Over tea with a friend I love and who lives far away, after catching up on our kids and partners and parents, we got to the yummy stuff of talking about our dreams, our “bright shinies” as we call them, the new creative inklings beckoning to our hearts.
I sipped my lemon ginger tea and I waited for my friend to tell me her bright shinies… and I waited.
Sure, she said the right words about what she was excited about creating, about how she wants to serve, but it was like when the DVD skips, and then starts again, but the actor’s lips and voices aren’t quite in sync. Or when the guy you love turns into a zombie and tries to eat you.
In other words, something wasn’t quite right.
I put my cup down and looked at her for a long moment before I said:
I don’t believe you want any of that.
She made some noises about how she certainly did. I raised an eyebrow. She made some more noises. I raised the other eyebrow.
Silence settled. We eyed each other.
Then, in a very small voice, she said,
I think I’m too tired to want.
Oh that was it. That was it.
Now here is where things take a very interesting turn. Maybe you’re thinking my friend is too tired to dream because she’s working too hard or taking care of aging parents or pursing too many ideas at one time.
What we discovered as we talked into the afternoon was the reason she feels too weary to dream is she isn’t willing to truly spend herself.
She is holding back some of her considerable heart and energy, keeping one foot on the brake even as the other pumps the gas.
What is even wilder is why.
She’s holding back because she’s afraid of getting exhausted.
But the holding back is what is exhausting her!
Now please, do not think I am saying you must exhaust yourself so that you can serve, dream, create. That is absurd. But what I’m so curious about and am so eager to discuss is do you ever hold yourself back – for whatever reason – and does that holding back make you then too tired to go for what you really want?
Does not going for what you really want result in a far deeper exhaustion, one that no naps or vacation can quite relieve?
Does this make any sense? What do you think?