It can, at times, be virtuous to use restraint. There are times that a holding back of desire is truly called for and appreciated. Say, for instance, there are only 4 pieces of pizza and 4 hungry people to feed. It would clearly be greedy to take more than one piece when that would mean someone else wouldn’t get their serving.
But there are other times that the use of restraint is simply a holding back from what is rightfully yours. A holding back from dreaming your biggest dreams or from taking as much as you could possibly desire. And there is a loaded word right there: desire. Many of us have been taught to tamp down or even downright ignore our desires. We might have been successful in doing so, finding it nearly impossible to even remember what it is we truly want at all any more. Or maybe we remember, but don’t feel right about extending our arms out wide enough to receive the gifts of our dreams and desires.
Well, here’s the good news: We are standing at the beginning of a new year – which feels even more significant than usual as we peer at the challenges of 2020 in the rearview mirror. We are also close to the year anniversary of lockdown. New Years’ and anniversaries and rites of passage and rituals to signify change exist for good reason. One reason is because it is incumbent upon each of us living out this human experience to make meaning out of our lives. Meaning rarely just emerges out of thin air while we are binge watching a series on Netflix (though it wouldn’t be impossible for that to happen). All our hopes and dreams (if we can remember what they are) rarely just plop in our lap without having had to do some fairly significant self-study and excavation and, perhaps, face some scary dragons in order to claim them.
All this to say, January – this month, this week, today, right now, that is – is a wonderful time to re-member (put back together) the dis-membered parts of yourself: Your hopes? Dreams? Desires? Goals? Plans? Life is simply too short and too much of an opportunity for any one of us to let it happen under the constant conditions of restraint or denial of our dreams.
If you want to remember your dreams, re-member yourSelf, do this as soon as you can:
Now what? Maybe you feel exhilarated and ready to see what next steps come from exploring your remembered dreams, but maybe you feel frightened and daunted by what emerged. Take a deep breath and know that we are here for you if you need help processing. We are here for you.
Happy New Year. Here’s to dreaming big.
*This was great advice given to me that I will share with you: Call in your largest desires and dreams while also not feeling like they need to be any larger than your nervous system could actually handle. Let’s say we are desiring more money, but in this exercise I say I want a trillion dollars. I have to notice that it’s more than I could take in the sense that I don’t want what comes with possessing one trillion dollars. Make sense?