March 7, 2014

Let Me Fight the Good Fight! ~ Betsy Anne Reed

Source: via Jamie on Pinterest

Not sure about you, but when I dream, I remember.

My dreams are not only memorable, but they’re lucid and, most of the time, somewhat realistic. This often leads to interesting mornings, seeing as I’m beginning my day by holding onto the joy, excitement or happiness that I was experiencing in my dream world, or alternatively, I’m reprogramming what could have been hours worth of sadness, fear or melancholy.

In many ways, I wish that I didn’t dream so vividly. On days where I’m not on my game, dreams can cloud the first few hours of my day, causing me to fight the sights and sounds I experienced that still feel like reality. But, sometimes, that glimmer of an alternate world allows me to dream bigger, to believe in an imaginary world; it increases my creativity and zest for life.

These experiences are quite different, as you can imagine. If I were to do a pro/con analysis of this lucid dreaming and was given the opportunity to alter this aspect of my sleep pattern to one of peaceful ignorance and eight hours of sheep jumping a fence, I’m not sure I’d choose to change a thing. You see, while the melancholy mornings are rough, the sparkling mornings are intoxicating. Overall, they are both merely moments: elusive; fleeting; temporal.

This realization was  actually inspired by picking up an old, dusty, used copy of a literary classic, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

You’re probably wondering, “Why the heck did she pick that up?” Well, at work this week, I was working on a concept for an ad that included a Brave New World reference, so I figured I should pick up the book and seek out any other thematic nuggets to use in the print copy.

My, how time and age can change your preferences! I think the last time I “read” this book was when I was a freshman in high school. I use quotes because I’m pretty sure I did nothing even close to actually reading the book, and instead relied on good old cliff notes. Not to mention, I was gifted with a natural writing and speaking ability to bullshit my way through any paper or class presentation. (But give me a break! I was working through my own version of “fighting the man.”) Little did I know what a gem I was missing out on!

So, in addition to actually appreciating this literary masterpiece, I stumbled on a quote about happiness that ended up inspiring this post:

“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery. And, of course, stability isn’t nearly so spectacular as instability. And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt. Happiness is never grand.”

This may seem a bit counter-intuitive to my other posts on happiness or contentedness. I’m not saying that I believe extremities are better than consistency; or that happiness and contentedness is boring or bad. All I’m saying is that for some of us, ups and downs are the reality.

No matter how we strive for balance, consistency, stability and peace, extremities will still exist. And so long as the the roller coaster of life keeps accepting passengers, its thrill seekers will keep getting back on; feeling the drop in our guts, the wind in our hair;  screaming in elatement or fear. Whereas others stay on the ground, eating cotton candy while staring at us in dismay, secretly wondering what it feels like to fly.

Yes. I love being happy! Simply content, simply thankful; focusing inward and practicing awareness.

But I’ve come to understand, accept and celebrate—yes, in that exact order—that my life will always be full of passion and feelings; risks and rewards; falling on my face and then valiantly picking myself back up. I’ve also come to realize that when I stop doing this, I stop truly living.

So, bring on the glamour. Bring on the splendor. Let me fight the good fight!

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Photos: elephant archives

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