Of Dreams, Illusions and Mortality

By David Ramos

            This morning I had a dream, I dreamt I was in my old neighborhood.  I was dressed in an expensive suit walking along one of its more impoverished avenues.  In the dream I am an executive, and while I am walking, my mind is flooded with a myriad of tasks, responsibilities and duties–to the point that I am almost oblivious of my surroundings.  In the dream I sense a need to accelerate my life to attempt to do more because I felt older and that I had so little time to accomplish all that I wanted to.  I was racing against time and had a sense of terror of not knowing whether what I was expending my efforts on really mattered.  I felt a sense of anxiety and risk trying to evaluate whether or not my consuming activities would be meaningful and rejuvenate my soul.  I thought of reaching out to my friends but somehow my role and responsibilities had isolated me, I had been engulfed by my leadership responsibilities.  A friend comes to my mind and I imagine a conversation with him that says, “Hey, I know this sounds kind of weak, but do you ever feel lonely?”  In the dream I think that crying would help, I want to cry, and even try to cry, but didn’t know how to; I then wake up. 

            Life is short, and the older we get the more real that becomes.  We play triage with time, family, and friends as days blur into weeks, weeks bleed into months and somehow—we find ourselves once again at some New Year’s Eve party trying to figure out where the year went.  Hey, wrestling with the reality of our mortality isn’t a bad thing, it puts things into perspective.  But is that what I really need—perspective?  We have been sold ideas of what success is, these societal and cultural ideas bear weight upon us consciously and unconsciously.   I guess when its all over I want to know, “Did I live right?”  “Did I love with all my heart?”  “Have I given myself fully and expend myself and behalf of the ones I love?”  “Did I live in a way that I could one day hear, “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”? Isn’t it amazing that in the face of death, the apparent important things of the world lose their luster and meaning, while the often neglected little things of life become immensely priceless—a call from a son or daughter, time spent with loved ones over coffee, the ability to walk or breathe without assistance, the caress of your loved one.  Why do we wait for crisis in order to invert these values? 

            Stephen Covey speaks of the danger of climbing the corporate latter only to find it is on the wrong wall.  I pray to God I don’t make that mistake.  I need the presence and wisdom of God and voices of authentic friends to correct me to ensure that I don’t.  I guess my dream is a sobering reminder against being deceived by the illusions life, and even our ambitions can create.  In the midst of the shadows of uncertainty, and the pain of isolation, faith provides a light to guide our path.  We peer “through the glass darkly.”  In the tension of believing and toiling towards great things without losing our identity, when we find ourselves caught in the grip of the tyranny of the urgent, let us be mindful of what really matters and what is truly important to us.

            As I drove this morning to church thinking about my dream I needed to hear something devotional so I played Seal’s, “Don’t Cry.”  I leave you with its lyrics:

"Don’t Cry"

By Seal

Don’t be so hard on yourself.
Those tears are for someone else.
I hear your voice on the phone.
I hear you feel so alone.
My baby.
Ohh my baby.
Please my baby,
My baby,
When we were young,
And truth was paramount.
We were older then,
And we lived our life without any doubt.
Those memories,
They seem so long ago.
What’s become of them? When you feel like me I want you to know.
Don’t cry.
You’re not alone.
Don’t cry,
Tonight, my baby.
Don’t cry,
You’ll always be loved.
Don’t cry,
My baby.
Today I dreamed,
Of friends I had before.
And I wonder why.
The ones who care don’t call anymore.
My feelings hurt.
But you know I overcome the pain.
And I’m stronger now,
There can’t be a fire unless there’s a flame.
Don’t cry.
You’re not alone.
Don’t cry,
Tonight, my baby.
Don’t cry.
You’ll always be loved.
Don’t cry oh…
Limousines and sycophants,
Don’t leave me now,
Cause I’m afraid what you’ve done to me.
Is now the wolf.
In my bed,
In my head.
In my head.
In my head.
The challenges, we took were hard enough.
They get harder now.
Even when we think that we’ve had enough.
Don’t feel alone,
Cause it’s I you understand.
I’m your sedative,
Take a piece of me whenever you can.
Don’t cry…. you’re not alone.
…don’t be so hard on yourself…
Don’t cry…. tonight my baby
…Those tears are for…..someone else…
Don’t cry…. you’ll always be loved
…I hear your voice on the phone…
Don’t cry…. tonight sweet baby
…I hear you feel… so alone.
Don’t cry… don’t cry… don’t cry… don’t you cry…
Cry… Don’t cry…
Cause you still be loved
Don’t cry
Don’t cry tonight
My baby my baby my baby my baby my baby my baby my baby
my baby my baby my my baby my baby my baby my baby my my baby my baby my baby
My baby….
Don’t cry tonight
You’ll still be loved

One Comment

  1. Dave,
    thanks for sharing this. one of my fears likewise is running on some hamster wheel of activity, then realizing efforts were expended in the wrong endeavor…this is where our discernment and God’s grace mingle. even when we at times think we’re off course, grace somehow even uses would-be detours as avenues for his glory to be shown in our lives

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