When a would-be ‘dare to dreamgirl' eagerly shared with her husband an entrepreneurial idea, his response was:
What about our household? Our children? (I suspect he was also thinking what about me?)
The myth of Psyche, a story that helps us understand feminine psychological development, may have been helpful here, as Psyche would not have undertaken her hero's journey had it not been for the sake of a relationship. Meaning, consensus suggests women can't attend to their relationships and their identity: the Psyche myth suggests otherwise.
Let's look at the first question:
1) What about our home?
As we pursue a dream, will there be specific tasks that we currently do that won't get done (e.g. will chaos ensue?)
Do you remember the ants that help with Psyche's first task? The ants illustrate the importance of intuition and of delegation as we sort and sift through priorities. Specifically, as we plan out how to get our dream done, let's inventory which of the tasks that mom currently does that can be delegated to our children. Our husband. To outside help.
Lest you worry that by delegating these jobs, you will no longer have a real place within your family, think again. It's simply not true.
And remember — just as the ants sorted the seeds one-by-one, we can delegate one task, one simple task, see what happens, then delegate another.
Sort, sift, sort some more.
2) What about our relationships?
Psyche's 3rd Task, which involves filling the flask, or achieving a goal against tough odds, also illustrates the importance of delegation. This time she delegates to Zeus' eagle. I can't help but think that the eagle is representative of the men in our lives. There are things that we can learn from them, not to mention our children, that will help us accomplish our goals.
3) What about the times when our journey requires we go it alone?
Psyche's 4th Task requires she journey alone to retrieve a box of beauty ointment. As she travels she must say no (word of protection) to those seeking help so she can say yes (word of connection) to her relationships. With any dream, there are moments when we must figuratively, if not literally, go it alone.
Which circles us back to our loved ones underlying query — ‘What about me?'
For Psyche's 2nd Task, gathering the fleece, that's the easy part. The trick is to gather without engaging in head-butting, thus losing her innate sense of caring and connectedness. This is not an easy one for me. It has been and continues to be easy to become so intent on gathering the fleece, and wanting to be good at that gathering, that I (we) can forget why we are gathering in the first place.
In Orson Card's book The Call of Earth, there's a character named Hushith. As a raveler, Hushith “lives in the constant awareness of all the connections and relationships among the people around her. Having a web-sense is naturally the most important thing in her life, as she watches people connect and detach from each other, forming communities and dissolving them.”
So here's what I wonder.
Do any of us really begrudge our loved ones living their dream, fleece gathering as it were, so long as our relationships are strengthened, and the fleece they gather is spun into wool that binds them to us?
Samuel Johnson said, “the ultimate result of all ambition is to be happy at home.”
As you have the floated an idea, have you encountered resistance from your loved ones?
Is it possible that the resistance is less about their confidence in your ability to pursue the dream, and more about their concern that you will go away? I must say I often wonder what happens on What Not to Wear after the makeover. How do the relationships shift?
If you aren't willing to delegate, why? Are you worried about your loss of place? Or identity?
In what ways can we involve our children, our husbands and the men in our life in the pursuit of our dream?
If the connections between and among people were visible, what would people see? Who would we be connected to? Five years ago? Five years hence?