“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” – Anatole France
As children, we all seemed to have had dreams—we all played games of adventure and fantasy.
When I was young boy, we would many times wish to grow up wanting to be the noble character of a fireman, or a sports figure or a doctor. It was a time when many of us simply may have wanted to be what our father’s had been; a farmer, a salesman—a person that went off to do whatever it was that they did.
During that same era, the young girls wanted to be teachers, or nurses or to be doctors as well. Or they, too, simply may have wanted to do whatever their mothers did.
Growing up in the Midwest during that time was simple and somewhat satisfying. Yet, there was something within us that wanted more.
I remember dreaming of becoming a park ranger. I liked the outdoors—the chance to live near the mountains. In fact, I vaguely remember a television show about being a national park ranger. It was exciting! They lived in some amazing places and did exciting things—it seemed like every week there was somebody who needed rescuing. Then I realized that a park ranger in the mountains had to climb a lot of things. I quickly crossed that dream off my list because I had a fear of heights.
We all have dreams; even now at this very moment.
We have things that we want to accomplish. We have weaknesses that we want to overcome. We may be facing an illness that we are working to not only move on from but to regain a life that we once had or thought that we wanted back. We may be struggling with a break in a relationship that seems entangled in our hearts and souls. We may dream of retiring to that beach front cottage or to travel the globe experiencing the richness of life that we have worked so hard to develop.
It is the simplicity of that child who is willing to dare the impossible because, as a child, there aren’t any impossibilities.
The child within us wants to be courageous and to do that which is considered risky. Many times the most colorful of ideas come from the child within us. Yet, a child needs something to empower them to act out their fantasy.
It needs security.
It needs reassurance.
It needs to feel that no matter what happens tomorrow there will be another opportunity to act the dream all over again.
We all know this part of us all too well.
The adult is the one who says that there needs to be order and tells the child all the time that its fantasy is silly. The adult in us counts the cost that says it is too risky to do some of the things that the inner child wants to attempt. It tells the inner child in the back of our minds to sit down and to buckle up.
The adult is the one who disciplines us sometimes because the mischievous child acts out a dream on their own. It is the one who sets the boundaries too tightly because, well, it doesn’t want the child to be hurt. Our adult personae tells us to be rational in an irrational world. All the while, the adult part of us wants to have freedom to have fun, but we have stifled the child so much that we lost sight of it.
Then there is the adolescent within us who has the energy to act upon the dreams of the inner child but still needs the guidance of the inner parent.
The inner teenager says they know that it can do what the inner child wants to do—and do it even bigger. It is the “older sibling” who is not willing to listen to the parent because it is still deeply connected with the younger child but won’t admit it. It is the part of us that wants to discover who we are by trying to do all that we can. It is the energy storehouse of all the inner passion—healthy and unhealthy.
It is the reckless one that doesn’t mean to be careless but they are still trying to find their own meaning in life. The inner adolescent is the one who looks in the mirror every day and asks, “What can I accomplish today because I am invincible enough to overcome anything?”
We all have dreams.
We all have the ability to release the inner child into the playground of possibilities.
We all have the inner teenager that says that we can do anything.
We all have the adult who has learned over time how to protect itself and to plan out a contingency when things go awry.
Sometimes we forget about our inner child and lose sight of our dreams of desires.
Many times the inner adolescent shows up as our insecurities of just not knowing what we want to do and questions sometimes if the dream that we dare to “dance” with will say yes.
Life is filled with risks and dares us to dream. When the inner part of who we truly are becomes present that is when we can live this life with the richness of meaning.
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Apprentice Editor: Alicia Wozniak / Editor: Renée Picard