Monday, August 9, 2010

Taking Care of the Self

Lately, my dreams have been out of control.

I usually have vivid, detailed, and often bizarre dreams that are filled with meaning, and I learned long ago to listen to my dreams and what they are telling me.

Lately, though, I'm being overwhelmed by them.

Though the subject of the dreams varies, the underlying meaning does not: my life is out of control.

To the outsider, nothing is noticeable. Life goes on, and I seem calm, collected, and on top of things.

And for the moment, this is true.

But my need for long-term control is driving me nuts. Because, as I've written about here earlier, as of May I will not have a job. And that knowledge is driving me insane.

So much so that I am driven to control the aspects of my life that I can, indeed, control.

For instance, it explains my rabid desire to finish painting this summer before I go back to school. Originally, once I had finished the TV room, guest room, and bath and hallway in the basement, I was going to take a break from painting until at least Christmastime.

But now I have a bee in my bonnet to paint our office. You see, it's the last room I can paint on my own, without hiring someone, in our house. So, now I want it done.

Because it's something I CAN DO and thus I can control the outcome.

It's not fear, really, that is getting me. I have this sense that, ultimately, things will work out and I will be fine and that I will be meant to move in whatever direction comes next.

It's the uncertainty, though. That's what gets me.

I hate not knowing.

I hate not being able to determine my own path.

And my dreams keep reminding me that, in fact, I do not. For instance, the other night, I dreamt that I was in charge of getting a living history display up and running in a neighboring town. I was in a van with several others, driving full tilt down a highway over the mountains, with the doors of the van flung open and us struggling to keep inside. Behind us followed a Canastoga Wagon pulled by 6 horses, and a hitch team of a variety of farm animals (including pigs, goats, cows, and a mule). As we came down the mountain, suddenly it was covered with snow (lots of WHITE imagery in my dream - highly significant) and the wagon lost control and wound up plowing into the bank and flipping over. The animals behind were in danger of being crushed.

The interpretation of this dream is simple: the items in my charge were wildly out of control and there was nothing I could do about it.

So, the question is how I can wrap my brain around this dilemma and move beyond it. Obviously, I have MONTHS to go before I will know where my life will lead me next. How do I ease my troubled mind and let go of this need to control?

I think I am finding the answer, right where it has always been, in the pool. As I swam yesterday, I let myself go and let the water support me, let it take me where I needed to go, and let its energies fill my soul.

The angst is still there, admittedly, but its power is lessened. Hopefully, with more time in the water, I'll become strong enough to let go of the control completely and go where life needs me to be.

How will you take care of yourself today?

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