I want to write about a dream I had last night. I'm elated when I can remember my dreams, because most nights I'm so exhausted from the day my subconscious seems so be snoozing too. Interpreting dreams might be one of my favorite things to do, aside from painting.
Starting my dream I was surrounded by beauty, I was in a valley covered in lush greens, and wildflowers as far as the eye can see, patches of lavender and sage filling the air with an aroma that I swear I smelled when I woke up this morning. There were tree covered mountains surrounding the valley and birds, squirrels, deer, chipmunks, butterflies, bees, and essentially every creature wandering around seemingly not phased by me. As I was walking along the path I was really trying to absorb the scenery, I was noticing the sky sparkle with the sun, and the magical hue the rays gave everything it touched. Big fluffy clouds that looked like cotton, scattered about the sky looking like it was dipped in coats of paint, scattered from every shade of pink to purple to orange.
I found an opening in the field, and as I sat down, a butterfly landed on my hand, as I was looking at it in awe, from the patterns of yellows and blacks, a voice interrupts my silence, "Hello Hope." I look up to see a tall woman with long curly brown hair wearing a white flowing dresses.
"Where am I?" I ask almost breathless from all that I'm taking in.
"You're here to show the difference of the two sets of eyes," as she started to explain I am mesmerized by her voice talking softly and in a flow. "You are here because you were chosen to help show the world, that it matters what set of eyes you use, to see the world."
I stare blankly at her, as if to wait for her to explain more. Then suddenly she stands up, and comes over to me and places her soft hands on my eyes, "Now show her the other set."
Suddenly opening my eyes to a mosquito biting me on my cheek, as I slap the bug away, I see a whole new scenery. What was once a lush green valley is now all dead. No growth for as long as the eyes can see. I stand up, having to immediately sit back down, as my head was spinning. There was a thickness in the air, that made it hard to breathe. Taking in a few deep breaths, I slowly regain my strength and balance. Walking, there are no butterflies happily suckling from any plants, no buzz of the bees, and as I look up I do notice the trees still on the mountain tops, "Ok, well at least there's still trees I say."
Suddenly, the woman appears this time dressed in rags, "Hello again." Her voice still sounding like a soft exhale.
"What happened?" I plead as I can't take my eyes off the dead grass, she quickly motions for me to follow her.
As we follow I am suddenly overwhelmed with the urge to find the good, and I ask if we can walk to a patch of yellow I see in the distance. Approaching I see they are sunflowers, and I start to slowly jog to them! "Look," I'm shouting back at her, "They're so beautiful." Taking in the sunflowers a bee comes and lands on my nose. Laughing, the bee suddenly talks. 'I'm loosing it' I start thinking.
'You did it,' the bee said. The voice actually sounding much like Steve's voice prior to ALS.
"What? What did I do?" I mumble, as the bee flies off.
Blinking my eyes suddenly a new world shows up, one where there is equal amounts of beautiful lush scenery and brown dried up scenery. I sit for a moment and watch as another butterfly comes and lands on my hand. Hearing the wind suddenly say, "Now go tell the world to choose better eyes to see from."
That's it, that's all I remember.
I sat in reflection of this dream this morning after mediation, knowing I wanted to write on it. The meaning is obvious to me, and I'm sure to everyone reading this. It's a concept that I've probably even touched on before. If you take two different people to the same scenery, one person will notice the dead patches of grass, the flowers that didn't survive, or the trees that may be dying. The other person will notice all of the growth, the creatures, the thriving trees.
Why do people see the same world so differently? Some without even realizing they do! It's as simple as choosing which eyes you see the world out of. Do you look for the beauty or do you look for the destruction?
I know there is a place of importance in recognizing the destruction; such as: climate change, the violence that occurs in the world, etc. Seeing that they exist is an important thing, but it's almost more important to recognize the beauty that is still there as well. In fact I think the whole purpose of this dream is that it is the difference between a life well lived and a life, just lived.
Today (and everyday) make an effort to notice 5 things of beauty in your day. On days where it feels extra heavy and dark double or triple that number. The more you actively seek the beauty, the more it will present itself to you.
Remember, everyday you get to choose. What eyes do you see the world from?