The child imagines a vague, vast future that he or she will inhabit - a kind of life, a kind of job, a kind of setting, a kind of ability, a kind of partner, a kind of role in society. Big stuff. Great stuff. Of course, the child doesn't realize that these breezy sketches become etched permanently into the foundations of the psyche. Later in life, the adult is also frequently oblivious to the powerful influence of these early, instinctive projections - the hidden railways that shape our consciousness. What portion of our daily choices, actions, and self-image come from these young fantasies? How dangerous or prophetic can they be? What choice to we have?
I know there are people who are able to chip themselves out of this psychic cement and reassess their core ideas and visualizations of the future, though I'm not encountering them very often. Instead, as we get older, most of us are hypnotized by the feelings of importance
we attached to our imagined futures. We are superglued to them, in ways that defy logic or recognition. Even as we know that things won't manifest with the scale or freedoms we envisioned, we continue to hold this rosy lens in front of our decider's eye. Over time, this process creates a deep crisis of conflict: Some part of you wants, no demands, all the things you imagined - after all, you are entitled to your dreams - it was such hard work dreaming them! Another part of you has tasted "reality" and knows that the fantasies invite self-destruction - sirens on the rocks. Who will win?
I'll tell you this: A feeling is stronger than a thought. A feeling can not be extinguished with logic. A compromise must be reached. For many, this becomes an exercise in living day by day. Many of the popular "recovery" programs out there are based on this premise of releasing the big picture and focusing on the passing minutes and hours. It seems to work for many, but to me it always seems a begrudging (though frequently life saving) compromise. It leaves the stench of defeat in the air. The feeling, after all, was duped out of its chance to exist.
What makes it all the more frustrating is that we are surrounded, inundated, by images of all sorts of people who seem to have cracked the code. Fascinating, engaged, fulfilled people who appear to have honored the fantasies, the forecasts, and the feelings, and seem to be leading extraordinary lives. Can it be? Where did we go wrong?