24 Aug Take Time to Dream in Recovery
“Dreams are the sources of action, the meeting and the end, a resting place among the flight of things.” – Muriel Rukeyser, American poet and political activist, best known for her poems about equality, feminism, social justice and Judaism (1913-1980)
Everyone needs a break. We all require a time to rest when our bodies can replenish and our spirit become revitalized. Most of us find such a hiatus from the activities of the day when we sleep. And when we sleep is when we dream. Although some of us deny profusely that we dream, the scientific truth is that we all do dream – in one way or another. Maybe we block out our dreams once we wake up, or it could be that some of us just go to a restful state where there are no dreams. None of us really knows about that for sure, but we do know that we dream in our waking hours. That may be called forward planning, and its’ good enough for this discussion. We’ll still call it dreaming.
Why are dreams important in recovery? For one thing, we have to be able to think of or envision something totally different in our lives. We need to have a goal that we want to achieve, and in order for us to consider the goal worth undertaking, it has to have some value for us. It can’t be a goal that someone else says we need to attain. It has to be something that we can see ourselves accomplishing and that we really want to do. This doesn’t mean that the goal may not entail a lot of work and many challenges to overcome. In fact, it will. That’s what makes the goal even more valuable. How much we put into achieving our goals makes them that much more satisfying when we do achieve them.
But back to the dreaming part, how do we help ourselves dream in recovery? Simply put, we give ourselves permission to dream. It helps to set aside some quiet time to allow our thoughts to drift to things we’d like to do, to expand upon things we already love to do or have always wanted to do. We could call this daydreaming, since we’re doing it when we’re not asleep. It’s still dreaming, envisioning a future that comes about as a result of plans that we make and actions we take to get there.
And dreams are important in recovery. We dream before we act, for in our dreams we are the architect, the creator, the master planner. We can try one on and then change how it looks and feels, all with the strength of our creativity. Do we envision ourselves financially independent, getting married, having children, getting a degree, traveling, helping others new to recovery? How do we get there? Will we be happy once we do? The key to remember is that we all need to have something we’re striving for and that something will change over time. Once we achieve certain goals that we initially dreamed about and then worked to attain, we’re not done. We’re never done. As long as we’re alive, we’ll continue to dream, to create new vistas for ourselves and new action plans to ensure we get there.
It all begins with the dream. So take the time to dream in recovery, and then act upon those dreams.
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