Sunday, December 19, 2010

Winters of our Discontent

There always come that moment in facing our dreams - new ones or old ones revived - where the elements of reality as we know it come rising up to fight us. The first blush of energy, of renewal, of beginning to bloom are cut down by the "sensibilities and realities" of our life, like the wind off Lake Michigan in October which cuts right through every layer of clothing and chills you to the bone.

This is the most dangerous and vulnerable time for our dreams. Herein lies the gates where so many dreams, having taken their first few steps, come to die.

I say dangerous and vulnerable because these new or revived dreams do not fit the current matrix of our lives. Dreams, goals and objectives are often matrix disrupters; by the very fact that they are not in our current plan, they create disruptions in our thinking and our lives.

And our lives do not like disruption. More often than not, we are creatures of habit: we have routines, we have what we have eventually settled for - and disruptions of our lives are difficult to countenance. So helpfully, our lives attempted to tamp them town, reacting like white blood cells to an infection: surround, attack, destroy.

It takes time to build the internal structures to manage a new dream or goal, to set in motion physically, intellectually and spiritually the undergirdings to make such a thing possible. It is this space that probably kills more dreams and goals than all other times of trial together. It is not that others will destroy them; we will happily destroy them ourselves.

And so this becomes the first goal of any dream, the first act in the winter of our discontent, that place where we find that we are not living where we should be yet have not reached out in the next direction: to defend these nascent dreams from the chill winds of ourselves as diligently as we defend them from the negative feedback, scorn and indifference of others.

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