My nightmares have resurfaced again and anyone who has been in my vicinity would know this. I’ve done what I usually do when summoned by the Spirits of the Darker World - I let everyone know (apologies, kind lady on the bus). I have lots of reasons for this but mainly to bring them out into the daylight; with the intention that like vampires, the searing sun will burn them to ashes. (I stop short of putting garlic beside my bed). The other, is to find a person who will provide some clarity; some pearl of wisdom that will begin the process of understanding and elimination. I have in turn had a range of responses which, have included:
“Wow..you’re in serious trouble…let me give you the name of my Spiritual Healer.”
“ It’s the Devil – you need to pray to save your soul.”
“It’s your unconscious that has trained itself to respond in a particular way. You need to retrain it.”
“ They’re your repressed thoughts coming to the surface. Listen to them.”
I contacted the Spiritual Healer who was busy, and the idea that it was the Devil just filled me with the kind of dread that I feared would show itself at night. But I was captivated by the idea that my unconscious thoughts were finding an outlet to speak to me. I have always highly valued self-awareness and the idea that I was unaware to the extent that I was being woken up in the dead of night intrigued me. Had I become so deaf to my Unconscious that it could only wake me with its screams? I was desperate to know if anyone else had experienced this and how that made them feel. If we were taught that we should love ourselves first, then my Self was telling me that this Love had transformed into a monster beyond my conscious comprehension. My Love, a monster? That couldn’t be right.
I spoke to my friend T about it. T’s twin brother had died in a car crash when he was 21 and, just like that, the world he knew to be safe, secure and full of love, was no longer. Anyone meeting him would think of him as strong and together but I asked him if his dreams delivered a different story. Very early on when I met him he had given me a heartbreaking account of when he found out that his brother had died. He had laughed at the policeman thinking if he acted like it was a joke then that’s what it would be. It wasn’t a joke and, as he supported his grieving parents, took on a job as an accountant, he would at night wake screaming believing that he was drowning in blood. I asked how he had learnt to overcome this and his honest answer was that he hadn’t entirely, but he had learnt to recognise trigger points and find ways of placing his grief into creative and fulfilling projects. So, he wrote music, supported kids in the community and in turn the grief for his brother would transform into something beautiful and practical for himself and those around him.
The idea that we could go on functioning and enjoying Life while our unconscious held onto a deeper side of ourselves; not prepared to pretend that things had been resolved is perhaps something good. I am inspired by T but still unsure as to how I could crawl into my unconscious and whisper ‘Look outside, there’s no hurt. It’s all OK’.
But what I do know is that when we share, we also learn, and sometimes when things don’t make a lot of sense it’s comforting to know that someone will tell their story and in doing so will shed light on your own.
We are after all, story tellers and as we journey it’s only right that we gift our stories to those we meet from all facets of Life – Awake and Dreaming.