“When I refuse to listen to the dreams that cry within me for fullness of life, I fossilize myself.” Joan Chittister
I can count on one hand how many times someone has whispered this question in my direction.
What are your wildest dreams?
I know I’m not alone in my observations. It’s hardly a question we like to pose to people during conversation. It makes us all squirm in our seat, stutter, or stare into space. Far from practical or to the point like a simple, “How are you?” , this question lends itself towards a multitude of responses.
Wild dreams are revealing. They peel back the hard layers of responsibility and maturity from us, and lay bare the invisible parts of our soul. Our hope in what feels impossible starts to flicker again.
Wild dreams feel frivolous when there are bills on the table, constantly hungry children, a growing business, or gray hairs mocking us in the mirror.
But imagine I’m sitting across from you right now, neither of us has anywhere to go, and I pass a napkin over to your side of the table with these words scribbled on it-
What are your wildest dreams?
Do you feel the movement in that moment? A wind starts to blow, you hear the crackling of a fire again. You swallow hard, a slight smile cracks across your face, or unexpected tears might start to slide down your cheeks.
It’s been awhile, right?
Since someone asked. Since someone cleared away the rubble for you to roam and run without judgement or criticism. Since someone threw some kindling on the waning, weak flames you’ve tried to cover up or ignore.
Wild dreams are burning inside all of us and I’m not sure any of us can become our fullest selves without acknowledging and accepting their presence.
Sadly, most of us are normally running late or too caught up in our own dramas to ask, to care.
Wild dreams never die though, even when we feel like we might be. They lie dormant, inactive, waiting for the prodding of someone who is brave and curious enough to come close and see beyond our worn skin or the scowl on our faces.
Wild dreams always need this friction, caused by at least two people stepping beyond themselves, to ignite. And in unison, they declare that what seems unprofitable or pointless is actually prime space for coming alive.
“What are your wildest dreams?” It is the lighter fluid of the adventurous life and the question we’re all secretly begging to be asked even when (especially when!) daily life tries to douse us with discouragement.
Dwelling just beneath the surface of every one of us is the endlessly imaginative, forever creating spirit of God waiting to be unfurled into the world. (Read that again slow.)
“What are your wildest dreams?”
Listen to what the question does in you. How it feels. What you start to think and remember. It’s like a rusted door somewhere within you unlocks and you’re not sure where it will lead or which direction to go.
Follow the winding, twisted path of your wildest dreams, and walk with others who aren’t afraid to pursue the impractical.
Shake the wild dreams awake in each other.
It’s a risk of course, most of us will never get to our intended destination. But the abundant life experienced along the way makes all the wanderings worth it.