• Valentina Poletti

The city of broken dreams

After my convergence in Arizona I desired to stay there longer. I was positively surprised in so many ways by my experience there. I wasn’t expecting to find anything but the desert, instead I was swamped by the beauty and the poetry of that place and of its people. However I had already booked a flight to San Diego: since I had never seen California, I figured I’d fly to its closest city after the conference to check it out. In fact San Diego failed to meet my expectations. Not that I didn’t like it at all. One of the first things that I noticed and that captured me was a feeling of complete freedom. As I walked the streets of the city I couldn’t help but notice an overwhelming sense that anyone there could do anything they want without constraint. It is a beautiful, liberating feeling that perhaps is the reason why this state has become so world-wide famous with its unique creative and business endeavours. Yet, at the same time I could feel a heavy shadow in its air. Something dark, that resonated with the black colours, the heavy music, the dirt, the tattoos. I could not really put my finger on it right away: as I interacted with its people, I could feel a frustration in them, a kind of disappointment. I saw many homeless people on the streets, and I noticed a unique beauty and kindness to them, indeed they were the kindest people I have met in the city, and their beauty inspired me to spend time talking to them. I could relate to them in some way but couldn’t quite figure how. I later met an old friend who told me about his dreams and his life, and as I was coming back from that encounter, I finally pinpointed that frequency. I’d like to call it the vibration of broken dreams. I could see it the faces of the people everywhere. As I thought of the culture and the local history, and how this state has been a hub of amazing ideas for the past few decades, I could imagine where this vibration might be coming from. This state has been greatly failed by its own country. Its liberal, open minded, creative people have met the oppression of a conservative, close minded and limiting government. I could imagine how the impact of that might have discouraged so many people. I could imagine how frustrating and disappointing this must be for them.

There is a state that we all reach when our heart and mind are set on a dream or a vision, and we know in our mind what to do and how to reach that vision, however, as we encounter the difficulties and obstacles that are inevitable in life, and that we must confront in order to achieve our dream, we often get stuck. We have been taught and educated via our minds. Socially we are taught that to achieve a dream we need to take action and to move with our minds. We are not taught how to move towards it with our hearts. Yet this part is so indispensable: if we don’t go through the emotions that our hearts need to go through in order to achieve our dream, we are unable to overcome the obstacles. We need to dive into the pain that we are faced with, to feel it completely in order to process and release it and move forward with our heart. Instead, we often avoid the pain, we distract ourselves from it, we numb it, and we keep trying to move forward with our minds, leaving our heart stuck behind. But the mind without the heart is futile. It gets locked in a limbo where we know what we want and how to get there but we are unable to do so. And this is such an incredibly common experience in this world.

And so I was wondering, how this feeling relates to me, why I felt so close to its frequency. And then it occurred to me that in the past few days I’ve been holding myself back to some degree from doing what I truly wanted and what I truly desired. It was a subtle feeling, of the kind that you are so used to that you don’t notice it, but you feel it as a kind of bitterness in the background. So I started to dive into that feeling, focusing on it completely, allowing it to take over me, and as I did that it became clear that the belief that was holding me back was the belief “I don’t deserve it”. I stayed present with it, diving into the feeling it caused, and as I did I started to get memories of my childhood. I must have been around 6 or so, and I remembered watching other children play joyfully and happily. As those emotions were foreign to me at the time, I longed to feel the way those children felt, I wanted to be part of them, and so I asked my father why those children were so happy. My father gave me a response that I don’t remember exactly, but was in the line of “they are different, they have a different setting from you”. The meaning I attached to that response was that because I was different somehow I did not deserve to feel that way, and so, as all children do, I believed my dad and suppressed that desire within me. I have felt a similar desire in various situations lately, and that same belief resourfaced, not allowing me to fully pursue what I wanted. I then dove into the pain of that memory, that bitter feeling of yearning for something and not being able to have it. I allowed the pain to flow through me, to be processed and released, until it was all gone. As the block dissolved and I came back to the present I could feel immediately more assertive regarding my desires and what I want.

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