• Michelle Sterling

Living the Dream: Reflecting on Choices and Finding Your North Star


I have always had very vivid dreams, many of which I’m fortunate to remember. My dreams are typically filled with adventures, problem solving missions, and even exploring alternate dimensions. In the morning I wake up refreshed with a head full of crazy ideas, most of which I can’t use. But some I can and do.


Lately my dreams have been filled with lessons on love: what forms it takes, how to recognize honest love, and what it means to make choices from a place of love.


The poem I wrote and posted in the image here showed up for me in my waking moments this week after a night of dreams about a crush left unexplored from my younger years. I’m enjoying it because it’s much saucier than the usual word stream that arrives on my consciousness doorstep. But there’s more to it than that.


In the light of day, these words are causing me to reflect and consider the power of our personal choices. And more importantly, the impact those choices have not just on our own lives, but on the lives of all of those who connect to us in varying degrees of separation.


The younger me often made many choices to hold myself together for fear of the pain and humiliation that might follow, were I to choose what my heart wanted. In those earlier years, my knowing was based on what other’s taught me; what was “right” and “virtuous.” How to be a good girl and play nice with everybody in the sandbox.


As I aged, I amended these rules a bit. Never deleting, only adding. More experience; more rules. If you are a woman, you know what I mean. We bear the brunt of social judgment, in language, safety, and belonging. (And I’m sure other ways come to mind for you.)


I was talking with a friend of mine earlier today about how following these “standards of behavior” can create a sense of confinement for our self-esteem, our inner voice. Don’t speak up, don’t contradict someone, don’t embarrass them… Every time, swallowing your truth so as to not upset anyone.


What she pointed out to me is that this behavior is actually the opposite of living honestly; or put another way: it’s the opposite of love.


The truth is, if you hold universal love as your North Star, your choices should reflect that. Because your choices aren’t just about you; they eventually trickle out to all of us.


I’m not saying it’s easy. Particularly in the current climate, where we are surrounded by jaded shade-throwing, willful ignorance, powers seeking more power and instant self-gratification. Not sure this is true? Walk into any crowded room and shout “Climate Change” “Homelessness” “Black Lives Matter” “Immigration” “Women’s Rights” “Gun Activists” or any number of hot topics we can’t seem to have common sense conversations about anymore. I promise you; it will be difficult to root out any love in the room.


So let me practice one example of what making an intentional love-based choice looks like.


In my District, the candidate seeking his 7th term in Congress has been found guilty multiple times of multiple ethics violations over the years, mostly involving the misuse of funds. When asked about it recently he said, “The polling shows nobody cares.”


Nobody cares.


Does this sound like someone making love-based choices for the good of us all? When did this become the leadership mindset we choose to support?


So in this example, my choice is to not support him, AND to feel comfortable in speaking out my reasons for that should it come up. Without fear of being shamed, ridiculed, or rejected. Because in those choices, I am following my North Star. Living my dream.


I do want you to know that I hesitated to bring up a political example. But let's keep it real: it is the cesspool we are all being forced to swim in right now. So while I've dragged you here, keep in this in mind:


Choosing from a place of love is not about socialism versus capitalism, it’s about us. The big “WE.” Nobody is taking your love so that you're left loveless. It’s about thinking beyond our own skin, and not letting it keep us apart.


I don’t remember why I didn’t kiss that crush of my dreams when I was younger. Maybe I made the choice out of the fear of being laughed at or called a slut, or worse – being ostracized from a social group. Maybe I made it out of love, out of respect for the other person he was already in some form of a relationship with, knowing the pain that might cause them both. I’d like to think I did it out of love. But who knows?


What I do know is that these days I'm connected to my North Star. And when my choices reflect that, I am living my dreams.


I am here for you if you want to practice expressing your love-based truths. In the meantime, may we all find our voices and live out the sweetest of our dreams.