It seems as if everyone around us is living their dream or pursuing their passion. It’s everywhere, and with the prevalence of social media, even more so. The pressure to live interesting lives, have thrilling adventures, and at the ‘have it all together’ is tremendous. In just one our, I have seen the following on my Facebook and Instagram feeds: many of my friends are writing for the #write31days challenge; three of my acquaintances just published their first magazine articles; two friends are writing their first book; one friend posted an amazing graphic that she designed herself; another friend is starting a health and fitness program for young kids; and yet another is photographing Yosemite. I could go on and on, but I don’t have to. You can see it yourself in your own corner of the world.
But what if our dream, our passion, is dead? Or numb? Or hidden away so deep, we can’t even figure out how to find it? One dear reader, responding to the questions “What gives your life meaning? What are you passionate about?” responded, “How weird is it that I have no earthly idea?”
Oh, dear reader. It is not so weird. I think these questions can elude us at many times in our lives. Particularly if you have set aside your own dreams for a season. A student finishing school. A mom with three kids under age four. An executive working 60-80 hours a week to build a career. A caregiver who has spent years caring for a loved one. One who has gone through great loss due to death of a loved one or a divorce and has to find a new normal. A woman in her fifties whose children are in their twenties and have left home. A victim or verbal or physical abuse who was made to feel that they were nothing and their feelings or dreams didn’t matter.
Maybe we have become too busy to dream. Maybe we have set our passions aside for a time to tend to more urgent needs. Maybe we have damaged so much by life crisis or hurtful relationships that we have shut down, including that part of our hearts that feels passion and dreams big dreams. If we are numb to feeling passion, sometimes it might take a while for our hearts to wake up again.
It’s time to get out your notebook again and do some writing. If you haven’t been writing the answers to these questions, I challenge you to try it. There is something about not only thinking about each question, but actually writing down each answer. Seeing it in black and white, going through the physical motions of typing out the answers, or better yet, taking pen to paper – it reaches a different part of our brain, and adds another dimension to our processing.