Last week, in the middle of the agonizing, true-to-its reputation Monday morning, I dropped by the Associate Registrar’s office to get clarification on a particular policy. While there, I noticed the cutest tiny Zen garden. I was drawn to the sand and calming turquoise, but I fixated on the rock that held the word “dream.” An hour or so later, I sent my friend Cy a text telling her I needed to take a mental break and write a blog post, but I hadn’t decided on a theme for the week. She suggested that I do a Dream Week. Her suggestion confirmed what the “dream rock” was trying to tell me, so here we are—a week later—hosting “Dream Week” on Pics and Posts.
If you had asked me about my dreams a couple of years ago, I might have told you I have none–if I were being honest. I came to this realization early one morning while reflecting on a statement from Howard Thurman’s “The Inward Sea,” the first section of Meditations of the Heart:
Keep alive the dream; for as long as a [wo]man has a dream in his [her] heart, [s]he cannot lose the significance of living.
I asked myself, “What are my dreams?”
Nothing stirred inside, and I felt like a hollow vessel.
I thought, “Have I achieved so much in life? Am I so perfectly content that there’s no need for dreams? Or have I fallen so far down the “well of despair” that I could no longer muster up the courage to dream?”
I could have psyched myself into believing that I had no dreams per se because I’d worked my dreams into plans and plans into action. But I knew that would be cute, but not true.
I was troubled. I once had deep, colorful, audacious dreams. Where were those dreams?
The question unsettled me; for I knew without dreams I was merely existing, and that was not enough living for me.
Then, the more critical question emerged. Why had I stopped dreaming? After I took the time to soul-search, I arrived at the answers:
I had stopped dreaming because I was afraid to dream. I had stop dreaming because I was grieving loss after loss after loss, and while I had to function on all fronts in my outer life, in the inner life I could lay it all down and no one would know. I had stopped dreaming because I was wounded and “stretched out” while I processed the blows that took me down. I had stopped dreaming because there were too many disappointments and too many devastating realities.
I had stopped dreaming so I could pour all my energy into surviving.
It took some doing—an additional year or so of soul work—for me to trust life enough to really dream again and to know that my dreams can be as boundless and wild as my imagination allows.
I don’t have any solid plans for this Dream Week, but that’s the nature of dreams. Join me, and let’s see where the dreams take us.