Friday, January 06, 2006

What am I dreaming for . . . ?

What happens when “all our dreams come true?”  And, whose dreams are they, anyway?  Mom’s or Dad’s, or “the family’s,” or society’s, or the Church’s, or God’s ?

We often dream of having something that we have been told is the thing to dream for.  Television, Hollywood, and Madison Ave. put forth visions that we sometimes hold as dreams.  The image of the perfect body, the perfect job, or spouse, or car.  But whose dream is it, really?

In the Broadway musical  “Wicked” (which more or less tells the “Oz” story from the point of view of the witches), Glinda the good witch wins Fyero the handsome man.  Both are popular, beautiful, but rather shallow. 

As their eyes are opened to new perspectives, things change.  Even at the point of having “all their dreams come true,”  Glinda can see that it is not so simple as black-or-white, good-or-evil; things are not so clear.  She tries to put up a good front, even as parts of her dream are falling apart.

That's why I couldn't be happier
Though it is, I admit
The tiniest bit
Unlike I anticipated.
But I couldn't be happier
Simply couldn't be happier
(spoken) Well - not "simply":
(sung) 'Cause getting your dreams
It's strange, but it seems
A little - well - complicated
There's a kind of a sort of : cost
There's a couple of things get: lost
There are bridges you cross
You didn't know you crossed
Until you've crossed
And if that joy, that thrill
Doesn't thrill you like you think it will
Still - With this perfect finale
The cheers and ballyhoo
Who Wouldn't be happier?
Because happy is what happens
When all your dreams come true
Well, isn't it?
Happy is what happens
When your dreams come true!

Whose dreams do we live by, and live for?  Are they ours, or someone else’s?   So often folk say “they just want to be happy.” But what does that mean? 

Growing up I was well trained as a caretaker.  Take care of Mom, take care of Granny, take care of the house, and (especially) take care of yourself (which means, “I don’t have time for you, go figure it out on your own.”)

I did not have a dream to live by, so I just made it up, based on what I thought would make everyone else happy.  Ah, yes, classic Co-dependence:  always focused on others; trying so hard to control others because only that way can you control yourself. 

An old joke:  When we are on our deathbed, our life flashes before our eyes.  For the co-dependent, some one else’s life flashes before your eyes!

In my sacred journey, I have become so deeply aware that I have been trying to lead someone else’s life, someone else’s dream.  So focused on the needs of others, I am only now learning about my own needs.  Slow learner.  But, better late than never. 

I have wanted to be someone else so badly.  Wanted to be straight, and married, and a father, and pursue the career to which I felt called (and which I do pretty well, when I’m at my best).  I got almost all of these things.  Except, I never could get it straight about being straight.  Something has always felt out of kilter, incongruent,  distinctly strange.

Living someone else’s dream.  How do we discover or discern our own dreams?  To be, or not to be, that is the question.  I have no answer as to how; I only know that it is beginning in me. 

It’s really more important to focus on the journey and not so much the destination.  The journey, the here, the now.  Yes, plan ahead, but be prepared for anything.


Michael said...

I have been told to plan plans, but don't plan results.

In Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat there is a song, "Any Dream Will Do":
I closed my eyes, drew back the curtain
To see for certain what I thought I knew
Far far away, someone was weeping
But the world was sleeping
Any dream will do

I wore my coat, with golden lining
Bright colours shining, wonderful and new
And in the east, the dawn was breaking
And the world was waking
Any dream will do

A crash of drums, a flash of light
My golden coat flew out of sight
The colours faded into darkness
I was left alone

May I return to the beginning
The light is dimming, and the dream is too
The world and I, we are still waiting
Still hesitating
Any dream will do...

I'm not sure just any dream will do. But any dream may be enough to start.

The journey, say the Taoists, is the reward.

Musicguy said...

Glinda eventually stood up for what she knew to be the truth, upsetting the powers that be. There's always a cost, that's the easy part. Finding the courage is often so much more difficult.