Reader Interactive: How do you reconcile conflicting dreams?

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When I started Human In Recovery blog in December 2011, I didn’t think I had any dreams. I was simply trying not to drown in my dysfunction and the dysfunctions of those around me. I was an emotional and psychological basket case. At that point my only concern was to not irrevocably screw up Luna’s childhood and life the way I had done to her siblings and completely tank the only relationship I felt I still had.

I’ve come a long way in the last 19 months.

I still deal with bouts of depression, hypomania, and fibroflares. The codependency and binge eating issues still factor into my behavioral reactions at times. The people I love and care about still think and act the way they do. Money is still tight, debt still looms, and clutter is ever present. But I’m not the same self-involved, overwhelmed, whiny, disconnected mess I used to be.

I’m engaging with others who are doing the work to make their dreams a reality. I’m able to listen more and talk less (sometimes). I am offering encouragement and support AND receiving it. I’m contributing to my various communities. Heck, the fact that I am including myself in communities is new.

Now I’m realizing I have hopes and dreams that go beyond surviving this moment and getting through this day. A lot of those hopes and dreams stem from my role as a mother:

• I hope and dream of being fully included as a member of my son’s family. Being able to offer encouragement and support to both him and his wife and any future children they have.

• I hope and dream about ways to facilitate the personal growth, healing and recovery both of my adult children have in front of them.

• I hope and dream that I can support, teach, and advocate for Luna in ways that lift her up and allow her to dream her dreams and act on them.

Other hopes and dreams are about my relationship with Keith.

• I hope and dream that we can grow into a healthier and more mutually supportive relationship.

• I hope and dream that I am able to support and encourage his dreams without letting my tendencies of being co-dependent, manipulative, and fearful take over.

However, I’m also realizing that none of these are hopes and dreams for me. They are about others in relationship with me. These dreams are still, ultimately dependent on others and about their fulfillment and not my own.

I have a dream about creating a community service program to help people and families move out of conflict, chaos, and personal/generational patterns and habits that perpetuate cycles of poverty and broken relationships.

I dream of being a professional speaker and writer to help others learn and grow in the things that I have struggled with for so long.

I dream of writing books and novels, having my stories be published and having people benefit from my words and experiences.

The dreams that I have for me feel impossible still. Part of me believes that pursuing those dreams won’t leave me the time and energy to do the things within my power and ability to support the relationship dreams.

To be perfectly honest, and I know some will disagree, those relationship dreams seem more critical and important. After all, if the big dreams are about helping others in healing, recovery, and restoration and I allow the relationships in my life to stay broken, what good will it be?

This has all been simmering inside of me for a while, but it hadn’t become clear until Keith and I were texting today.

We had a huge argument via text. It was triggered because living out one of his dreams is in the way of another of his dreams . . . and it hasn’t lived up to his expectations of what living that dream would be.

His dream of being a truck driver came true. His dream of fathering and raising a child of his own came true also. The truck driving dream has not financially supported our family well and has prevented him from being involved in the day to days of his daughter’s life. The realities of a truck driver’s life, in combination with who he is inside of himself, are diametrically opposed to what his vision of being a father would be. There appears to be irreconcilable differences between his dreams. He has been living one out at the expense of another and has made a decision to switch it around.

Have you encountered instances where your dreams were incompatible with each other or the dreams of those around you? How did you reconcile them?

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16 comments

  1. You’ve got a great start here with at least WRITING your dreams down. It may not make sense but you may find that some of these dreams begin to merge the more you focus on them. Some parts of one dream may be necessary in order for you to accomplish the other. Some dreams have a deadline. You may need to accomplish them FIRST in order to move on to the next one. But, these are things that no one can answer but you.

    What about prioritizing these and “forcing” yourself to determine which are the 2 or 3 most important? THat may be a place to begin.

    What do you think?

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  2. This was a perfect post for me to read this morning. In less than 3 hours, I meet with a literary agent who may represent me as I look to publish my spiritual memoir. It seems I’m moving closer to one of my major dreams. I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

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  3. I think some of your dreams actually work together. Writing a book about your experiences could help you with current relationships (getting thoughts together), possibly bring in money, help start building your credibility for community dreams.

    Writing kids books for Luna, publishing those, again build money and credibility while helping relationships at home. She could even be involved by drawing pictures.

    Books can be written in 15 minute increments as you find the time. You can mine your blog for book ideas. A number of your readers can help you as you get to the point of publishing & you are already building a fan base with the blog and other places you have gotten involved in.

    By being more social and working with people on issues you care about you may find new ways of reaching out to your kids.

    I think if you look over your post you’ll see that there is a theme that runs through it. Many of your dreams overlap. Books => credibility => speaking engagements => working/running/starting a program.

    Also by focusing on everyone you may be putting too much stress on yourself and them. If you have something you are working on/towards it might improve a number of the relationship issues. It might not but at some point you are going to have to live life for yourself and if you are always putting yourself last when that day comes your co-dependence on Keith might skyrocket and drive you both crazy.

    Just something to think about.

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    1. Tasha,
      Thank you for your insight. Definitely ideas worth considering. In terms of writing books, I think I have some underlying inadequacy fears. I don’t know how to plot and plan, blah, blah, blah. I guess I just need to heed Nike’s slogan and, “Just Do It!”

      Blessings,
      Kina

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      1. Start with something easy. What is a concept you’d like Luna to learn. Free write it in language appropriate for her age.

        Hey you know you can write you do it on your blog all the time. A book really isn’t that different from a blog… At least non-fiction isn’t… Fiction is tougher but I think you have plenty of creativity to do it. 1st step is turn off the inner critic. 2nd step free write don’t worry about planning it all out. See where it takes you,

        BTW most authors struggle with inadequacy issues. I’m 18 months into my Jewish vampire series… I’m still on page 8 (?) Because I keep rewriting & getting stuck at the same spot & procrastinating calling it research/world-building, etc. I wrote the below for a friend who was having writing perfection problems:

        “No book is ever perfect
        No piece of art is ever perfect
        No meal I cook is ever perfect
        But at some point we have to eat…”
        ― Tasha Turner

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        1. Tasha,
          Ha! I love that. Thank you. In my case I have to start cooking if I’m going to have anything to eat, lol.

          With as much kid’s edutainment I watch, you would think I would be attuned to Luna’s language, but I’m definitely baffled. I have a really great concept that she asked me to tell her a story about last year, but I stalled out with it.

          Blessings,
          Kina

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  4. I am about to embark on my dream of writing a book, which will probably mean moving away from the life I have now. It is so hard to reconcile but I dont have children to consider. Sometimes one persons dreams is not anothers and it is hard to accept that. I guess you will know what is the most important thing to do if you work out what you cant do without maybe…but that’s just me.. If I stopped writing, it would be like not breathing….

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    1. Sharon,
      That’s an exciting transition. I know what you mean about writing being as essential as breathing. I have discovered that for myself as well. So, writing won’t be going away.

      Thank you for reading and contributing to the conversation.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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  5. We all have dreams – even daydreams. It’s what we do with our dreams that matter. If you dream it, then DO it! The late great Martin Luther King was a wonderful example of that. Luckily, we usually don’t have to go to the same extremes he had to in order to make his dreams come true – but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try just as hard to make our OWN dreams happen!

    Rachel recently posted The 16 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People

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    1. Rachel,
      The dreams are just being formed and recognized. I am doing things toward the dreams in terms of growing and developing as a person better able and equipped to do these different things.

      It was just the first time of writing them all out and identifying what they are. It was also me acknowledging what some of the fears are around them.

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

      Blessings,
      Kina

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  6. I’ve felt it. For me the answer is always to push deeper. It’s easy for me to fall in love with the external appearance of one dream, when the thing that would really be life-giving to me isn’t the dream itself, but something within it, something that aligns with my identity, story, personal values. The more clear I am on these things, the better I can weave the maze of hopes and dreams. That’s one reason why I wrote “Discovering Your Authentic Core Values.” In my life when I have been clear on my values, those are the times when I have the least uncertainty about my path forward.

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