I had dinner the other night with a friend who, for several years, and many reasons, has stayed in an unfulfilling marriage.
But now, she is taking the steps toward divorce.
While she knows it is the best choice for her, she is freaking out about the future.
How will she support herself?
How is she going to live?
What will her life be like if she is not married?
And when she asks these questions, there is so much panic and anxiety in her voice that she freezes.
I suggested she change the intonation of her questions so that they are more like open-ended wonderings that don’t require immediate answers.
I asked her what her dream life might look like twelve months from now.
Without hesitation, she began to describe a cozy house and she would paint all the walls whatever colors she wanted. Her whole face lit up as she shared her dream of this community house filled with books and space for people to just come and hang out.
And then she stopped. But it’s not practical, she said.
And I asked her, Does it have to be practical right now?
My friend doesn’t anticipate being on her own for another 6-12 months. And so, I suggested, maybe she doesn’t NEED to be practical right now.
I suggested that this time right NOW could be an opportunity to begin to dream, to imagine all kinds of possibilities for herself in this new life. I offered that she could simply entertain her joyful imaginings so that the space opens up for what she might really want to create for herself. And that, eventually, that imaginings would reveal something practical.
You mean, give myself permission to dream? she asked.
And she realized it had been so long since she had.
When was the last time you gave yourself permission to dream?
Is there something that keeps you stuck in practicality?Would you be willing to open up to what might be possible beyond practical?
Do you even have dreams?
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