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Next year in jerusalem

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As women we have many needs. Some needs are met through personal and intimate relationships. Other needs are met through friendship. Other needs through work and professional lives. Still other needs are met through raising or caring for families. And still other needs are met through fantasy. For example, it is perfectly normal to have fantasy thoughts that we never expect to live out, yet help us get through some very dull or trying times. I don't know if I could have mentally made it through the first few months of caring for my first baby without reading almost all of Agatha Christie's mystery novels and watching As The World Turns on television. Leaving my home via fantasy to follow a murder in a mansion in England or loosing myself in the latest romance taking place on a soap opera, somehow helped me have the energy to change the next diaper and get the formula ready for the next bottle.

On this blog I'll be discussing lots of needs that we have as women and how we can satisfy them and understand ourselves. As a psychologist I'm looking what works for us and what may not. I am sharing advice and also encouraging you to live a passionate life that suits you. I'm encouraging you to be yourself and enjoy the romance of a friendship with yourself. So that means helping you recognize your talents and potential. It means sharing the adventures of life and the fantasy adventures that we all need to keep us going. It means being aware of the spiritual mysteries of life and yet feeling safely grounded as a woman with purpose and meaning in her life. Stick with me, we are going to have a lot of fun!

So what is it that fantasy is doing for us? It almost sounds like it is a battery charger.

Dr. Holstein:

That is a good way to put it. Fantasy does make up for what is often lacking in our lives. It is a free ticket to anywhere. We need stimulation as human beings and we need change. We can't always get either in real life. Fantasy helps make up the gap. That's why it is so important to help kids learn how to properly use their imaginations when they are young. Listening to books read aloud or to drama on audio is very helpful as it forces kids to create scenes in their own minds rather than relying on someone else's creation of the image, like on television.

But let me talk a little more about women and fantasy. Fantasy is a must in so many areas of our lives. As I mentioned before, we can meet stressful times in life. Actually for most of us life is a roller coaster. It has its ups and downs. We never know when we will be walking with a pebble in our shoe or facing a tragic event. One of the ways that we deal with life's mishaps and surprises is through fantasy. It is a lot safer than a handful of pills or a rash act we may regret. Certainly, I'm glad I didn't toss my baby out the window-just joking. But even a crying baby can eventually wear a woman down. That's when other releases and ways to rejuvenate in life become mandatory.

For example, take humor. No one would really want to live through some of Lucy's dilemmas on I Love Lucy. Who would want baking bread rising so high in the oven that it took over the kitchen, or trying to eat so many chocolates you were almost choking. But it is great fantasy to identify with Lucy and her dilemmas. We can feel her pain and delight in her crazy solutions and breath a sign of relief that all is okay in her life at the end of the episode. This is an example of using fantasy to move away from our own daily burdens.

That type of fantasy is totally normal. Thank goodness we have it. It has saved many a child from extra yelling from a frazzled mom and helped plenty of women recover from a boring job or endless traffic to get home.

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