.

When I met Jon one of the things that amazed me about him (and it still does) is his unlimited imagination and willingness to say out loud what it is he most wants. He’s so brave. I’ve been inspired over and over again in our years together and I think I’m almost brave enough to admit out loud what my dreams really are. I’m almost ready to “trade my life” in the answer of my dreams...almost, but not quite. Enough to keep the weeping at bay and for now that’s enough.

I have to be sure that once I admit to my dreams that I can willingly give them what they demand because I know they will be demanding and if I’m going to trade my life for something I want to be able to do it wholeheartedly and with all my courage and love. My dreams deserve my very best – all our dreams do.

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