04 December 2009

Big Dreams, Little Fears -- Part 2

"Your dream must be bigger than your fear." That's what my fortune read the other night at the Chinese restaurant. I actually thought that the fortune was quite apropos because I'm preparing myself for my Year of NO FEAR. So I've been pondering the message in that fortune: successfully overcoming fear begins, in part, by dreaming big.

Herein we find a problem for me, namely that I don't know how to dream big and mean it. Oh sure, I can use my cognitive skills to "creatively" find solutions, and I as a writer can suspend reality long enough to imagine up stories and fictional situations. But I can't suspend reality to dream big dreams and believe they will come true in my life. I'm too logical. I'm too familiar with how the staus quo has been in my life--and, though I love the concept of Mr. Thornton from BBC's North and South kissing me in a train station (and what girl with a pulse wouldn't?!), the reality is that Mr. Thornton is a fictional character played very splendidly by Richard Armitage, an actor, and the scene in the train station though lovely, is not real.

See the problem?

The logic hinders not only my love life (haha--no kissing hunky British actors in train stations for me!) but everything else in my life as well. I could let myself go and dream a big dream, but the Risk Assessment Team (aka my logic) comes in and analyzes the potential risks of said dream only to determine that because it's a "pie in the sky" dream it's quite illogical to believe that it would work, which means an extremely high level of risk--and ultimately, a high level of potential failure also.

When there is a high level of risk, there is also an equally high level of panic (lest, my logic worries, I would do something stupid like do the very thing that is too risky!). Panic and fear then destroy my dreams--they are essentially dream killers--and I'm back to square one.

Yet... There's got to be a way! There has got to be a way that I could dream a dream and have it come true. Somehow...I just don't know how, though; even thinking about dreaming causes Red Alert Panic. SIGH. I wish I could dream and believe that dreams come true for me. The only way I know how to evaluate something is by logic and evidence--and the very nature of dreams is that they usually start out as generalized feelings or impressions, develop into passions, and become dreams. There usually isn't much logic in that process or "evidence" as my logical mind desires.

Even my approach to my goals for 2010 was a very logical one: I am afraid (problem), therefore I should face my fear by doing things I am afraid of (solution). That is sound logic. (You'd think I was Spock or something!) Do I want to run a half-marathon? No. But it seemed logical for me to set that as a goal to force myself to work harder.

I think Judy is right about this, as she is about so many other things: I just think WAY too much (in general), which means I tend to think myself right out of potentially wonderful situations because I'm too mired in the details. Thinking and logic are great when I'm planning or running an event or when I'm researching family history, but there's got to be a shut-off switch somewhere! Where is my owner's manual? :-)

What would it be like to just jump -- to take reasonable precautions, yes, but to then just jump in, feet first and eyes closed, to some potentially wonderful dream?