As I was working on updating my blog, I came across a post that I wrote, almost 2 years ago, after moving from Portland to our home here. In it, I share a dream that I had:
…the last 4-5 nights, my sleep has been riddled with dreams and restlessness. Those dreams are sure signs that I’m not giving myself the space to be with and process what I’ve been experiencing and feeling. It’s a natural part of big changes, I’m sure.
Night before last, my dream was of an unknown guest visiting our home. The man was petting our cat, Muta. I love Muta. He’s such a love. I adore him so much. Muta was purring and being so sweet with the guest. I remember being proud of him. Then, without warning, Muta turned wild, like a fearsome and angry tiger and bit the man’s ear. Muta ripped it right off. In an understandable panic, the man threw Muta across the room. To say I was horrified is putting it modestly. My Muta, my sweet kitten, just did what?? The rest of my dream was me running around trying to put the ear on ice and get him to a hospital to get the ear reattached. I woke up, heart rushing and stomach roiling.
I’ve always had incredibly vivid, intense, and haunting dreams. In finding a way to work through them, I began learning how to find meaning in them. Sometimes I can’t, but sometimes I can and they have taught me lessons I’ve needed to learn. This one was so emotionally powerful, I felt sure it would have something to tell me.
At first, I couldn’t make any guesses as to its message. As I sat with it, I began to piece it together. I know from prior dreams that the cat represents me. It is my dream world’s avatar for my unfiltered, unafraid, unashamed and whole self. My soul, if you will. Watching my cat, who I was proudly sharing with this guest, cause harm to the man’s ear (the ear representing a person’s receptivity, their listening) was mortifying. And that’s when I got the message. I have a deep fear. My fear is that if I share myself (and of myself) with others, that it will cause harm. And not only will it cause, possibly irreparable harm, but it will be violently rejected. Wow, that’s a whopper of a fear to be unveiled. The invitation has been extended to me. Release that fear. Now that I’ve seen my fear and it has a name, it’s vulnerable. This paper tiger is caught by the tail and that tail is lit by fire.
When I first starting reading this, I had the experience of reading someone else’s blog. But, by the end, the dream and its emotional impact were reawakened in me again. I’m startled that I had so completely forgotten the dream, the meaning and lesson I found in it.
But, today, of all days, I happened to find it again. It seemed like every other thing I did today had the same message. Janece, you are to express yourself. Write. Paint. Snap photos. Speak. Love. Live. It a simple message. I hear variations on it constantly. I see inspiration encouragements, quotes and anecdotes on Facebook that suggest the same. This was one of those days though where, suddenly, I had ears to hear. And I heard. It’s been a din so loud that I wonder how in the world the buzzing in my ears kept me from hearing it.
Now that I’ve heard it, my work begins. I don’t know how this lives itself out. I’m going to follow my impulses and intuition. I’m predicting some of my work will fall flat. I’m preparing for that. I’m going to practice being okay with being the fool in this process. This is new. I’m excited.
As for my fear about how I will be received about what others will feel about what I share and me… I’m opening my clenched fists and letting it float up and away. It’s not mine to own.
I never thought I’d be able to say this. I know why I’m here.