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Have you ever been homesick for a place that no longer exists? A place your mind wanders to as a safe haven?
Maybe it’s not a place, but a person.
When life gets crazy and we are running a marathon on the hamster wheel called life, I occasionally find myself pulled into a place just like that. A place that only exists in my head, inside my memories, and inside my heart.
I give myself permission to live there for split seconds at a time because it calms me and (mostly) brings me happiness. Of course, looking back always amplifies the positives, but that’s just fine by me.
I mean, who wants to relive the negative memories or occasions by choice over and over? Life is hard as it is, and I don’t really want to create bigger and darker clouds in my already rainy skyline.
I’m not a psychiatrist or psychologist to analyze this sort of behavior and the meaning behind it, but I assume it is healthy to visualize ourselves in a better place or amongst people we love and by whom we feel uplifted.
People often create vision boards as a reminder of their goals to help keep them motivated and driven. So, I believe it is just as important to create a visual and emotional sanctuary within ourselves to keep us grounded, momentarily safe, and at peace.
Daydreaming is a good thing.
It is like meditation in that we forget about the world around us for a short moment. Our breathing slows down, we let the heavy veil of stress (that weighs us down) lift off and float away, and we can imagine how things could be. It might only be temporary, but how we feel in that moment is therapeutic, inspiring, and dares us to change or make progress.
Walt Disney said, “Keep moving forward,” and I can’t imagine he was talking about staying put, settling, and ignoring our intuitions and dreams.
I’m certain he was talking about not letting our current circumstances create a concrete wall to keep us captives, but rather pick ourselves up from missteps, learn from them, and keep on trying.
Daydreaming and taking a time warp trip to joyous moments—no matter how recent or old—reminds us of what matters most. It almost screams at us through those recalled images, faint recognizable smells, a word spoken, or a déjà vu experience.
It’s familiar, and we all feel comfortable—maybe even too safe with familiar.
Daydreaming can help clear the mind and therefore, assist with problem-solving skills and kick creativity into full force. Use it to your advantage.
But what if the place you are homesick for no longer exists?
What if it is too far away or it can no longer be replicated the same way you recall it in your memory?
What if the place involves people who passed away and you get mad with yourself for not being able to recollect the sound of their voice anymore?
Don’t get mad. Hold on to the good stuff and visit and converse it in your mind as much as you want. It’s reassuring to know that places in our past or people in our lives have impacted us positively.
That means we were part of something incredible and also left an impression on them. It was mutually beneficial and we can be proud of that.
Allow yourself those “feel good” micro vacation moments.
Don’t stay there too long, though. It could make you sad versus refreshed, and you might begin to disassociate from your current world.
Merely take what you need from those trips and carry what’s important with you in order to pay it forward and implement the lessons learned.
Daydreaming or mindful time-traveling can be an incredibly useful tool, but don’t get stuck there.
The world also needs you here and now.