"Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up.“ - Terence McKenna
It takes little courage to dream.
Dreams are just fantasies, and fantasies are a dime a dozen. Whether it’s of a different career, different colleagues, a different family, different children, different friends, a different partner, a different body, a different face, a different set of talents, different habits, or a different past, we all fantasize. We all dream.
It’s comfortable to imagine a distant fantasy in which we’re happy and satisfied. Living in a dreamed-up delusion, we begin to feel these emotions prematurely and we become addicted to them. It’s comfortable to sit waiting, wishing, hoping. It’s comfortable to pass the time. It’s comfortable to settle. It’s comfortable to stagnate.
But it’s also dangerous. It’s dangerous because dreams are living things, and when living things are left stagnant, they decay. Dreams left stagnant rot, wither, and reek. Their putrid remains leave the dreamer bitter, insecure, and indecisive; their carcass calcifies like a prison-shell around the dreamer’s mind. In the dungeon of dead dreams, the very thought of action is expelled from the realm of possibility.
When action is impossible, we feel powerless. The canvas of existence becomes pitch black. But against a pitch black night sky, a flaming meteor stands out like an infernal archangel savior. Pitch black is where the impossibility of action meets the impossibility of surrender, where the titanic force of inertia meets the titanic force of human survival instinct. When we’re on the verge of surrender, when we think there’s nothing left inside, when we think the world has given up on us and we should follow suit, the animal inside of us awakens. When this happens, we begin to feel again. Our paralytic claustrophobia triggers a conflagration of anger, frustration, and outrage. Sometimes these feelings of pain are the only ones that we can hear the prison walls, the only ones that can give us the power to melt the bars, shatter the ceilings, and explode into action.
“It’s only after we’ve lost everything that we’re free to do anything.”
Sometimes, rock bottom is the awakening we need to muster the courage for change. It’s what reminds us how connected we can be to our own reality. It’s what allows us to let go of the limits we’ve placed on ourselves. It’s what helps us connect the dots of our existence. It defibrillates us and tells us there’s nothing left to be afraid of. It shows us we can extract meaning from the worst of experiences. It gives us permission by freeing us of our need for permission.
This self-declared freedom gives us the courage to be decisive, to commit, to lead, and to love. When we decide, we cure indecision. When we commit, we cure uncertainty. When we lead, we determine the conditions of our existence. When we love, we share in the interconnected infinite symbiosis of cosmic life, and we enable others to free themselves to do the same.
It takes little courage to dream. It takes a lot more to wake from a nightmare.