- for relief from the pain in my head and ears that have been omnipresent for the past few days
- to be able to sleep for the first time in those same past few days without waking up with coughing spasms that feel like I am actually going to die from not getting a breath, or choking, and which feel like fire in my throat
- and for the obsessive thoughts that had been plaguing me all day about an issue to get resolved in my sub-conscious, without my having to continue to dwell on it
I had two new medications in addition to the others that I had been taking for what the doctor termed 'asthmatic bronchitis' yesterday. One of them is a long-acting inhaler, but which really jacks up your heart rate and I already have a problem with that and take medication to keep it down. As I drifted off to sleep, I began to feel a somewhat calming sense.
In the middle of the night, I awoke, aware instantly that I had been sleeping for quite a while, and that I had not been coughing and could actually breathe, that there was no pain in my ears, or behind my eyes for the first time in days. I was in sort of a trance, coming out of a dream, and I was fearful to move, lest I set off the coughing spasms again, yet I knew I wanted to understand the dream.
I would drift in and out of awareness--literally comprehending the meaning of some aspect of the dream--and then into the dream sequence again. I was fearful I would forget it by morning and yet, reluctant to get up and disperse the pleasant cocoon of calm and serenity in which I was surrounded.
At some point, I came fully awake and got up to go to the bathroom, and to tell myself that I would remember it in all the needed detail this morning, and then went back to sleep, grateful for both the vision and the healing.
In the dream, it was life after death, and we were at the process where we get separated--the wheat from the chaff. There were some portals, and some of us were walking toward them; I was not certain if I was to go through them or to the side of them. On the other side I could see my ex-husband, with his wife and his children. In that moment, I released any animosity I had toward him for not having wanted children with me when I so much wanted a baby, and then for marrying a woman with children and adopting her baby--a wound that although I reconciled it many many years ago, was clearly standing in my sub-conscious as a barrier of some sort. I reached out to hug his youngest child, and to tell him that I loved him. In the next moment, I was ushered through the portals and into the "room."
What would follow (in much abbreviated detail) is a series of what I would call "reality TV" scenes. We were divided into teams and we each had different scenarios to play out. The judge then ruled on our performance. I kept ending up in the "next level" and able to stay in the competition, so to speak. At the last scenario, it was a difficult thing for me to do. It involved my having to do several menial tasks--like make coffee, light a burner and the matches kept going out, climbing into some dirty water to reach the shelf where things were, etc. All the while, the "men" were just lounging in the boat near by and I was willingly performing these chores and then came the grand finale. What I began to realize was that each of the scenes had to do with the person's willingness to be of service to others, not to himself or herself.
The waters began to be everywhere, not just in my scenario. There were huge rafts though, and we could swim toward them and if someone reached a hand down, that meant we could climb in. I swam toward it, and someone reached a hand. I climbed in, and my task was now to reach my hand for others. I did not understand, though, how I was to decide who got to climb in and who did not? How was I supposed to know who was to be saved and who left to drown in the rising waters? What was the criteria? I started to reach toward someone, then suddenly shifted and pulled in someone else. A white dog with puppies kept pulling her puppies up the little sand bank to the edge, pulling them out of harm's way while looking at me--I could not tell if it was asking for help, or choosing a deliberate path away from the boat. Again, the awareness that the "saved" were those who had been willing to be of service and help to others not just meeting their own needs.
As I drifted in and out, trying to make sense of this dream, I had several awarenesses. One was how I have been so judgmental of two people in my life--and that in my being so judgmental, I am doing the exact same thing I am upset with them about: judging. The message of what I needed to do was clear: with the one, with whom I have an on-going professional relationship, to simply respond to the request without making him wrong about it; to the other, with whom I have no relationship, to just let it go and actually "get out" of his life and him out of mine. As one of my mentors used to say, "don't hang out with people who don't support you" and I realized, why would I expose myself to something so toxic to me when I do not have to and it does nothing for me, other than enflame my need to set him straight? I mean, let's face it: the world is filled with folks who likely need setting straight, and there is only one of me. Perhaps I should save my energies for those things that really matter--oh, like with people with whom I do have a relationship, or those who clearly have a need to which I can respond?
I thought of something my other ex-husband said to me recently when we reconnected after 36 years: "I am just trying to make sense of the world." It was a reminder to me this morning of my belief that we all are ultimately trying to make sense of the world and to find our place in it: who are we, and with whom do we belong? Along the way, there are opportunities; we accept some of them and we decline some of them; some of them we just put our hands over our ears and eyes while yelling 'nananananana' so we cannot hear it or see it. Another of my favorite sayings, "You can not convince someone with facts when the resistance is emotional." Maybe it is even a bit like the scripture about not casting your pearls before swine. We have to make choices, but so do other people.
So, my messages were clear in the dream, and I awoke--head clear, able to breathe, minimal coughing, but without the horrid spasms and fire-in-the-throat, aware that I had received exactly what I had asked for.
First, I emailed my professional colleague to respond to his question, and to confirm what I could do. Second, I made the choice to really let go of the other relationship as it is really not significant to my life and my mission in this world, and frankly and humblingly so, it is not significant to him either. :)
Perhaps it was all a medication-related interaction; perhaps it was an answer to my prayer; perhaps it was indeed my sub-conscious working out the details in my behalf. Somehow, though, it restored my belief in the power I have to make right choices in my life, to do what I can when I can where it can make a difference, and to recognize again that I am not the policewoman of the universe and responsible for every misguided individual in the world. After all, if I just take care of my own life, it appears to be a full-time job as it is taking me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for the last of my 58 years.
Life really is the ultimate reality show.