Have you stuffed a dream down deep inside until now it’s become a secret? Do you feel like you’re in the Void, can’t go backward because you have a history – you don’t want to repeat jobs or career choices. You have a dream, but you won’t admit it, maybe even to yourself. It might have been hanging on for years – even decades.
But like many people, you stuffed it down deep. You went about your life, denying or pretending your youthful ideal wasn’t important anymore. So now you feel stuck, because without your earlier treasured dream, how do you go forward? The great ideas you adopted in their place didn’t turn out to be what you hoped. Nothing measures up to your dream, nothing else is interesting, yet you feel it’s too late, society would never support such a fantasy, your mother couldn’t possibly understand, your spouse would leave, your friends would laugh. But your dream hangs on, now in secret. So you don’t know what to do. Maybe you do nothing. Maybe you even feel down on yourself, bored, listless, have a loss of energy or vitality. You feel the yuck of stuck, a sense of being forced to stay inside boundaries, or color inside the lines when your hand trembles at the luscious idea of making large red loops in the margin, and then fill in the circles with garish devilish grinning faces.
Sometimes the people we found the most difficult in our early years can be the catalyst for profound change. My client, Theresa, would prop a drawing tablet inside her high school history book and pretend to take notes in class when she was really drawing horses. The teacher would pace back and forth and drone on about battles and obscure dates in a monotone. This went on day in, day out. In defiance, Theresa secretly hoped she would get caught. It was her way of fighting back, giving her mind something purposeful to do. She took it as a personal affront that someone could make her sit for an hour each day without teaching anything in an interesting way. Theresa eventually became a writer, determined to make every word interesting, to make every sentence count. Who was your nemesis, someone from your past who could be a gift to send your life forward, as the teacher did for Theresa?
You and I will fashion together a tool belt and fill it with the skills you didn’t learn. Your heart will perk up, become interested, you will feel tugs of joy and happiness in your gut. The heart can make those feelings happen, it has that kind of power. The heart doesn’t understand terms like, “too late,” or “can’t.” It’s similar to taking a toddler to the checkout stand at the supermarket and expecting him to stand and stare quietly at the candy bars, hands clasped patiently together , while you wait in line.
Remember how I asked you if you stuffed your dream down deep, thinking it would leave you alone while you were busy doing other things? That was dishonest, and your heart only understands Truth. It didn’t recognize the game you played, even if you were well intended and unconscious about it. The mind can invent all sorts of distractions and consider them valid, convince you it knows what is best, while battering you with its inner critic to keep you in line. The intellect can say things like: “It would be so stupid to quit a lucrative sales position and become a flight attendant at age 45” (I did that); Or, “enter a beauty pageant at 40 – at the State level? You’ve never been in a pageant before. Are you crazy?!” (I did that too); Or, how about this one: “You’re going to do WHAT? Drive to Beverly Hills at age 50 and sit in a room with twenty something gorgeous giants to see if you can get signed by a top Modeling and Talent Agency? That’s not only ridiculous but scandalous. What will people say/think?” (I did that too – and there’s more…much more).
The point is, the path to your Secret Dream isn’t going to be easy. But if you can, you must at the very least, try. For your heart’s sake.
In my next Blog, I’ll talk about Rejection. Why it hurts, how it heals, and how it is a necessary and critical step to get you out of STUCK.
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rchives June 2011