Friday, February 02, 2007

Live the dream.

Today I bring you an excerpt from a book I wrote for the convent. The essay is titled "live the dream." Dreams change, and as we go through life, if we still dream, the world at large tries to beat those dreams out of us - - but when it comes to dreams of peace, harmony and dedication to God, by whatever we name we call God, it is important to continue to dream and reach for those dreams...

"Live the Dream…

In my own search for identity, I often realized I still had not found the whole answer. For that matter, I felt that I still had not clearly defined the problem. I began to realize that I had internalized what others around me wanted me to be and what they thought of me. This began to drive me away from the very quality of life for which I had been searching. My concern over what others expected of my life had kept me from my dreams. In fact, I had stopped dreaming all together.

So often we all do this with our lives. We reach the point where we lose our dreams. As children we all dream. We dream of "What we want to be when we grow up." We dream of what we want our life to be. We dream of who we will be. Dreams are part of the lives of children. All too often, as we reach adulthood, we lose sight of these dreams. Our main concerns become keeping the bills paid and the stress of the workplace. We sometimes forget to dream of anything but how things will be when we get the next promotion. We live in a society that encourages these attitudes. Our focus is short sighted. We do not think of things in terms of the more distant future. As Elder Blackwolf taught me, the way of Native Americans is to think in terms of what ones actions will have on the future of the next seven generations of children.

But dreaming does not just mean remembering the dreams of childhood. It does mean remembering to dream as we did when we were children. Dreams change. I no longer want to "be what I wanted to be when I grow up" even though I still have interests in these areas. When I was young I wanted to be an Oceanographer, "like Jacques Cousteu." I think it is a telling comment on our society that their where no female scientists I was taught about to hold up as heroes. When I did dream again, I found myself following the dreams I used to have. Perhaps this was sometimes done out of habit. I had to "smoke on it," as Elder Blackwolf would say, with the Chanupa…in other words pray and meditate about it.

I found myself afraid to dream for fear that someone would try and keep me from my dreams. I also found myself afraid to dream for fear that I could never accomplish my dreams. However, does the runner believe that the race is not worth running simply because she does not win the race each time? Is, instead, the worth of the race in the trying?

Sometimes larger dreams affect our lives. These are often the dreams of great men and women. Men like Doctor Martin Luther King dreamed of a better world. We still do not live in this world. Does this mean that his dream was not worth while? Certainly not. However, even great men such as Nicholas Black Elk despaired over this issue. He began to become discouraged because he had not seen his dream/vision accomplished. Yet after his death, generations that have gone on after him have begun to see his dreams of unity made reality. No matter how unlikely it may seem to accomplish the dreams such as those of Dr. Martin Luther King, if we hold these dreams in front of us, we can begin to see ourselves as part of the solution, rather then as part of the problem. We must learn to dream again and always hold the dream in front of us"

God Bless you all,

Sister Julie

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