Who is to say that this thing we call life is real?
Is there really that big of a difference between our waking hours and sleeping hours?
Do we have any definitive proof that our life, meaning the life we think is “ours,” is any different than the dreams we experience almost nightly?
If life is real and dreams are illusions does that mean I have control over my life?
How would I even know if I was dreaming?
Before meditating the other day I stumbled upon a post on Instagram that simply said, “Could life be a dream? Then why not live your dreams?”
Now, I’m not going so far as to say that life is fake, because I sure know it feels real when I stub my toe, but I will say this: life seems to be ethereal and the lines between dreams and reality are much thinner than most of us think.
Take for example our memories. Most of us think we have perfect and indisputable memories but science tells us a different story. According to multiple studies based on recognition, humans don’t have great memories at all. Unlike a computer hard drive, humans can’t recall memories on demand and what’s worse, our memories tend to change over time.
Humans “misremember” events in their lives constantly —even important ones. Our memories are fuzzy at best and each time something is remembered our brains have to reconstruct the scenario or event and in doing so, the memory gets slightly altered.
So in the same way we look at dreams, are our memories real?
I could argue they aren’t but people seem to live by their memories and can’t fathom the possibility that their recollections are inaccurate.
So why do we get so attached to our memories but not to our dreams?
Is it possible that we feel like our lives and memories are real because we have the illusion of sovereign agency? Could it be that the sense of control is what makes us feel like somethings are real while other things are just a dream?
Or could it be that we think life is real because we take it soooo seriously?
In other words, we believe life is real because there is more at stake if we were to loose it compared to simply waking up from a dream.
But what if we found that without a shadow of a doubt, life was just a dream?
What if, like a dream, you could change your life in an instant AND you didn’t have to take the things that happen to you so seriously?
How would that make you feel? What would happen to your perspective on life if you were to discover this truth?
The Magic of Dreaming Big
So why am I spending all this time trying to figure out if life is “real?”
Well, because when we look at life as if it were a dream we tend to ACTUALLY START LIVING!
It’s a weird conundrum that by living life as if it were a dream we become a more real version of ourselves.
How would you live differently if you knew this was all a dream? Would you be more bold? More brave? Quit you job? Finally ask out that cute guy/girl at the coffee shop?
Now let me ask you this, what’s your favorite part about a dream? The lightness? How it makes you feel? Waking up?
No! What makes dreaming so enjoyable is that we can participate in a story with little to no repercussions.
The pressure is off because there’s nothing at stake! If you go big and fail, no biggie! You can simply wake up.
If that’s the case, then let me now ask you this: would you rather have lived a life worth dreaming of, or dream of the life worth living?
To me the answer is clear. When we look at life like we look at our dreams we take action and action is the most powerful force in our lives.
Start Living Like a Dream
To be clear, I believe life is as real as it gets but I can’t deny that when I meditate and ask myself “Could this be a dream?” I feel lighter, braver and more in touch with myself. I feel like I’m part of something much bigger than me.
If life was but a dream for us, then perhaps things like death wouldn’t be so scary because death would simply be like falling asleep and birth would simply be like waking up. If this is how we viewed life, maybe we would live fuller and happier lives because we're no longer clinging so tightly to this thing we take so seriously..
Just like when we dream at night, every day we have an opportunity to wake up and start chasing what we really want and becoming who we really want to be.
Who’s to say what’s real and what isn’t real, but if you can open your mind and heart to the idea of this ethereal life then maybe, just maybe, you can turn your nightmare into a dream worth living!
Thanks for reading this weeks post!! I really encourage you to sit with this idea this week. Ask yourself “Could this be a dream?”Let that wash over you. See if you act differently when viewing life through this dreamlike filter and make sure to drop us a comment and let us know how it goes!
Until next week,
Many many blessings!!