Dreams are funny things. They seem to come in little pieces, as most things in life do. The dreams that come while sleeping are a whole different matter. They often come in huge pieces that bombard.
The dreams that I am talking about are the pieces that linger in your soul and you don’t even think to call them dreams. When I was a little girl in the Appalachian Mountains, I would gather all the children in a field and PREACH. This was my favorite thing to do! What I didn’t know was that my little heart was yearning even then to teach people and help bring them joy. The person in that mountain community that everyone loved and thought was the smartest man in the whole world was the Preacher Man. He was the ultimate authority–practically worshipped. So, of course, if I wanted to teach and “help” people, that would mean be a Preacher! So, at four or five years old, I would wave my arms and talk about salvation and the devil and “being good little boys and girls.”
When I was in high school, I wanted to be a foreign correspondent like Christiane Amanpour. I could just imagine going deep into the jungle or to a faraway country and writing about unknown things and sending them back to America. It had a different title, but once again, the desire of my heart was still to teach and impart knowledge to enlighten people’s lives.
Here I am in my mid-seventies and I am not a preacher or a foreign correspondent. What I am is a psychotherapist. Once again, a different title but in me still beats the heart of that little girl wanting to help make people’s lives “better.”
Because there was a great deal of dysfunction and neglect in my family of origin, my deepest yearning was to have a “happy family.”
My marriage ended up in divorce after twenty six years and during that time my beloved bipolar daughter took her own life. I have had many times of despair and yet deep joy in my life. I think the journey of my family would be described as a rich tapestry with many colored threads woven together to create the beautiful uniqueness of who we are rather than the yearned for simple “happy family.”
I am a Marriage and Family therapist. The yearnings of that little mountain girl to “help people” and to have a “happy family” have come together in the sacred calling of sitting with families as they travel their journey towards healing.
I read somewhere the witty saying, “When your dreams turn to dust, get out the vacuum.” I don’t subscribe to that at all. I think when our dreams, our yearnings, seem to turn to dust, gather that dust and take it outside and sprinkle it in the garden. That little seed that was always there will more than likely spring up in something that might look different but gives off an even more mature beauty born of rich soil.