Remembering How to Dream
My regular exploits in dreaming seemed to dissipate once I became a single mother living in Manhattan. I chose self-reliance as a lifestyle. It’s not that I hadn’t always been an independent woman. I’d actually really lived a dream life, traveling and living abroad. I did not become a mother until 33. However, once my son was born, I went over-board focusing on being an excellent parent. Before I realized it, even though I was apparently holding it all together to the outside world, my psyche began suffer for this choice. I forgot how to dream. My dreams were all for him.
It showed up in my life as me, the good enuf’ mother, the devoted partner, the obedient daughter, the sacrificial lamb, some combination of these or all at the same time. Not only did I experience these internal personas as negative; but culturally, society seemed to reward me for seeking the elusive perfection in these roles. It crushed some of my dreams because I began to measure my value in terms of caring for others. Self-care became an highly underrated practice.
I did not awaken to discover this seemingly (un)comfortable identity until it had morphed into a personal jail. To clarify my point, please understand this does not mean that I, the self-reliant person never learned to depend upon anyone else; that I have problems with intimacy or that at rock bottom my psychological problem is that I believe I am in the world alone. On the contrary, it means I, like lots of people, believe that everything I need is inside of me; that I am responsible for my own happiness, my own authentic life. The problem is self reliance produces (not for everyone but for some) a feeling of separateness IF we take ourselves too seriously. We just forget we are not in the world alone.
This prompted me to fashion an experience that will allow us to get back to ourselves. Read more about this upcoming retreat here as we set out to dream ourselves awake.