Dream or Desire/Wish?
Lately I have entered a sort of meditative closure, torn between dreams, wishes, desires… I can’t seem to make a difference between them nor put them into an order.
As it happens in these cases, I began stumbling upon so many motivational quotes such as: believe in your dreams, exit your comfort zone to go get them, risk everything to make your dream happen, and chase your dreams. This last one specifically makes me think of a sort of incitation to follow mirages… because some dreams are mirages.
The mirages are our desires (desideri) or wishes.
Today is really difficult to distinguish between what we dream and what we desire. A dream is something deep. A desire is something ephemeral, something you do for your personal ego… something that is stimulated from the outside and other people. A dream is something that stays with you and guides you… a constant that doesn’t change.
I had to stop, look at my life and my projects and ask myself: what I embarked on doing is my dream or just a satisfaction of my ego?
It’s not an easy question to answer, we can dress our desires with the dreamiest and most beautiful dresses and masks, set up a bucket of expectations, pump up our vision till gold is all we see, and never look inward. It works for the majority, it may work for you (me) too. …. ….. …… …….. Or not?
It’s all so alluring and romantic. Get your sward out and go fight for your dreams!!
Yet something seemingly so simple as knowing your dreams all of a sudden became a complicated exercise of self-knowledge. I even tried to go back to when I was a child, what did I dream of doing back then? Yet I discovered that what I envisioned as a grownup was doing something that I was missing during my childhood. When I understood that and made peace with that part of me, even that “dream” left my soul… my heart… my mind. Maybe. I say maybe because I feel the core of that dream stayed with me, but it doesn’t have the same form.
Then, analysing all that I have on my plate, the projects I wrote… for as perfect as they look and sound, they lacked ME, my heart, my soul, my complexity, my imperfection, my confusion, my everything. And at last I realised I moulded my initial dreams with society’s ideas and expectations, with people seeing in me something I had no interest in becoming (you know when they tell you you have the potential to be… an actress, a tv presenter, a director, a producer, a whatever shiny thing… because you are beautiful). I wondered for a long time if perhaps I dream too small, when everyone dreams big; if there is something not right if my dreams don’t scare me, after all it is written everywhere that if they don’t scare you they are not big enough (so here we go with the dream competition). As if all dreams were created equal, with the same shape and size and outcome.
Read it well…. because we know the Great Nureyev today, but I recommend to read his biography (brilliant book!) for it shows clearly how his dream was dancing: not stage! not public! not the applause! not fame! not wealth! …. all that came along after and was not the initial pursuit. This is what it means to follow your dream: something that you do despite of the result, the outcome, the reaction you get from people… you do it even if the world will ignore it! Even if you don’t get called Artist by the most renowned artistic press! Even if your book won’t be published by the biggest publisher nor reviewed by the New York Times! Even if you will never make a Vogue cover! Even if you won’t sell your invention to the tech gurus in Silicon Valley! You might never make a living just out of your dream, and yet still pursuing your dream in your private & personal life will give you meaning and fuel your days. Sometimes, our dreams are not made to be shared; or to reach the stars of fame.
I am taking the time to abandon all that is not a pure dream of mine. It’s not easy because with it resurfaces shame, fear of failure, a sense of loss (and what am I to do now?). Many questions regarding who I am too. What I have idealised about myself, my desires, my dreams, my life…. all this is now standing in front of me like a beautiful illusion. Which I now know is a fine Art on its own.
What is left with this peeling off the old skin?
What is left when I find the courage to let go of all and stay in the void until images from the depth start rising up to my eyes to find a way out?
My truth bare of ego.
There lives Freedom. The beautiful companion of our Soul. And feared enemy of the Mind.
When I admitted to my man the internal crisis I was undergoing, he told me something I had not thought about: Keep your idea and just change the form. And so I am wondering now if dreams don’t come to us with a predefined form like a specific job, but rather like a feeling, an explosion of images… and we are here to try and try and search a way to turn them into reality.
This is Life.
Perhaps the drama and crisis come along with being too attached to the idea of the form of our dreams… but if they live in that space where freedom resides, how can we trap them into a box?
Finding myself here reflecting upon this, shows I have never taken the time to think. Oh we don’t take our dreams seriously, do we? Nobody takes the time sit down internally, put on pause, get a broom and start cleaning and decluttering your mind and your soul. It takes time if done properly, just like we start cleaning our room and find long lost memories and diaries and photos and we stop to savour those thoughts coming back to us knowing we perceive all that from the point of view of someone different and more mature. We might pause for a whole hour on one photo, imagine the months in soul-time that we stop over one small memory or episode that calls for our analyses. Maybe years?
Can you allow yourself that time? and yet if you don’t you risk keep going in loops, fall into periods of depression, constant dissatisfaction, an eternity chasing mirages.
Our society today is designed to make us dream of our dreams, but demands servitude to the dreams of very few. We are so worried about finding a job to pay all our bills that we forget (or are simply too exhausted) to take care of our own. The antidote? First of all embark on a quest! Which is an inner one, so you can keep going with your everyday tasks. When your treasure is found, embark on another quest… which is the fine line between inner and outer: how to express your dream?
Start there. Start from what you feel. Start from you.