I’m a future-oriented person. At any given time, I’m probably using half my energy thinking, dreaming, preparing for what’s coming next.
But this year for Lent, I’m trying to give up dreaming for a little while. As much as I’m able, for the next month or so I’ll avoid pondering any possible future, no matter how wonderful. Instead, I want to focus on the life that I am living right now – and to be grateful for it.
It’s hard to tell where visionary thinking ends and escapism begins. I suspect that I cross the line more often than I’d like to think. That’s one reason for this fast: To spend some time being truly present with what is, instead of being in such a rush to create what will be.
There must be other reasons, too. The truth is, I don’t really know why I’m feeling compelled to undertake this odd little period of renunciation. You might say it’s a leading of the Spirit. Or maybe I’m just a little bit burnt out. But whatever it is, it feels bigger than my conscious mind. Something deeper.
One of these hidden reasons became a little clearer to me today. I had a flash of inspiration, realizing how much of an impact my dreaming has on those around me. Mostly positive, I hope. I invite the people around me into my dreams, and to discover dreams of their own. At best, my out-of-control vision can help spark creativity in others.
I’m realizing it can also do the opposite. Sometimes, the sheer volume and intensity of my waking dreams can suck up all the oxygen in the room, making it difficult for others to breathe their own unique forms of imagination.
I want to leave space for every flower to bloom. I want to see joy come alive. I want to make room for others to dream, even if it means that my own dreaming needs to learn some limits.
What’s your experience? Are you a dreamer, or would you benefit from a little more space to imagine a more beautiful future?