Friday, 24 December 2010

Dream 1: Analysis

Ok, as promised, dream analysis of the first dream here.

This entry is an analysis of the dream about work, where I'll put myself into the roles of people/symbols who seem important.

1. Dresses: I have to admit to finding it difficult being an inanimate object, but here goes. I am simplicity and luxury in one: clean lines, but lush fabric, one that - like you - begs to be touched. I am freedom and I flow: both attributes that are naturally yours that you deny yourself, like your femininity. Your fear is that each of these will make you weak: that forcing yourself to challenge, to always stand up and speak, being tough are what make you strong. They are not. What resists the relentless rhythm of the sea or the power of the air as tornado? You do not need a hard shell, nor do you need to mete out resources to yourself by inches to prove that you are a survivor. If I am summed up by anything, I am summed up by this: abundance. Abundance that you do not allow to flow in because you see life as a burden to be borne, something to be paid for, rather than as a free gift to be reveled in, to be fully owned, to be liberal with.

You believe you have shaken off all of the baggage your parents left you - but this, that life is hard, that life is a burden, that you will not get what you want - that, you still carry. And it is your last, and greatest, barrier.

2. X: I am the universal spirit of generosity, the archetypal mother, bringing you abundance - do you not remember how much I carried in? There was plenty for everyone, but you couldn't trust that, just like you couldn't trust your own mother, who would give only to take back or betray. So you let others go in front of you to take the risk, to see if any trap is hidden in what I have to offer. Once you decide there isn't, you come forward. And then you feel that there is nothing in your size, not the red dress you want, that there is nothing for you - that everyone else has and you don't. And that reinforces your belief that life must always be a struggle, that it denies you, that life will never freely give you anything. You just walked out - you didn't even wait to see, nor did you ask if there was something else. You ASSUMED that you had been betrayed and that there was nothing for you, that there never was.

You forgot that in the form I came in, I was a seamstress. Why didn't you ask? Why didn't you TRY something? Why didn't you work with me to create something uniquely yours, something you might have loved even more than your pre-conceived idea of what you wanted, rather than storming off, assuming I had lied to you, that I had betrayed you, that I had chosen to withhold from you, to deny you and you had to go elsewhere for help? That may have been your childhood, but it isn't your life now. Open your eyes, see what is offered. I AM BRINGING IT TO YOU, LOOK AND LISTEN.

3. G&P: Much as you love us, we are the people you envy. The people you see as having a simple, straightforward time getting what they want, for whom life is effortless, those who take it as a given that happiness is theirs. Those who take it as given that happiness will come their way, and because they believe it, it does.

4. Y: I am severity, austerity, extreme criticism, stinginess. I look at those around me with judgment and contempt. I look at MYSELF with judgment and contempt. I give little, I love even less. I am trapped in my story. I am what you are afraid of becoming, but that which you need to face in yourself to avoid that. I am prickly, like a cactus. Dry. My roots go deep. But let love's healing rain fall on me, and you will see the most brilliant blooms nature has to offer. Embrace me.

5. Manure field: I may seem to be the most disgusting of places to be, but I am the most fertile. I am the potential garden that you walk across, that you try to escape when you climb over the gate. Instead of walking over me and ignoring me, kneel - get to work with me. Seed me. Because of me, you can grow anything in this garden. Work me. Don't let me go to waste because you think of me as your blight, as your burden. I am your potential.

6. Barn: Like the manure field, I represent your LIFE. Note my spaciousness, my light, my structure, which is both simple and beautiful - begging for you to make a mark on it. Instead, you want to leave me and walk away, starting again elsewhere. Don't. Stop going from place to place, never making anywhere yours, holding yourself back from me. Paint me. Put pictures on my wall. Take risks. Bring to me the velvet, the plushness, the sensuousness to balance my simple structure. Currently, I am a storage space for whatever is happening at the moment, something you bear, you survive. I am begging you to make me your home, as the manure field is begging you to make it your garden, for she is an extension of me.

Whoa. So I was in my life, which had various things happening, but mostly work, when the universe brought me the essence of who I am, combining simplicity and sensuousness, clarity and passion, but I didn't think I found it in my size, and I chose not to work with the universe because I don't trust anything that comes to me, so I stormed out. I then walked across my potential,
born of what I've borne - like a survivor, like the traveller in Alan Parson's song - ready to leave, ready to make do somewhere else, yearning to start over - whilst the universe, the mother, followed me trying to talk to me, and I WOULDN'T listen.

Main themes:

1. Deep doubt that there will ever be anything good for me, doubt of abundance
2. Unwillingness to look at what's being offered if it's not exactly what I expect to see if it's a manifestation of abundance; I need to unwrap it to see if it's a blessing
3. Lack of awareness of how much potential there is around me and in me
4. Ditto how much help is around me
5. Need to keep the edge, but love it, so it becomes an asset: crisp like an apple rather than sharp like a poisoned dart
6. I need to own my life and make it mine rather than just write it off and assume the next one will be my 'real' one - the structure is beautiful and the potential immense
7. Need to allow myself my sensuality and love of abundance and fun
8. I need to listen like my life depends on it - if the universe is chasing me down to talk me into staying, then there must be so much that can be done with this. I remember the barn was immense
9. REAL issues with femininity here - my own and trusting the feminine, the receptive quality. The garden is feminine, I refuse to make the house feminine. I refuse to let myself go to it, though I will use qualities of it if necessary, and as my friend Jack once said, "You are well maternal." AND, interestingly, even though I lean towards Our Lady and feminine imagery of the Godhead.

Ok, this will probably have edits/additions later, but for now, that's where I am. Over to you - really. The comment section is really going to help here, since this is a new technique for me.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Dream experiment

Monday night, I had two very intense dreams - and considering I had about 5 hours of sleep, tops, that's not unimpressive. I've come across a method of interpreting dreams that is very powerful, so I'm going to post them and try to analyse them as a blog exercise.

The way this works is that one takes all the important symbols/people and becomes them. Speak from the "I am" perspective: "I am X, and I represent Y, etc."

So here are the dream summaries:

Dream #1: I was in what looked to be a big barn conversion with folks from work - it was light and looked like a fashion designer's room, actually, or the costume room at a play/production - and we were doing some kind of Christmas pageant at the party. X came in with an armful of dresses that looked medieval: long sleeved, full-length cream chemises with overdresses, something like this, but with a rounded neck and more velvety in texture:

They were also in deep jewel tones: red, blue, green. I asked X if there were enough - she said that yes, there were plenty. I allowed others to go first: P got a small, G a medium and then it was my turn, as I passed G & P adjusting their overdresses.

I flipped through the dresses with anticipation, but nothing in my size, or rather, a large in a colour I didn't want (or there was something else wrong with it). I went ballistic, at which point the barn went dark and I delivered an outburst that shows how little I really trust the world: "What the FUCK? You said there were plenty. NO ONE ever tells me what's really happening. Everyone got what they wanted. No one made sure there was something for me. There's NEVER anything for me."

I stormed out under the disapproving gaze of Y and the stunned countenances of all the others - into pure manure. Not frozen, not even dry - boggy manure that sucked your foot in up to the ankle. I was so angry, I was shaking and ready to cry. X followed me out, walking with me across the (interestingly, also indoor) manure and stood by me as I went over the stile and gate, trying to listen, calm me down and let me know it could be sorted.

Some pretty obvious stuff here, but it goes very deep, so I'll want to be:

  • The dresses
  • X
  • Y
  • the manure field
  • G &/or P, possibly
  • the barn, I think

Then we'll work from there.


Dream 2:

I was near Cape Town, having just been driven out of it along the highway by a woman I don't know IRL. Interestingly, we were driving on the right side of the road, which is wrong. CPT was to our left - she blessed it as we passed - and we pulled into a layby.

I was barefoot, and stepped out onto an asphalt walkway covered in broken glass. I thought about putting on shoes, but she told me to trust, so I kept walking, and looked up to see a two story peach coloured stucco house - something like this:

We went to the top floor, and there was a gorgeous room: part canteen, part game area, part shop area. but more generally all purpose room full of black boys and young black men. Our arrival turned some heads, but they kept on what they were doing: some studying crafts, some playing, some working the canteen - but all happy. There was broken glass being used ornamentally in the jet black tables, and clearly some used in the stained glass windows in the room.

I stood in awe, feeling electricity running through me as she said, "They were all orphaned and left to die, look what they've done."

My last thought before I woke up was that the friend I was in Cape Town with NEEDED to know about this.

Here, I need to be:

  • Friend driving
  • Road (why on the wrong side?)
  • Path
  • Broken glass
  • House
  • Room
  • Possibly the boys as a collective; the whole idea
  • Possibly CPT itself: what did it represent, why was I there? This feels tied to a dream I had about the Southern Cross months ago.

Those will be the subjects of the next blog entry or so. Stay tuned.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Musings on 15,001 ---> 13,000

My yahoo account has been slow for weeks. I knew it was probably because my inbox was too full, but I put off doing anything about it. However, when getting to 'reply' seemed like too much work for yahoo Tuesday morning, I knew it was time.

15,001 emails, covering nearly 8 years of my life. What to do? I decided to delete the early ones - perhaps up to the beginning of this year - en masse. I'm not referring back to any of the emails and haven't since the time in question, so why not?

It was harder than I thought it was going to be. I'd dip into an email, smile at the memory of the context - my exchanges with my cataloguing buddy, SA, were a particular delight, as were offlist conversations with several people I'd met online – I’ve certainly not changed in essence: analytical, cheeky, introspective. But more and more, perhaps because it is the unresolved thread from then, I found myself going back to the emails of a man I was involved with at the time. I’ve read the emails leading up to the first kiss, and those leading away from it to the end. Far more difficult and dark, very painful, but no less a pleasure.

Why? Because I loved him. No question there, looking back. Yes, I can analyse it now and think, ‘It was more about need and what I expected/needed him to be,’ but I can see the love shining through the emails as well. I recognise my tendency to affirm those I love (not just in THAT way) endlessly; the little tells in a shared foreign language; the shared pleasure in contact – talking about philosophy or daily happenings. As I read, I can feel the shared physical tells we once had: the hugs that were a little too long when we were just friends; the way I would turn into the smell of his cologne; the feel of his 5 o’clock shadow against my cheek; the little touches that scream ‘intimate’ louder than tonsil hockey in the street.

But reading reminds me, too, of how hard it was, even at the beginning. A friend of mine once said that relationship with me 'demands intimacy'; a newer friend said to me, 'You're about deep, honest connection.' They're both right; I don't do small talk for long: if a deeper connection isn't on the cards, I'm done.

But here, in a relationship that was 'intimate' by definition, the deep connection was always missing, always a struggle, only ever briefly brushed - and always by some combination of extreme reaching and walking on eggshells on my part.

In an early note to a good friend:

I don't even want him to touch me right now. There's a part of me that doesn't want to see him, that doesn't want him within a hundred miles of me right now, and another part that wants him right here.

And to another, one which reminded me that I've always tried to face things when they're hard:

You asked the right [questions], the tough ones - I need to articulate all that. And you're absolutely right, I *am* closed down at the moment, it's the only way I know to is the analysis, really - it allows me to detach and intellectualise it.

I’d forgotten how early it started; how early it went from being exquisite to be in a relationship to exquisite agony. In my head, I was completely relaxed and wrapped in it until much later, but looking at the dates of these emails, the angst set in early. Interesting, that: ‘In my head.’ Not in my feelings, not in my body, but *in my head*. How treacherous that head of mine is.

But why? If, as both my friends correctly note, deep connection is so much a part of how I relate, why struggle with an intimate relationship where it is only ever fleetingly present? If I insist on it in friendships, why not more so here? Why not walk that much sooner? Because I wanted to save him. Because it was a challenge, something to reach, the Holy Grail. Because I thought he was the One, and I had to get it right – that if I just turned myself this way, sat on that tendency…it would click into place. Because being desired, being touched like that, was intoxicating. Because…

…like him, I was emotionally unavailable.

Some of my friends would argue that, would say that I’m TOO emotionally available, that I don’t draw boundaries well enough and will be there for everyone till I drop. That’s true in an intimate relationship too, but that doesn’t mean I’m *emotionally available*. Being emotionally available entails being aware of your feelings, your processes – what’s really going on with you – and with others. I have a tendency to do my emotions in my head: I have insight – but awareness, which is deeper, which pushes us towards action – is much harder to come by. I don’t sit with raw emotion easily, as has been noted; I tend to need to place a pattern, an analysis on it early to make it bearable, to feel in control. That is an indication of my inability to be emotionally vulnerable, to let go of control, my difficulty in being emotionally honest.

Wait, Irim, you’re not emotionally honest?

Not when it places me in a vulnerable position: then, I hide behind capability, intellect, the ability to help others. But no one's getting near me when I'm feeling raw: and I don't withdraw, I attack. I don't want anyone near the place that hurts.

And that's the other part of emotional availability: the willingness to be vulnerable and aware of how you and others are. The capability is all well and good, but it's the willingness that matters. Then, the willingness to be vulnerable was minimal, and choosing someone emotionally unavailable made a lot of sense, though it also made for a lot of pain, because my nature leans towards intimacy. As was said to me in my first year at uni, "You're one of those people made to go through the world two by two," and more recently, "Yes, you DO well on your own. But you're better in partnership."

Is it any surprise that I'm deeply stuck? I can be emotionally available in friendships, where the risk isn't all of me: my heart, my nature, my essence. But in an intimate relationship, it's too much - it's overwhelm: sensory, emotional, physical...and checking out, freezing, taking care of other or not being emotionally present become barriers against the terror of being engulfed and lost.

He was the same. I've been reading these letters, thinking, 'You didn't know me,' and later, 'I didn't know you,' but I think at the level that mattered - to quote Elaine Page - I knew him (and he me) too well.

And as I've remembered and worked through that, I've remembered what I learned:

  • I am deeply kinaesthetic, though I tend to think of myself as more verbal. I need touch: from the little touches as a guy passes me, but even more skin to skin, whether it's holding hands, or cheek to cheek, or... If I have that, then I don't need words. I can rest.
  • I have a very strong nesting - or perhaps, with a wolf totem, 'denning' - instinct.
  • I love being desired and everything that goes with it. Though it isn't often expressed, sensuality is very much a part of my nature.
  • He brought a lot of healing along with the pain.
  • I am, truly, better in partnership.
  • I can love. I can stay when it gets hard. I can make this work.
  • From the way my friends gathered round, I realised how loved I was...

...though I've only begun to really feel it recently.

And over the last few days, I've learned that going back to that relationship was the best thing I could have done. Far from turning me into a pillar of salt, it allowed me to free a part of myself that had been frozen there, still chilled from the inside out by the pain.

Loving myself, applauding the risk I took to love and be involved, allowed that part to rejoin me and live again. Thawing may be painful, but it is the way to warmth and life.

And loving myself allowed me to love him by thanking him and finally letting him - and us - go.

You know who you are: thank you, and may you be blessed on the road that is yours. May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, and may God hold you in the palm of His hand.