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Archive for September, 2005

in dreams

I am being tortured through my dreams on an almost-nightly basis. I love dreams, I have very vivid dreams and I remember a lot of them. As a child, I could do amazing things in my dreams, like fly and become invisible at will. I used to dream about epic adventures. Most times when I dream, I am fully aware that I am dreaming, and sometimes I can control what happens. I always dream in colour, and I always see myself in my dreams, as if I am watching myself on video. This allows me a degree of consciousness, because I am aware of being the director behind the camera, if you will.

A couple of years ago, I went to a Jungian analyst who told me that Jungian theory said a lot about dreams. Of primary concern was the theory that every person in your dream is actually a part of you. In a lot of ways, I think this makes good sense. For example, I had this one recurring theme in my dream of a shadowy character who was chasing after me. Sometimes he – it was a man – wanted to take something away from me (in one dream, it was a package, in another, it was a baby). I was afraid of this man, and yet I could not escape him. I tried my best, I ran and hid, I drove far away, but he would always come up, as if he already knew where I was going and could beat me there every time. After some discussion, the analyst told me he thought I was struggling to integrate different parts of my own psyche: a part that was a bit dark, with the very surface part that was raised to be "good". The good part was struggling against the dark part, but both parts were me, and so the dark character could never be eliminated, but must be integrated. When I began to allow myself to feel emotions I normally would label as "negative", and expressed myself in more productive ways, the dreams stopped. Coincidence? maybe… but ever since then, I have accepted this theory.

So, as I said, I am being tortured through my dreams almost nightly. By… myself, on this theory! However, the dreams are all about the same person: I keep having dreams about my ex-boyfriend. This is a person I have been split from for 3.5 years, and I haven't physically seen him for more than a year. Except in my dreams every single bloody night! I have had these dreams on and off for a long time, but sporatically. But now it's every night! It started about two weeks ago. The circumstances of each dream vary in major ways, but the theme seems to be the same: I am still in love with him, and he has moved on. Most of these dreams centre on me trying to ruin and undermine his new relationship. In one of these dreams, I was actively and repeatedly trying to kill him and his dream-fiance (all of these attempts were unsuccessful)! It is tormenting me.

The thing is, I don't feel any love for this person anymore, save for the love I have for every member of the human race. I don't wish bad things for him, but I simply do not want anything to do with him any more. I am not in love with him. I would not want to be with him again. I would rather that I never run into him ever again. So, what are these dreams about?

I do have a theory about this. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about love being a fairy tale. Well, all my life, I have been a romantic, incurable. I always believed in true love, soul mates, all of that. When I met this person, I thought I had found all of that, and I loved this person as much as I could, and that love deepened over the five years we were together. My love was unselfish and generous, abundant. He loved me, too, but his capacity was not the same, and he couldn't match what I gave. When we broke up, I believed that was it for me: I had had my chance at love, and it was gone; that man was my soul mate, and I was doomed to a life that would not include love like that again. Imagine my distress! From that point on, I was cynical about love. I didn't believe it was going to happen to me again, and from the amount of pain I was going through, I didn't want to fall in love and be that vulnerable again.

I think that in my dreams, perhaps even in my consciousness, this person represents love, the part of me that is loving and romantic and still believes in soul mates and never-ending love. I think that in my dreams, this part of me is ready to move on, ready to begin again. And the conscious part of my psyche is scared by it, and is trying to prevent that from happening. It's safer to pass through life as a single. No one can hurt you if you don't let them.

So, that is my analysis. I wonder what my analyst would have said about my interpretation?!?! Perhaps if I was still going to visit with him, I would have arrived at this conclusion a bit sooner.

I won't say I'm really totally ready to begin looking for a new mate. But, I think perhaps I am becoming more open to the idea. I do miss it sometimes, being in love.

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When asked the question, "Who inspires you?", many people look to the examples of famous people: political leaders, movie stars, favourite musicians, athletes, authors, etc. I have my favourites among these, all of whom tend toward uncompromising and revolutionary visions: Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr, the Dalai Lama, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gloria Steinem, Oprah (that last one might be a bit pop cultural, but I'll defend her as a choice!). But when I look around me, I have all the inspiration I need in the form of my friends. I'd like to take a few moments to sing their praises.

  • One of my friends travelled across the whole world because she believed in love, against all odds. Her humour and ability to laugh at herself and find the best in every situation is abundant, her intelligence is sparkling, her aura is warm and fuzzy, and her faith is unshakable.

  • One of my friends lives her life with passion and complete integrity of character. Her laugh is infectious and her smile lights up any room; she is so beautiful. Her love relationship is lovely, smart and true. Her brilliance never ceases to amaze me.

  • One of my friends is so easy to be around that simply everyone loves her. She makes conversation effortlessly, knows almost everbody, and is thoughtful and kind to the point of selflessness. She laughs more than anyone I know, and her family is so wonderful, very close-knit. She is the salt of the earth.

  • One of my friends is completely single-minded and determined. She strives to be the best she can be in everything she does, pushing her boundaries all the time. She is driven; there is nothing she can't do if she sets her mind to it, and no goal is too difficult to be broken down into hard work. I can't wait to see where her life will go; she is a bright star.

  • One of my friends is so enthusiastic and fun-loving. She has a very social personality, and loves to help people and show people kindness. She is larger than life!

  • One of my friends overcame the devastating loss of a loved one to cancer with dignity and grace.

  • One of my friends is learning to break down her walls. It's beautiful to see.

  • One of my friends is full of generosity. She would do anything to help a friend in need. Sometimes, this hurts her some, but she doesn't let that prevent her from being so kind and caring.

  • One of my friends is committed to the idea of love. She has had several relationships that didn't work out, but her belief in soul mates and true love has kept her open and receptive. She has never had a list of qualities she expected to find in a mate, but was open to allowing fate to push her toward to right person. I am happy to report that it worked; I've never seen her happier.

  • One of my friends knows how to ask for emotional support when she feels vulnerable.

  • One of my friends is so easy to talk to. He never judges anyone, and listens with empathy.

  • One of my friends is a beautiful writer.

  • One of my friends has forgiven her mother.

  • One of my friends is an excellent mother.

  • One of my friends is so warm. She just has incredible warmth of spirit; it is comforting to be in her presence. She is even-tempered and steady. She loves her life and is always cheerful and gracious.

  • One of my friends is an excellent hostess and loves to entertain. Her cooking is fabulous and her home is inviting and livably lovely.

  • One of my friends has a way of cutting to the heart of things. One well-thought-out and well-placed comment often ends a discussion simply because he is right.

  • One of my friends is highly creative.

  • One of my male friends is a feminist.

  • One of my friends does nothing but laugh, all the time. He is so much fun. Being around him is a real treat.

  • One of my friends is always discovering new music! It's convenient that I like the same music as she does – she has expanded my music library, the soundtrack of my life.

  • One of my friends is mischeivous and fun to be around. She gets a little twinkle in her eye, and you just know you're in for a fun night!

  • One of my friends has more energy than any other person I have ever known!

  • One of my friends is the most easy-going person I have ever met, kind-hearted and soulful. He puts you at ease by just by being so centred.

All of these people have come to me for a reason. I have learned so much about myself through them, and they truly do inspire me to become a better person. I love them all, and I know they also love me; in fact, a few of them love me like no other. They bring much joy and depth to my life and my heart. I am deeply grateful for each of them and their ongoing presence in my life, and the inspiration they bring to me.

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This is a question I have asked myself so many times over the years it would be too difficult to count. I say it when I hear children as young as 5 swearing like a sailor. I say it when I read the papers and watch the news to find out what heinous crimes people are committing. I say it when I find out what international political atrocities and war crimes are being perpetrated. I say it when I see reports of natural disasters, and what seems like the natural human impulse to take advantage of the situation by looting. I say it when I realize that people are much more concerned about their favourite sports team, movie star or recording artist than starving children in far-off countries. I say it when I listen to politicians, especially american politicians. I say it in response to just about everything these days.

 

so, what IS our world coming to? It seems that what we have been doing has led us into a series of disasters. North america has become a society that is overwhelmingly selfish, ignorant, and callous. Our society runs on consumerism and the almighty dollar rather than humanity and compassion. This is prevalent throughout most of the world; even in the most economically deprived places, power makes people into monsters rather than humintarians and philanthropists – Idi Amin comes to mind. Now, one of the world's loveliest cities is destroyed by hurricane, and some people's reaction to this terrible disaster is that the people living there all but deserved it because the city was poorly planned. Where is the compassion?

 

Human development has ruined this planet. Global warming is very real, and shifting weather patterns are causing natural disasters and difficult everyday climate changes like increased rain- and snow-fall. Yet some governments refuse to take measures to reduce aggrevating factors and enforce proven measures to protect the environment. Disease has become more resistent to our medication solutions, and new and more powerful strains of disease threaten to eliminate our race one by one. Yet individuals refuse to protect themselves during activities that can transmit these diseases, and governments do not give enough money to health care.

 

I feel discouraged some days. We have come along in this world and tried to exert our collective will over the earth. She existed for millions of years before we came along, and those who came before us were forced to live within her parameters. Modern humans have done our best to try to controrol natures's controls. We have learned ways to keep living well past previous life expectancy, and to find ways around impotence and infertility, and as a result our planet must play host to a ridiculous amount of people, most of whom are disrespectful guests who trash their hotel room, so to speak. Is it possible to go back, to undo the damage we have done? I'm not sure. I hope so, but I have my doubts and that makes me sad. Much of what we have done is not renewable. But I still hold out hope for humanity, for more compassion for our fellow humans and for our host. We need to find a way to respect and cherish our earth and each other, to live in harmony. Or our host might just kick us out.

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