We all have a fantasy life in our heads that we like to hold ourselves hostage to. We feel recklessly and irrationally entitled to the idea we have of who we should be. We hold onto this image, convinced that if we let it go then we are admitting defeat. If we let it go, we’re saying to ourselves (and to the world) that we can’t have that life and giving up on it means giving up on ourselves. As long as we keep this fantasy alive in our mind, it’s still possible, it’s still there for us to think about and dream about and feel entitled to.
We suffer over this fantasy life. We hold the microscope up to our current lives and find all the ways it differs from the life we think we should have. We tell ourselves we are successful, but not nearly as successful as the fantasy. We tell ourselves we are loved, but not nearly as loved as the fantasy. We tell ourselves we are good, but not nearly as brilliant as the fantasy. We punish ourselves for not having this life and we convince ourselves that the tighter we hold onto this vision of who we should be, the closer we get to becoming it. We see this fantasy version of who we should be and assume they’re happier, better, more at peace, stronger, in abundance of everything we are chaotically trying to collect on our own.
The other day I was thinking about what would happen if I let go of this fantasy version of myself that I grip onto so tightly. The first word that came thundering down into my mind was: free. I’d be free. Free of the constant enduring pressure to live up to this idea I have in my head of the person I should be and to end the constant berating of not being her.
You see, we think we know what we want. We think we know what our beautiful, successful, incredible lives look like, but all we really know is the essence of what it feels like. This is why we fantasize. We want to feel. We don’t need all those things to feel that way. We don’t need to become our fantasy in order to feel the essence of it. All we want is the feeling. If you could get the essence of your fantasy life from another source, don’t you think you’d take it?
The problem is that we’re too singularly focused on how our lives should look. We project out into that fantasy and, when some opportunity or person or anything comes along that does not hold up to the fantasy, we push it away. We don’t recognize what’s right in front of us, because we’re focused on a projection we only have in our minds. A projection which is primarily focused on allowing us to feel what it would be like to be happy, fulfilled, content, joyful, light. Our fantasy life isn’t meant to be achieved, not really. It is meant to be a marker, a guidepost, a way to know what it feels like to step into the light.
You have to let go of the life you think you’re supposed to have in order to step into the life that is yours. This is essential. This is the only way. You have to allow the essence of your fantasy life wash over you, fill up all the cracks in you, and you have to let the image of it blur out into the background. No amount of present suffering over this dream vision is going to bring you the peace and light you desire. Acceptance of where you are now and an allowing of what is to come will give you that peace.
There is a life out there that is yours and it’s not necessarily the movie you have running about in your mind. Maybe it is. Most likely it’s not. The truth is that you cannot use your suffering over the life you don’t have as fuel to get you to the life you want. You have to see clearly and perfectly that you are in your life right now and you have to recognize that this is it, this is the grand moment, and to make that moment feel as beautiful as the essence of that fantasy.
It isn’t easy. Nobody says this is easy. It’s easy to write it and think on it, sure. But stepping into it is one tall order. However, it’s worth it, right? It’s gotta be.