March 25, 2011

Life is but a Dream: Acceptance, Awareness, Attitude

It came to me today, while hanging out clean (but frustratingly "linty") laundry, that sometimes lint is just a part of life, and it really need not disturb me.

Emotions, too,  can be "linty" if I allow myself to get too frustrated with them. They leave their shreds on everything around them.

I was reading the words of a fellow program buddy recently, and I could appreciate how they wanted to get back to being grateful for their emotions. I am often grateful for my emotions, even the messiest ones. I rarely feel resentment.... mostly I feel fear.  

I admit I have a history of trying to control fear, but my thinking is poorly trained in dealing with that emotion. So, fear is my "linty" emotion. 

Meditation is teaching me to feel gratitude for my troubling emotions, and as a result, my fears seem less likely to show up and disturb me. (Except in dreams, where I have no conscious control.) In my waking life, I catch the signs of an emotional storm a lot earlier, and I am more inclined to be curious about them and non-reactive.

Because curiosity about my "problems" or "challenges" seems to be so helpful to me right now, I thought I might do something different and follow the trail of an unbidden, bad dream. The story line in "bad" dreams can be disturbing to me. Even though I know the story line is not truth.  I could have dismissed the dream,  shooing it away from my serenity.  But instead of brushing away the sour taste and upset thoughts of my dream story this week, I decided to "write all about it" in complete detail. I Accepted the dream story line, and  Allowed myself to explore it in full. I became Aware ("came to", or Step Two)  of things I might have overlooked.

I gave the dream  lots of room in the big rich grassy space of my mind.  I paid close Attention to what different things in the story meant to ME (I am not big on dream interpretations done by any expert). I explored the story for myself,  first by writing it down in a dream journal, and I did not analyze. I also wrote out my negative emotions in the dream and those that came up in the remembering of the dream.

And then I put this writing aside for a few days.

Today I took some special time and typed up the dream, and watched how more details came spilling out when I used both hands to do the communication. I could feel how my mind was studying the dream from all angles but in Gestalt kind of way. Not analytical. Very experiential, very creative, very healing. My dream mirrored some of my worst fears, and some of my long-denied hopes. My dream showed me places I had not looked in doing my inventory. Places of light that I had been hiding from myself. It had something to say that was not at all negative, if I detached myself from the emotional reactions I was having.    How rich~

As for the last A, Attitude, I find I am Grateful I am for my dream this week. I can hardly wait for another to show up, so I can be curious and experience my mind's subconscious workings. And appreciate my dream for the gifts those subconscious seas tossed on my beach.

I am open to others thoughts about how dreams fit into their program walk.


  1. My dreams are few now, although I still have some that are anxious. I realize that the old fears can surface even in sleep.

  2. That is why I don't push my bad dreams away too quickly..... by saying, "It's just a dream, don't give it power." I respect that my subconscious is giving me an opportunity to examine those fears.


I welcome your thoughts. Keep me honest~