I recently reached a pivotal point in my life.
A catalyst for change has arisen.
However, instead of spinning outward and free-falling, I felt captured and tightly coiled inward.
I had been preparing myself as though I was about to face the potential wrath of failure head on.
For the longest time, at least since I was six or seven years old, my mind had contained a dream. I always knew that one day I would write a book, which would put into context and explain some of the extraordinary experiences I had encountered so far. I believed that by unravelling my internal world I would be guided to a unique peaceful, harmonious and magical paradise.
However, I was wrong. When I was a younger no one told me that my captivating dream would be entwining its elegant fingers with the ones belonging to turmoil and dread. And I was never warned that I would have to master debilitating self-doubt, crippling self-criticism and paralysing terror before I actualized my dream.
I didn’t think that half way through demons would appear and turn my enchanted wish into a living, breathing, all consuming nightmare.
I also wasn’t expecting silent whispers to start haunting the hours I was awake and when I finally reached sleep the sounds would turn into anxiety-ridden sensations that would fracture and freeze my imagination.
I was self-sabotaging my vision and I was a master at it.
My self-preservation illogically made the decision that to keep me safe and protected from unknown dark and dubious encounters, it would fuel my mind with unpleasant and maleficent scenarios that would successfully deter me from failing—and ironically, prevent me from succeeding.
When I was a child I had felt free to set myself limitless challenges, as I never considered that if they failed my flaws would be presented on show for all to see.
I had also believed that my decisions, plans and achievements were mine alone and if they went awry, then I would have the opportunity to deal with the consequences without other people watching and judging. I never thought twice about the possibility of other people having an opinion on the spectacle of my dreams and I dramatically falling out.
When my dream was starting to take structure all of these fears and more flooded my mind, and so, procrastination found a way to enter too. It told me that rather than having to cope with perceived failure, I could delay it, for as long as I wanted to. I could totally avoid, and ignore it forever if I chose to. I would also have to abandon my dream, but that was the deal I was dealt.
So while I procrastinated and reduced the pressure, I also found a few parts of myself that had been hijacked, hidden or that had got lost somewhere throughout the years.
I bumped into the childlike attitude that I had back then, when I “couldn’t care less” if things went wrong. The type of attitude that would skip, run, ride a bike and roller skate far too fast and down hills much too steep, especially for my skill-base. I uncovered the courage that caused me to fall five hundred times or more and still bounce back, brush off, bandaid injuries and instantly forget the pain.
I didn’t care who saw, who laughed, who thought they were better or braver, cleverer or stronger, I just simply didn’t notice and did not consider or worry about any of it for a moment. I had to make the most of my time enjoying myself and playing with friends outside, I hadn’t got precious seconds and certainly not hours to waste wallowing or sinking deep into thoughts or assessments of what might or might not be going through other anyone else’s head.
In the midst of delaying my dream, synchronicity decided to introduced itself. While I was busy putting off everything I had imagined I would one day pull off, I started to receive little signs, which could only have come direct from the universe, as no one else knew of the turmoil I was drowning in.
The subliminal messages were telling me that for a variety of reasons, it wasn’t quite the time for my dream to unfold. I still had quite a few things to learn, a few places internally and externally to explore and a few people to meet and converse with before I could add the final touches to my personal life-long work of subjective art.
I began to realize that every miniscule experience happens right when it is supposed to happen and not a second before.
I needed the fear, I needed the procrastination, I needed to get over myself and get out of my own way so that whatever was meant to unravel could gracefully roll out without interference and fretful hindrance.
I needed to get a firm grip, wake up to myself and stop placing judgement, expectation or ego-hungry hopes for perceived outcomes on myself. I found that my personal condemnation was excruciatingly more painful and unbearable than anyone else’s could ever possibly be. I have to live with myself daily and yet, I was the one cruelly beating myself inwardly. No one else could do as much harm as I was doing to myself.
This dream was meant to be sweet and pleasurable, not tragic and treacherous.
I was doing all of this to myself and the enemy was within.
I hadn’t even reached the stage of flutter and fly or fall and fail, but I had already taken myself to hell and stayed there awhile.
What could possibly be worse than my own berating, belittling and brutal inner conversations?
I now know that while I was emotionally turbulent, I would never have been able to fully appreciate the journey my dream would take and watch it being brought to life. I am also fully aware that reaching my dream is where the laborious and turbulent parts end. It isn’t about what happens to it after the hard work has been done, as it takes on its own energy and will flow with momentum if that is what is intended for it.
Dreams are about how we treat and deal with the blood, sweat and many tears that it takes to get the dream’s heart beating in the first place.
Appreciating all aspects of the dream is expressed when we are willing to bandage and soothe the areas the blood leaks from and show tenderness, compassion and care. When we are willing to notice the sweat, take time-out, recognize our exhaustion and pamper, refuel and reenergize ourselves whenever we are nearing breaking point. It’s also when we catch the tears, however many drop, and recognize and understand that they are there because when our dream spills out, a part of our soul spills out with it. And that’s okay.
Dreams are a journey, a process. They aren’t about perfection and they aren’t about worrying what happens to them far off in the future. When we have a calling, a personal mission, we can try to deny it and drown it out with distractions all we like. But it won’t go away.
We will fail at times, nothing is more certain. Though the failures are equally as valuable, in their own way, as the successes.
We just have to surrender and take the profound and life-altering tests, lessons and experiences that are offered as they hold inner depth, wisdom and meaning that slowly unveils the stepping stones to the next stage of the unravelling winding path. Dreams are not meant to be hurried nor do they promise only the finest of outcomes. They give whatever it is that is needed at each stage, reached at each precise phase in our lives.
I have let go of the anticipation of what may occur when my dream is released and taken out of my hands. Whatever happens then is meant to happen and whether it brings joy or pain, it will be the exact element I need at that exact time, in this exact life.
Author: Alex Myles
Editor: Travis May
Image: Flickr/Helga Weber