“Life is but a dream”… I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase or watched Beyonce’s HBO special of the same title. But have you ever really thought about these words? When I’m working or doing chores or stuck in traffic, I sure don’t feel like life is a dream. It feels like the real deal. But when I step back and think about the things that stress me out or make me feel anxious, many times those things aren’t real and immediate threats to my life although my body reacts as if it is.
For example, being stuck in traffic while on the way home from work isn’t exactly a clear and present danger. In fact, when I focus on the fact that I’m literally just sitting in my car and no amount of hair pulling or screaming is going to get me to my destination sooner, I relax a bit. Would it kill me to settle into my seat? Turn on XM radio, a podcast or audio book or just play my favorite CD? (Yes, I still have CDs). Maybe I even call a friend or family member and catch up (hands free, of course!).
When I focus on being present - no matter what the situation - everything stops feeling ominous and threatening. Essentially, I’m reducing the situation to what it is. An experience that is not permanent or as dramatically nightmarish as my mind is making it out to be. I am allowing myself to awaken from any dream that I do not want to experience and awaken to the reality that I am breathing. I am alive. And although that may seem like something to be taken for granted, it is a wonderful gift in and of itself.
So I ask this of you, dear reader… if you find yourself in a situation that feels overwhelmingly bad, remember to breathe. And with each breath, remind yourself that you are alive and that is the only thing that is real in this moment. Everything else is a story that you can choose or not choose to buy into. In this moment, you are experiencing something real that will fade into a distant memory. And then one day it will become a dream. Because… life is but a dream. Make it a good one whenever you can.