What is a Dream?





“Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Andersen


Clarifying types of Dreams
Regarding “DREAMS”, I think there are different 'levels' of dreams, or 'kinds' of dreams... and all may be equal in value, but are not all of equal effect upon the dreamer.
There is a difference I think between the visions we hold for ourselves, and an inner thing within ourselves that we cry for and yearn for that never goes away no matter what our circumstances are.

1: For instance, one might "dream of life in the country" or "the city life" and one would be hard-pressed to be happy in the city (or the country) ever again - having finally escaped it. But one could find things to like that would help life to be satisfactory, like bookstores & museums or church socials and county fairs- whatever fits. One might even learn to expand tastes and abilities over time to enjoy certain things, take part in different things, that they never would have considered before - even if they never felt they quite belonged, right? 
These dreams are really life/ lifestyle goals. They can change over time as we mature or find new tastes... they are malleable, we can adjust them to our circumstances, age, and abilities.
These dreams are really Goals

2: Also, who doesn’t dream of “a happy retirement" (finally a fulfilling & enriched life of EASE...) Maybe it's just the idea of sitting in a boat fishing all day long, or shelling garden peas from a rocker on the porch ... but who knows what the future may bring? We saw many people who planned on being secure in their retirement - who lost 3/4 of their income when the market flunked out.... So, it's fair to say that one  may end up feeling fortunate to land a job at 75 being a door-greeter at the local Wal-Mart doors and living in a travel trailer in the kids’ driveway.... In such a case, one would have to find happiness by other means or pursuits, than what they planned. Because one MUST survive however one can!
Also under this same kind of ‘dream’ would be maybe having vacations in the Caribbean or the French Riviera, or being a ‘snowbird’ (wintering in a warm climate/summering somewhere else), or attaining something - a Masarati, or a $100,000 Tesler car), or having an art studio or a fully-loaded wood-working workshop – or other place one dreams of enriching their life with. So one could surmise that this dream is really more of an ideal to work towardThese dreams are really Ideals/Desires/Wishes.

3: And let’s say I'm creative, I have the juice of stories and words and colors flowing through my veins- I can't help that, it's a part of me -  and sometimes it drives me nuts, but I have proved that I can live for years without the need of fulfilling those expressions turning me into mush.
One might dream of being a model, or a movie star, a singer or sports legend, etc. but if one carries on with life normally and is not constantly obsessed, or actively engaged in the pursuit of it since childhood- then it might be only that one’s creativity or ones fantasies of stardom (or narcissistic tendencies) push them this direction. It's good to have direction! We naturally drift toward what we are gifted at, right? But all through life, as we are exposed to more and more possibilities, these can change and often do!
These dreams are more of following the beat of one’s personal drum- finding one's niche and a way to use one's gifts/passions.
These 'dreams' are Passions/Gifts/and even passing obsessions.

4: But often, one is born with a fire inside, a desire that makes no sense but drives a person, it’s like a need to know something first hand. It's like a purpose you must fulfill or a quest to perfect while on this earth. Perhaps it is to settle down with one companion who intimately knows you and loves you....perhaps it is to be in the Olympics, or have 10 children, perhaps you pine away for something to complete you- to live in a place that ‘fits’ you- the ocean, the mountains, the desert - to run a cattle ranch, or a fast-paced sea-food restaurant, a B&B, or something as simple as just to have a horse to ride.  Whatever it is, you will silently obsess about it (research, plan around it, get educated...and mention it every chance you get....because it’s something that you need to be fully yourself & to feel complete
(It is not the same as being fulfilled in life, or just wishing.)
For me it is to have a horse- this is the "dream that sustains” me, and has since I was 4. I have found that I am not completely happy without a horse. (I may dream of living a luxurious life in a 10,000 square foot home... but if that dream came true and I still did not have a horse, I would not be any more happy/content in life than if I lived in a trailer in the kids driveway but HAD a horse.)
This  too I have proved, having lived without one for ½ of my adult life- many years- and it DOES turn my heart to mush -  the yearning does not go away. And I feel empty in a part of my deepest self without it.
So, I think that we are genetically implanted with things that leave holes in us if we are without them. Some might call this dream a 'calling'. But it's something that makes us strive in life to get beyond survival, beyond just 'making it'. We have to touch it, realize it. It is something that crushes you completely, ruins you as a person if you fail to get or realize it- and most especially if you lose it.

It is more than just a passion for something, it is just as strong in your heart having attained it , as living with its lack.
This is a 'true' dreamSomething that no matter what else we may attain, leaves us missing the center piece of our heart like the very beat of our existence.
This is a True Dream – you know it, because it either sustains or crushes.

They all have/hold something valuable for us and deserve our time in contemplation!
What does your list look like- what do you dream of, what are you working toward, prepping for?