I normally don’t remember my dreams beyond the first few moments of waking. And I usually sleep like a rock (daily swimming/biking will do that.) But this week, almost every night, I have been not only waking and remembering my dreams, I have been able to carry them into the day, able to sequester the images, the feelings, the story, and able to return later in the hopes of wringing out meaning. At first there was a series of plane crashes; not the scary, “I’m gonna die” sort of thing but instead the kind which fosters a curiosity. They are the “Hmmm….ok, here’s how I’m going to survive this” sort of dream. In one, I’m forced to take a seat on the wing….literally laying down on the wing with my feet clipped into a ‘chip-clip’ contraption and my arms over my head hanging onto a handlebar of sorts. Next night, bigger, fierier sort of apocalyptic plane incident in which I simply managed my way through. Often I’ve been yelling at my family. On Tuesday after an evening having dinner with two couples (we don’t do dinner/have very few couple friends with whom we interact) I woke up screaming, ‘Why?’
I knew exactly why. I tried to calm myself after the scream, starting thinking about the dream, and quickly told myself that I’d probably not remember it, that if I turned on a light I would wake myself further and not be able to get back to sleep, that I needed sleep more than I needed to write down or remember the dream, that yes, the dream was really significant and held a piece of a puzzle I have been searching for for a very long time, that I was clearly just lazy because I wanted sleep over truth and insight, that I wanted to stay in my own vortex of avoiding the truth, avoiding hard work, of demeaning my existence, my gifts, my talents, that even if I did turn the light on and write out the dream it would surely not have the same significant in the morning that I was attributing to it while in bed, tears streaming down my face.
I realized in the hour long conversation with all of the voices in my head that I was at a tipping point. For years my baggage, my stuff, and my process kept me just under the surface of understanding and change. I have been as addicted to my story as I have been to my drugs of choice so much so that even subconsciously, I have not allowed my true self to break through even in my dreams. I have held it at bay, necessarily so, until this point in time where now I am allowing a deep voice to bubble up and force me a little further up to the surface, perhaps even breaking through into the air above.
My subconscious cried out, “Why?” The dilemma? In my dream, after an evening with new friends explaining to them how I wasn’t an artist but something less than, wasn’t an actor but something less than, wasn’t a musician but something less than, wasn’t a teacher but something less than, wasn’t a writer but something less than, I cried out, “Why?” in tears. Why am I still doing this to myself? Why am I still demeaning by natural talents whether they are top-notch, have-assed or new developments/talents/abilities? Why am I still defining myself as ‘less than’ when in reality, when I look at my gifts, my life, my experiences, my soul, I am clearly something more than ‘less than.’ I am more-than. I am what I define myself to be. Law of Karma. I am what I put out there.
I shared with my partner the next morning with unbridled excitement: “I clearly heard myself at dinner last night,” I said, “because my subconscious will no longer let me get away with it.” It felt wrong in the moment at the dinner table, and clearly in the middle of the night I realized I have had enough of the same behavior. All those voices in my head telling me that I should just try to go back to sleep? I ignored them, turned on the light, and wrote out my dream. It may not sound that significant to those of you who make a habit turning on a light to write or who use this tool, dream journaling, regularly. But for someone who has been listening to all these voices in my head for so long, who has been so comfortable going from “I’m going to change the world” to a “I want to die” on a regular schedule, giving myself permission to see a roadblock and to know it’s not real, to know I can overcome it, to accept the voices are just voices, that the true voice, a “Why” in the middle of the night, is my “barbaric yelp,” breaking my sleep cycle to write out a dream in the middle of the night was breaking a bigger cycle. A much bigger cycle.
I did it again the night after and last night again. New cycle. New voice. New neural pathways….re(dis)covery.