I was at a conference recently where a woman volunteered to participate in exploring her most compelling future in front of the audience. She started off with the safe desires or wishes. The conference speaker probed her deeper. Then she began to cry and blurted out a heartfelt dream to have enough steady income to pay off her parent’s home. She surprised herself when she said this, and reflected that it was true, but she had never shared it with anyone else.
It got me questioning myself…”What is the dream you are unwilling to admit to yourself? Or perhaps you admit it, but can’t or won’t action it…. What is bigger than your pain? Are you willing to commit to that?”
There is huge pain in not admitting and going for our dreams. We can unknowingly or knowingly keep ourselves distracted enough during most of our lives, but often where the majority of this pain shows up is in our elder years or near the time of death.
From the Huffington Post’s article “The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying,” the top regret is as follows:
“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
The article goes on to say, “When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.”
There is an additional pain to unrecognized and unfulfilled dreams as noted by the following excerpt from Deborah Adele’s book The Yamas and Niyamas:
“In India, during major festivals, elephants are paraded down the narrow streets, proudly dressed in silk and jewelry, caring the likeness of a deity on their backs. Along the way, vendors, displaying luscious treats and sparkling jewelry, are numerous. The elephants being curious and playful by nature can’t help but swing their trunks this way and that in an attempt to capture the glitter and the treats lining the streets. Destruction and chaos quickly follow. However, the trainers, knowing their elephant’s adventuresome nature, have learned to coax them into wrapping their trucks around a bamboo shoot. Now, as elephants marched on the street carrying their bamboo shoot, that parade continues smoothly.
We are much like those elephants. When we don’t know what we want or we don’t have the courage to pursue it, everything that everyone else is doing looks tempting to us. We began to lust after others’ accomplishments and others’ possessions. We get sidetracked from our own dreams and our own realness. However, when we focus on our own dreams, we can move forward with dignity much like the elephants holding onto the bamboo shoot, undisturbed by glitter and sparkle along the way. By holding on to our “bamboo shoot,” we can begin to build our competency and create the circumstances within us to have what we want.”
As we approach and enter 2016, what is the dream you are unwilling to admit to yourself? Or perhaps you admit it, but can’t or won’t action it…What is bigger than your pain, bigger than your fear? Are you willing to commit to that?
Happy New Year
Wishing you honesty with yourself, compassion for yourself and many blessings for the New Year!
This deep work is always best in supportive, loving company, so please engage a trusted friend, relative, or coach/counselor.