A long time ago I had a dream about heaven. At least at the time I thought it was about heaven but looking back, I really think it was a dream about the future. And when I say the future, I think it was a dream I needed to have back then so that it could inspire me now, in the present, when I think of it.
In the dream, I was walking through the desert. I have no idea why but it was tough going. I was thirsty and tired. I wanted to stop but I just kept trudging along. After a few moments I came upon this small path off to my right that led to a ledge. Because I really had nothing else better to do but be tired and thirsty, I decided to climb the ledge to see what was up there.
When I got to the top, I was able to see the entire land. The desert that had loomed like the Great Wall of China around me was only a small part of this beautiful oasis that extended beyond what I could see.
I stood for a few minutes just taking it all in before walking down back into the desert and continuing my journey. I was still thirsty and tired but I didn’t mind so much because I knew that eventually the hardship would end and I would be somewhere much better.
I was actually working on this week’s set of writing prompts for Figmeant when the memory of this came to me, out of the blue. I wasn’t doing anything remotely religious or having to do with spirituality so I can’t say, for certain, what prompted the memory of this dream to surface.
Of course at the time when I had the dream, I told a fellow Christian who responded with a typical Christian theory. She said that god was showing me the rewards of doing his work on Earth. The thing is, though, I don’t believe the dream has any religious connotations at all and the only reason it seemed that way was BECAUSE I was a Christian at the time.
Today, as an atheist, I can see that there are actually several different meanings wrapped up in that one dream and both apply to different issues that I have been struggling with throughout the course of my life.
In a previous post, I talked about how I was going in circles and how I had come to the point where I realized why and what I needed to do to break out of that rut. Two things have been playing havoc with my psyche:
1. I’m suffering from a scarcity mentality. I don’t think there is enough to go around and I focus on what I don’t have.
2. I think that even if I work hard, I still won’t achieve my goals and get what I want.
I’ve read enough motivational books to know that our beliefs about ourselves and life in general are the direct result of the experiences we have had in our lives. I’ve run into times where there wasn’t enough to go around both as a child and as an adult. My family wasn’t poor but we weren’t the Gates either. We were your typical middle class dual income family. But there were times when there wasn’t enough money to pay for food and electricity. I remember, as an adult, the embarrassment of having a car repossessed because there wasn’t enough money for the car payment and the rent.
I’ve also experienced working my ass off for something I’ve wanted and not getting it as well as achieving a goal and then falling flat on my face in failure soon after. These failures overshadow all of the successes I’ve had in life no matter how big or small they were.
So I really wasn’t surprised when I realized that unconsciously I was sabotaging my own efforts to improve my life. I would talk and talk and talk and plan and plan and plan and scream “I’m Ready!” and burst through the starting gate. But not even a quarter of a ways down the race, I would find some way, some reason, to make it so that I’m forced to go back and start over again. All because I’m afraid of proving with yet another failure that these two beliefs I’m carrying around really are true.
Knowing this, I came to the conclusion that the only way to get rid of these beliefs is to prove that they are false. I would do this by going forward and achieving my goals. Progress, thus far, has been slow but I’m learning to recognize when I’m sabotaging myself and am coming up with ways to overcome that.
For instance, I have this habit of doing too many things as a way of frustrating myself into doing nothing. So I decided that even though I have all of these ideas and things that I want to do, that I will pick as many as I realistically can handle and focus on only those.
One of those is the goal of getting paid to do what I love which is writing and designing. I have three websites set up for this (four, if you count this blog) but instead of actually working on the goal, I will procrastinate by changing the template. Endlessly. So I decided that for each site I have that I would come up with a website template that I loved or at least could live with for a year and then that was it. No more tweaking. Last night I finally jumped over that hurdle when I completed the template for my web design site.
But it is one thing to know something intellectually and quite another to believe it emotionally. Sometimes I feel like two people living in the same body. One (my mind) believes wholeheartedly that I can do anything I set myself to do while the other (my emotions) are still holding on to those limiting beliefs because it’s been “proven” in the past to be true.
I’m not quite sure what has happened but remembering this dream somehow brought my emotions inline with my thoughts by reminding me that the universe, like life’s potential, is vast and unending and that where I’m standing now is only the tiniest bit of the whole picture. There really is enough to go around and sometimes we need to step outside of our boxes to see that.
The other thing I realized is that just because I failed in the past doesn’t mean I will in the future. The reason I failed in the past was the result of a multitude of things. Sometimes it was directly my fault. I either did (or failed to do) something that caused me to fall on my face. And the only thing that I need to do now is learn from it not commiserate over it. Other times, the reason I failed was because of something outside of my control. The dream showed me that there are many roads to success and that if I keep trying and keep looking eventually I will find the one that will take me to where I want to go.
I really didn’t mean for this post to be this long but I really felt the need to share. Maybe it’s more information than anyone really wanted to know about me but if anyone else struggling with these same thoughts happens across this post and have an epiphany that will change their life for the better then it is all well worth it.