On the nature of dwelling 

Dear quarter lives,

There might not be a single reason that causes one to dwell, but we can all agree that when we dwell a feeling of wanting to go back takes over and drives us to a fictitious new future. And so I would say that ultimately we dwell when we realise in our present we have reached a definite end of sorts, that from this point onwards from our present there is no way to get what we are deeply desiring. Unless of course, we go back in time. And so dwelling takes us back in time, but not for the purpose of staying there but to allow us to act differently and reroute to a new future, a future that is different from our present in especially one way — that it has what we want. And so the only way to get to what we want is to go to this alternate future and the only way to get to this alternate future is to go to the exact point in the past where the paths to this alternate future and our current present forked off, to go back to the point where things could’ve still turned out differently. So it is the unchangeability and definiteness of our present that usually drives us back in time. But what happens when we go back in time and we realise that what we are trying to capture keeps on slipping through our fingers? What happens when we realise we really can’t change the present even if we time travel? What happens when we find ourselves knocking on a door that’s not there? Well we must do as all people do when they get lost — we cry. And then we cry some more. In part because we are afraid, and in part because we finally have reached a point where we can grieve what could’ve been. Not because we are suddenly wise. No not at all. But it is because we have only just now exhausted all the fuel in our capacity to dwell, to wish things were different and to even try to get things to be different. And it is only at this point of emotional exhaustion, after our minds have done millions of years of time travel, only now are we ready to say goodbye to that point in time when things could’ve been different and finally surrender to our present and say yes this is it — I accept you. And when we finally do, something magical happens. The door that was seemingly locked is locked no more. And we realise that perhaps we have not reached a dead end after all, that there is still somewhere for us to go, that all that was needed to unlock this door was our own grief. And so in saying goodbye to what could’ve been, we open the doors to what can be. So long as there is a future, we cannot stop ourselves from dreaming. Perhaps even, it is the very act of dreaming that brings our futures to life.

So instead of trying to wish your dreams of a new future away, accept them, make peace with them, let them drive you forward. Let them motivate you to create even if it is not them you end up creating. Fantasy, dreams, dwelling — they are all made of the same fabric — hope. Hope can sometimes deceive us, but it can also be what carries us when our own two feet cannot. And so with that in mind, let us not condemn ourselves for dreaming, let us not punish our thoughts for taking us on a ride, let us instead hold ourselves in this space of fantasy and first ask ourselves why we have come here. Why have we chosen to reside today in a place of fantasy rather than reality. Is it because our reality scares us? Or perhaps is it because in our dreams we are in control of what happens, something we crave to feel in our reality. Whatever your particular reason is for dwelling, it is valid.

With love and always for peace,

S.A. 

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