In her book, Big Magic (So awesome. Buy it, like yesterday), Elizabeth Gilbert describes how she believes our ideas for the things we want to create are actually sentient beings; that they float as translucent, ghost-like specters through our workaday world, looking for a receptive host to birth them into reality. If you are the right person, the person with the particular passions and skills necessary for its birth, it chooses you. It asks you to use your skills, courage and love to bring it forth into our time-space continuum - to make it “real” book or painting or concerto or pulled pork sandwich food stand, it yearns to be.
And if you ignore it, if you tell it to wait until you’re done creating your nest-egg or after you’ve settled into your new job, it’ll go away and find someone else to make it real. Kind of like Pinocchio, your dreams need your love and attention to make them real. If they don’t get it, they are eventually relegated to the universal toy box for abandoned playthings in the sky
“Okay, so yes,” you say to yourself. “I get that I need to love my dreams. I’m down with that. No problem. Here I go, loving my dream.” And you do. You really do. You set your intentions. You meditate with your crystals and even make a vision board to hang in your cube at work.
But . . . . after a certain period of time, you realize that as much you’ve loved your dream, as much you’ve talked about it with friends and thought about in your ride home from work, it isn’t happening. “What did I do wrong?” you question. “I really loved it,” you assert earnestly. “Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea in the first place,” you consider ruefully. “Perhaps I don’t have it in me to do this,” you mutter with grim resignation. “I guess the dream was just not meant to be.”
(GUH!!! Don’t even get me started on the, “It’s just not meant to be,” bullshit people sell to themselves as it pertains to their dreams. Guh! New-agey woo-woo chicanery dressed up to look like Zen wisdom. Just GUH! I have a whole other blogs-worth of “Guh” in me on the subject that I will share at a future date, but I still can’t help ranting a little bit about this one. It’s pernicious bullshit. Don’t do it. It’ll kill your dream. Deep cleansing breath. Images of mineral baths and lavender-scented candles. Okay, petite-rant complete; back to your regularly scheduled blog.)
But you see, that’s not true! It isn’t that the dream wasn’t meant to be, or that you aren’t up to the task, it’s that your dream was halfway down the birth canal that is your brain and you chose to divert the energy needed for its emergence by watching live-stream Youtube videos of kittens in a box. (Made ya look, made ya look! And see? What if Hemingway had gotten seduced by the mischievous charm of that little long-haired tabby when he should have been being true to the creation working through him that was trying to be The Old Man and the Sea?)
No, dreams need actual love. Real, out-of-control, ass-over-tea kettle, goofy-smile-inducing, embarrassing-proclamations-of-hyperbolic-commitment-making, love. And it needs it for the long-haul. It will demand your time, your patience, your courage and your even maturity as ingredients for the magic it needs to transform. If you expect to get out of the dream manifestation process with your dignity intact, you are sorely mistaken.
So, if this all love stuff sounds too awkward for you. If the thought of over-wrought vows of devotion to your dream fill you with queasiness and disdain, then do the right thing and cut it loose. Tell your dream that you’re just not that into it so it can find someone whose really is ready to take the plunge and fall head-long into the kind of love it needs to make it real.