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Dream Work

I put a lot of stock in my dreams.  For the majority of my life, my dreams have been connecting me to my deep self.  Helping me navigate the tricky waters of myself and the world around me.

On Being Overly Sensitive

Not knowing about empaths back in the day, I grew up as an overly sensitive child.  This meant I cried a lot.  An uncomfortable thing for grown-ups and kids.  A super uncomfortable thing for me. There were so many things I watched others do effortlessly.  Play competitive sports, watch movies about animals. 

For many years all growing up, our family would attend the Nutcracker Ballet in Seattle by the Pacific Northwest Ballet Company.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.  Every year, every time the orchestra would begin to play the overture, I cried.  Like, needing a pack of Kleenex type of cry.  Everything I felt, I felt deeply and personally.  And I felt everything.

On Coping Mechanisms

I learned a number of coping mechanisms.  One that served me amazingly, until it didn’t, was disconnecting from myself.  I still wasn’t able to disconnect from the others around me, but it was a start in managing myself in what I thought, was a more appropriate way.

This had some immediate benefits but also some major long-term implications.  My new mantra became, “It doesn’t matter.”  And I found that if I just chanted it, through my heart breaking wide open, in a moment that wasn’t ideal, I could drown out my tenderness.  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter.  It doesn’t matter.

Unfortunately, what happened was that I stayed tuned in to everyone else.  What my mantra had actually succeeded in doing, was teaching me that I didn’t matter.  Not exactly the ideal coping mechanism.

On Codependence

And so, I very successfully, very skillfully buried myself.  I didn’t know what I wanted, what I liked.  I didn’t know how to have fun or take risks.  What I did know though, was when someone was upset or unhappy or disappointed.  I knew when a situation was starting to move in an uncomfortable direction.  It was like watching the sea as storms come and go.  I did a lot of codependent micromanaging.


Then the dreams started.  I had sensationally vivid dreams with very specific symbols.  As I learned to understand the symbols, I began to see the faintest vision of my self.  The more I dreamed, the more I came into view.  It took me well into my 40’s before I realized it was time to embrace myself and start listening.

A few weeks ago, I had a very vivid dream.  There were huge spiders with pearl bodies, wrapping up gigantic bugs in copper wire.  This dream was electric with symbols.

Spiders generally represent feminine energy, a powerful protective force.  Add a pearl to that and you have the human soul, beautiful and pure. In this case, me.  My deep-self reminding me who I am at my core.  Of course, bugs are the symbolic stand-in for anxieties and fears.  Which, at the time, were overwhelming me in my waking life.  A frantic distraction from peace, to say the least.  And finally, copper represents the power of healing.  In essence, when I remember who I am, and I stand in that power, there is healing energy available to me to wrap up my fears and anxieties and move on to the things that bring me, and those around me, life.

And this is how it goes for me.  My dreams connect me back to myself.  Though it can be a tad controversial to say, I believe our bodies and minds know the way to healing.  We instinctively know what we need.

The beautiful poet, Mary Oliver, in her poem, The Journey, says this:

One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began,
Though the voices around you kept shouting their bad advice –
Though the whole house began to tremble
And you felt the old tug at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”  Each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.  You knew what you had to do,
Though the wind pried with its stiff fingers at the very foundations –
Though their melancholy was terrible.
It was already late enough, and a wild night,
And the road full of fallen branches and stones.
But little by little, as you left their voices behind,
The stars began to burn through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice, which you slowly recognized as your own,
That kept you company as you strode deeper and deeper into the world,
Determined to do the only thing you could do –
Determined to save the only life you could save.

If you cry a lot or if you dream, if you are disconnected from yourself or you have found your voice, let’s be friends~

2 thoughts on “Dream Work”

  1. During the full moon time, my dreams are so turbulent. And during the new moon my dreams make me smile. When the moon is reaching its fullness, I find I prepare for the dreams that leave me waking up exhausted. I bet you can help me with that.

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