Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dreams, Destiny, Our Purpose In Life Or All Of The Above & Then Some?

I've been sitting here wondering, you know, meandering in my mind (I've got to be so careful. I could get LOST in there, maybe take a wrong turn and never find my way back!), wondering if our dreams are really our destiny, and perhaps even our purpose in life. To wit -- why is it that everybody has different sorts of dreams, some seemingly little, some gargantuan, and yet the dreams they/we have, even if not yet attained, seem to be meant to be for us. We might have a hard time imagining it, and most people are stuck in a rut, or scared, or it just seems too overwhelming to wait, and plan, and work it all out when we live in a fast food society, where everything seems to move at breakneck speed and if it takes awhile most people just shrug and forget about it. But it's the dreamers that really make things happen.

It was Thoreau who put it best...

“If one advances confidently in the direction of one's dreams, and endeavors to live the life which one has imagined, one will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

I have always loved that quote, but then, I'm a transcendentalist at heart.

One of the things I've been talking about with a friend recently, someone who works for a lot of very wealthy people, is how so many of them have quite a lot of money but are very unhappy. One said something so poignant that it was heartbreaking. She said, "When you have all of this money, you've already bought or achieved your dreams, and when there's nothing left to dream about, there's not a lot to live

If you ask most people what they want most (You know, besides World Peace, and the other obvious answers...) a large percentage of them will say that they want to be wealthy, want to win the lottery or the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes. I've had my share of those kind of dreams too, but I have come to realize, at 55, what one really needs is what feeds their soul, what leaves them with a sense of contentment, or feeling fulfilled. What brings you joy?

I am thinking things through very carefully now. Our dreams aren't and shouldn't be just an acquisition of
things, although many of those, like the cottage I am looking for, are simply practical and necessary things to have to live in the world. I have been acquisitive and ended up with a bunch of stuff I quickly didn't care about. I was trying to fill a void that not only turned out to be a bottomless pit, but got me in trouble financially over things I couldn't even remember buying. We learn the hard way. I have learned my lesson. I want a little cottage, the used car that I've found (My current one is a 17 year old mini-van with rust and cracks and dents and water keeps leaking into one headlight through a crack and the other headlight has a hole about 2 inches round broken smack out of the middle of it. Inotherwords, the poor old thing is kind of held together by bandaids and duct tape, and still, I love this kiwi green mini mini van, but it's just not safe to drive anymore, and you don't dare chance driving it far. I need a car that is dependable and reliable and I'm tired of carrying around a crate full of duct tape, "just in case." But a newer used car will do me fine.

I will be living on a modest but comfortable income, enough to meet my needs and have a bit left over, hopefully making money selling my art and my books and other writing projects to make a little extra, and I will garden like mad and grow some of my own food, and I will live a peaceful existence of solitude and work that I love. It's taken me a long time, nearly three decades of marriage and raising children, a decade of being alone, a starving artist, and at mid-life I am settling into the peace and security that I need. I don't want or need a big life, I need a life that fulfils my needs, I want to help others through my work, I want to care for my bevy of rescued animals, and marvel over my children and grandchildren and I will be happy, and at peace, and filled with gratitude to have just that.

Our dreams do not go away or grow smaller, they become part of us, they go deeper, wherein the perimeter might seem smaller but we have gone down into the vast well of our being and found our truth, our purpose, our mission in life, our destiny. We will find these things if we are patient, and take loving care of ourselves and others along the way, and if we band together to help support one another as we all walk ahead into the land of dreamy dreams, we have a better chance of achieving them.

To that end, one of the things that is important for me to do with this blog is to help others by allowing them to send me their questions which I will post and I will answer as I can, and hope that readers will, in the comments section, help the dreamer see their dream made manifest. This life is an endless journey. Let us walk it together...



  1. I agree our dreams change as we go through life. Mine to is to have peace and calm..and space..the sort of space that means you can think without interuptions!! But that's away off yet I think.
    I recognise the desription of your car, it sounds like I feel some days, lol.
    It sounds as if you have started an other great blog, I can't wait to see where this one leads you.

  2. My oh my I am excited too to find another wonderful blog for you. My dreams are small. Of course I have dream of world peace, no hunger, no cruelty and I do dream that all people all over the world could have an equal share.

    As for myself, I think I am starting to live my dream. My dream now is mostly for my husband. If we can get started with our photography commercially then he won;t have to spend the rest of his life doing hard manual labor.

    I am so excited to see your new blog and to hear you are doing so well!!
    Hugs and love always!

  3. Hi. I am a former victim of severe child abuse and I only dream terrible things. I am currently trying to retrain my brain in a positive manner. Its a work in progress :) Thanks for sharing this post. I'm visiting from Adgitize.

  4. Dear Mother Maitri,
    I've been reading through your inspiring blog. I find it so unfortunate that people with money think all their dreams are behind them. What a shallow view. Think what they could do with that money, the lives they could change, the good they could do. So sad so many people live in a materialistic world and delve no deeper. Living beyond yourself not because of yourself is the way to happiness.
    You are a very special lady.

  5. Dear, dear, Maitri,

    Are you sure we aren't related? So much of what you write about is mirrored in my life. At 56, I have found the courage to go back to school, and fulfill my dream of working with my art. I'm not ready to face a classroom of strangers, so I am taking classes online. I found a counselor, one I can trust, who is helping me deal with all the abuse I went through growing up.

    My sweet family, meaning my husband and daughter, are so supportive. It's still hard to accept the support sometimes. My emotions haven't always caught up with what my brain knows is true. Sometimes the little girl inside is still hearing the voice that tells her she is worthless and can't do anything right. But those days are becoming fewer and fewer. I talk with her sometimes, and tell her that it will be alright...those people can't hurt her anymore. It seems to help.

    What I want most in life is peace, and a way to make this world a better place. I firmly believe that it is the little things that we do every day that make a difference. I have learned compassion, and I think I have to take advantage of the opportunities that come my way, to lend a helping hand, to laugh and cry with someone, to give a hug, or just listen. Those are the kind of things that are going to make a difference in our world.

    The last year has been a trial by fire for me. My husband wrecked his motorcycle and broke his neck (he is fully recovered). A few months later, he was in the hospital having a stint put in one of his major arteries. The doctor said that if he hadn't come in when he did, he would have had a massive heart attack. Next my daughter had surgery, then our central air system gave out completely. My counselor left the firm he was with, and I lost contact. The firm told me they couldn't help me, and left me stranded. I flunked one of my major courses because of the stress. And a week ago, we found out that we are losing our house. It was a severe test, and I can't say that I have handled it all well. The counselor issue threw me for a major loop. I almost gave up trusting in people.

    But that's not where the story ends. I have found support in unexpected places. My student advisor has been there for me, whether it was school related or not. My family, again I'm talking about my husband and daughter, have grown closer than ever. And when this last blow came, I found the courage to get out of bed (I wanted to stay curled up in a ball and ignore life), and make an effort to find my old counselor. I did, and he is giving me 2 free months of sessions, while we get back on our feet. We are declaring bankruptcy and starting over. We will find an apartment and downsize somewhat, store some things, and make it through.

    The bottom line is this. All the possessions in the world mean nothing if you don't have peace of mind. I almost lost the love of my life last year, but God saw fit to spare him. A house and possessions just aren't that important when compared with that.

    The thng that bothers me the most in my life, though, is the anxiety disorder that I am stuck with. So many people just don't understand, and tell me to just get over things, even the abuse. If any of you have ever been through any kind of abuse, you know that you don't "just get over it." I wish I could let them look inside my head, and see through my eyes, what it is like when this chemical imbalance in your head won't let you let go as easily as other people do. Still, I know they mean well, but even that sometimes makes it hard. How can you be angry with someone you know is trying to help, even though they are hurting you in the process?

    I guess when you cut through all of what I just said, we need our dreams, but we need each other to hold on to as we filter through and find the real meaning of our lives.