Jenny Brown (skywind8) wrote,
Jenny Brown

Learning to Dream

What is the opposite of worry?

That would be anticipation. Curiosity, excitement, engagement. Hope. Imagining the good and not obsessing on the bad.

I've been noticing over the past couple years how often I freeze up with worry, doubt, lack of direction, indecisiveness, when I am wishing I could be getting a certain project done. And, noticing how much more quickly the project happens once I trick myself into "just go through the motions" and get into motion.

Trying to "go through the motions" means, indirectly, that I have to preplan what the physical steps are, like putting on clothes and coat, getting in the car, driving to the store, walking to the counter, picking up a prescription, paying, getting in the car, driving back home, parking, and coming inside. Notice that none of those have emotion attached to them, even while it's cold outside and there is discomfort. This has been an effective strategy to break my anxiety/discomfort avoidance behaviors, on relatively simple tasks.... because it dodges the entire question of whether I "want" to do something. I am simply doing it, and cutting out the internal emotional chatter. If I can distract my brain with daydreaming about something else, even better, because I feel like I'm getting daydream time while accomplishing something (be careful with this while driving though).

But I was still stalled on bigger things. In particular, I've avoided planning or dreaming much of anything in my life, ahead of time, because I was disappointed so many times for so many years during the early stages of chronic illness, when we didn't know what to expect or how to live through it. Disappointment and confusion ruled my days, and I finally just gave up. So, how to break past that sense of helplessness, and start planning my life, now? The illness side is stabilized, not great yet but improving, and daily life can be basically "normal" for now. How do I reclaim my dreams? My plans? My hope and intention?

I worried that if I started to make any plans, have any dreams or hopes or desires, that I would simply be disappointed again. It had nearly become a "law of reality" for me - that if I dared to dream, I was guaranteed to be disappointed. I never or rarely thought beyond that point. Worry ruled.

What if I can use anticipation to fuel my direction, while accepting that day to day, I may have temporary setbacks and hard work, but the ultimate end will pay off? What if I cahnge the rules to measuring my successes instead of counting setbacks? How does that change my relationship to my dreams?

Anticipation. Using imagination to go after the feelings of satisfaction, accomplishment, freedom, strength, focus, power, abundance, and space that I want. Getting excited about the end result. Using my energy to crank up my motivation and enthusiasm, so I operate from a mental frame of "I'm doing this thing" and setbacks are presumed temporary, solved and gotten out of the way as quickly as possible, and I get back to doing whatever it was I was enjoying. Never mind about that bump in the road, I'm perfectly capable of taking care of it as an aside and getting back to my real task.

I know from experience that I have a ton of energy inside, ready to be unleashed, if only I will give it an appropriate goal that I really want. And that means being WILLING to WANT. Having desires, and putting emotional energy behind them.

I am faced with the idea, right now, that after Daniel heals from his surgery, he may be largely "fixed" in a permanent sense. As he takes back the tasks that support him, and I can stop being a caregiver, I will suddenly have a lot more free time and energy in my life. Kind of an early "empty nest." What will I do with it? If I need to figure it out then... what about starting to figure it out now? Why should I wait? If dreams and desire and anticipation can cut through my worry, and draw out my natural enthusiasm and action-energy... then there are probably things I can do already, right now, to pursue those dreams.

So what will I dream of? What will I dare to let myself want? What intentions will I set?

The answers to that will go into my next post, as I'd like to lock it down, and would rather leave this one public.

So what about you? Are there ways that you use anticipation to cut past worry, and draw out your energy?
Tags: dreams, mystery2010, needs/feelings
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