If you can dream, and not make dreams your master…..
The day that we stop wanting, needing, wishing, and dreaming is the day we stop walking the warrior’s path, and begin to take that long dark road towards disappointment, despair, and death. I know some people who seem to have no dreams, and I know a few people who are living in a dark nightmare. People with no dreams often also seem to be hell-bent on self-destruction through drink, drugs, gambling, self-harm, unsafe casual sex, suicide attempts….. I can recognise those people because I used to be one of them.
Some say that being negative, depressed, filled with character defects, is a condition to be pitied and that we should try to understand without condemning or blaming.
You know what? I don’t agree with that idea at all. Unless Life has thrown at you some terrible calamity, like having to live in a war zone, then if you’re an addict, an alcoholic, a hopeless gambler, chain smoker, depressed, suicidal, and hell-bent on being unhappy on the road to self-destruction ~ it is mostly your own fault.
There seems to be something in the subconscious mind of most people that says; ‘if I am really suffering I will get attention and love…..’ This is understandable because when we were at our most impressionable, young and vulnerable, then if we were suffering we would most likely get extra attention and love from our parents / principal carers. Angst and shelf-harming practices such as alcoholism are learned behaviours.
On the other side of the coin, if as a child we were always bright, happy, full of inventive play and dreams, then mostly our parents would leave us alone. They would leave us alone except for their own horrible negativity when we told them of our dreams, and they said; ‘you can’t possibly do that…..’
Dreaming of doing bigger, better, more exciting and more adventurous things, of meeting the partner of our dreams, or dreaming of having a wonderful life, is often driven from our own subconscious mind by the things we were told as an innocent child.
I know all this because it all happened to me, up to and including until a few weeks ago, when I had one of those revelatory moments we sometimes have in life, and I realised I could dream, and make my dreams come true.
So don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t think you are a hopeless case. You can be who you want to be and do whatever you want to do ~ stop believing that you’re trapped, and start wishing and dreaming again.
I’m dreaming of sunshine this Christmas
A wise man doesn’t try to get what he doesn’t want.
Many people don’t know what they want out of life, and many of them struggle to find a way to discover their true needs, want, desires, and dreams. Even if you know what you most need, want, desire, and dream of having ~ well, whatever it is might be very difficult, or almost impossible to acquire. This applies especially to friendship, love, sexual desire….. in fact anything that relies upon another person doing what you want is always going to be an almost impossible dream. You have no control whatsoever over what another person thinks, feels, likes, dislikes, loves, or hates.
Your most important “want” should be the one you can control. ~ Shannon L. Alder.
You cannot make her / him love you, desire you, or even like you.
It follows therefore, that in our journey through life, at some point we should work out what we truly, honestly, realistically need, want, desire, or dream of having.
And this is where most of us come unstuck. We have no idea what it is that we want ~ other than our life goes on pretty much as it has always gone on, without us having to think about it too much, or wandering too far outside of our own comfort zones.
We Just Do Not Know What We Really Want.
However, all of us, or almost all of us, know what we don’t like about our life. Almost all of us know exactly what we hate about our lives. Most of us know exactly who and what we want to walk away from, and after that never, ever, keep in touch.
Some of us can tell exactly when there’s an elephant in the room ~ we know when there are important issues that are not being discussed with our significant other, and instead all we ever seem to talk about is meaningless trivia.
Many of us know that our wants, needs, desires, and important dreams are not being fulfilled. We know that we are frustrated and unfulfilled.
Therefore, as a first step to knowing what you really want, write down what you know you don’t want. Write down what you don’t like about your life. Write down what you hate about your life.
Be honest. Be brutally honest with yourself.
Do not censor yourself ~ just write down what comes into your head.
Don’t over-think things, just write, whatever it is and however bad it seems.
You will have to force yourself to confront the real and damaging issues in your most private life, instead of just focusing on fluffy easy minor annoyances.
Most likely you will not complete your list of dislikes and hates in one short attempt. Keep your list safe, and add to it whenever you think of something else that disturbs your quest for a fulfilling inner peace.
And, most importantly, DO NOT let anyone else see this list of the things and people you hate and what you hate about them.
For example, your partner / wife / husband may not be happy to know that you think she / he is as sexually responsive as a wooden plank. You know what, if I had a significant other / partner / wife like that, then I’d hate that too. (Trust me, I’d hate it, I’ve been there.)
Most likely, if you’re brutally honest with yourself, sex will feature heavily on your list of things that aren’t going right for you. After that, probably your job, your home life, your friends, health, fitness, enjoyment…..
My current list of things I don’t like / hate about my life has 34 things on it, and I’m telling nobody what they are.
But now I have a good idea of what I don’t want, I can start to get what I do want, by any means necessary. (As long as the means I use are legal, honest, and ethical, I will do whatever it takes to get what I truly need, want, desire, and dream about.)
When you know what you want, and you want it bad enough, you will find a way to get it. ~ Jim Rohn
Some say that success is getting what you want. And that happiness is getting what you need. All I know is that I’m damn certain what I don’t want in my life.
I would like to go back to California again
We cannot control our emotions.
Various psychologists, behavioural scientists, and sundry people in white coats, disagree a little on just how many human emotions there are. They also tend to disagree on exactly what these feelings do to us.
However, trolling through their divergent opinions, and adding a little basic common sense, we can come up with a more or less definitive list of the main human emotions. These are; Anger, Fear, Happiness, Sadness, and Love. Personally I’d add another, I think Lust is a very powerful raw emotion. Or maybe Lust only affects men?
We can call these raw emotions by other, more polite, names. Lust is transformed into desire, and many of us call the feeling of desire Love. How many men have said; ‘I love you’, when what they truthfully meant was; ‘I desire you, I want you’? I know I have fallen into that despicable sexual trap in the past.
For most of us, by far the strongest emotion is . It’s what keeps people in dysfunctional relationships, lousy jobs, and mind numbing routines. We are afraid of change, we fear abandonment, we fear loss of status, most of all we fear death.
Those of us who have, or have had, a psychological / mental illness have an intimate relationship with fear. The emotionally disturbed are often a maelstrom of Fear and Anger.
For aeons the heart was thought to be the seat of emotions, especially Love. Now, most respectable scientists profess that the brain is where emotions live. Although, some left field professors say that the gut is where emotions begin. Me, I’m neither respectable nor a scientist, and the last time I wore a white coat was at a costume party. I don’t know where our emotions live, and I don’t know exactly how they work.
However, I do know where your emotions come from.
Our emotions and instincts are hard-wired into our body, mind, and spirit. They originate as far back in time as when the first thing crawled out of the primeval slime. Emotions and instincts are what drove the survival behaviours of things that could never be described as intelligent life. What do you think drove the raw savagery of Tyrannosaurus Rex? What do you think makes sharks such a successful life-form?
Instincts and raw animal emotions bypass the intellect. Emotions have nothing to do with intelligence and common sense. Emotions are powerful in exactly the same way that thought isn’t. From the moment life began emotions controlled the behaviour of all life forms, and emotions still control human behaviour today.
Intellectually, a man can know that some particular woman is bad for him, yet will he willingly give her up? Probably not because his emotions completely override his common sense. If she thinks about it, a woman may know that it’s stupid to stay with a man who mentally, emotionally, physically abuses her ~ yet how many women are trapped in abusive relationships because their emotions won’t let them leave him?
Most of us will do almost anything to assuage our emotions. Some of us will go to any lengths to satisfy our raw emotions ~ up to and including the death of self and / or others. Emotions are the most powerful driving forces in each of our lives. Positive, or negative, or a mixture of both, we are each controlled by our feelings. All that intelligence and intellect does is to overlay some civilisation on top of our innate savagery.
Me, Us, You, Them, can do something about these emotions that drive our every action. We can’t stop the feelings, and we can’t control the feelings, but we can control what we do.
You may get so angry with your partner that you want to stab them in the eye with a sharp knife. You may fear the outside world so much that you never want to leave your home. You may think you love someone so much that you willingly sublimate your identity just to please them. Yet our intelligence and intellect will eventually tell us that we need to escape into the broad sunlit uplands of rationality.
At that point you may seek counselling, psychiatry, medical help, inspirational speakers and writers, or self-help groups. Trust me, none of that will do you any good at all. These people will probably tell you to control your emotions, and that’s as impossible as turning back the tide.
The only thing we can do is accept these emotions and at the same time unconditionally accept ourselves. We must recognise that life is difficult, painful, and mostly beyond our control. We must be prepared to make some brave choices. Leaving the one you’re with may tear your heart in two, but that’s just a raw primeval emotion, the feelings will pass, and the sooner we make those brave choices the sooner our emotions will stop torturing us.
Your emotions are utterly beyond your control. Your emotions also lie to you. Your emotions may make you feel bad or good, but those are just feelings, they have nothing to do with reality. The reality is that your emotions lie to you, that’s their job, they developed to keep a cave-man alive. In this day and age we need the sense to accept our emotions for what they are, a very broad brush indeed.
See beyond your emotions. See the world in it’s true colours. Enjoy your emotions when they are good, but don’t get carried away. Live with your emotions when they are bad, but accept bad emotions as the storm flags they really are. And, at this time of year, let yourself feel the innocent joy and of love of Christmas.
these thoughts are mine and mine alone
Even grown men cry sometimes. Even grown men are blue when their dreams cannot ever come true.
There are many species of dreams. Pleasant dreams, disturbing dreams, day dreams, nightmares…
Perhaps only when we accept that some dreams are just fantasies that we can find true happiness.
Paradise is a never-never land, but there is joy to be found in the real world ~ if we accept the freedom of acceptance of what is rather than wishing for the impossible. From acceptance it is just a short step to sanity and serenity.
I can accept that all the dreams I dream with you may never come true.
words and pictures by jack collier