January, 2010

5 18 24 28

1/5/10 - Title: "Now Part of the 'In Crowd'"

Although I am interpreting it somewhat differently than they, several of my relations (in Horace and Leila's family: Horace, Leila, and Virginia - others?) are extremely pleased about and welcoming toward me for coming to believe in God and to have this be now an important part of my life.

[There is much additional, I sort of sense or recall, to this dream, including a specific, meaningful passage from the Bible that I interpret in a more personal, metaphorical way rather than literally, as Horace, Leila, and Virginia do, but this is all I remember.

The mood was happy and very accepting from all Horace and Leila family members, with a responsive feeling in me of belonging and joy.

Horace is my very smart brother, masculine, a financial consultant/head of his financial services company local branch brother, right wing, conservative, Republican, contributor to Rush Limbaugh, proud of spouting off his outrageous views on that commentator's radio program, and also a prominent lay member, with the rest of his family, of a fundamentalist church in Waco. He is a vocal "patriot" and member of an American flag carrying motorcycle group that escorts the bodies of servicemen killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Fort Hood, to help keep liberal protestors away from the memorials or funerals for these soldiers. He carries a gun with him more or less all the time, even in church. He also takes thousands of dollars a year from my mom for "managing" her nest egg and keeping her financial records up-to-date, but often in fact fails to keep those records and says he "cannot find" the documentation of his own $25,000-35,000 (plus or minus) 8% loan from her or last several payments on it, with his wife Leila vocally saying he should not have to pay anything more on it, that he should just treat the money as a gift to him that he "deserves" from our mother. On the other hand, as a community and church leader and as a father of five great kids - though, like him, very conservative - and a grandfather, he is a positive example, successful, someone to look up to and admire, even envy. He also is a singer and local actor in plays. He's a complicated guy.

Leila, Horace's wife is much like Horace but not quite as smart as he, even more into creativity, drama. She is also into manipulating others with rapid switching between being warm toward people and then cutting, criticizing, and scapegoating toward them, if they are outside her and Horace's immediate family.

Like him, though, she is a model parent and grandparent and is very accepting and welcoming toward those whom she feels believe in the same values she and Horace do, i.e. toward those who are sort of part of her "us" (her "tribe") vs. the many among the "them" (outside it).

Virginia is Horace and Leila's second of two daughters. She is about 19 or 20, recently married, fun-loving, positive, smart, and a dancer, actress, and singer, but is now studying to become a registered nurse. She will probably be a good one. She does not appear to share her parents' tendencies toward putting others down or criticizing them, but is instead more purely a good, warmhearted person. She does share their religious beliefs, but not noticeably in a way that must differentiate between "us" and "them."

I think the dream is another in a series related to or coming to terms with my HP, in this case catalyzed by my currently working with my sponsor on Step 3. My conception of a higher power is in some ways more metaphorical than literal.

The ideas of interpreting and things being metaphorical also suggests dreams and dream work.

Despite what I see as Horace and Leila's negative qualities, I think this dream is mostly a positive one, emphasizing a still small but growing sense of spirituality and integration, with acceptance from both this masculine model father and grandfather shadow and the two animas (dawning awareness) who, for purposes of this dream, are rather upbeat representatives of my feminine energy, though I need to resist and guard against the negative aspects shown in Leila's personality.

I believe the dream reflects that for me Alanon, following its program, is in some ways like being an active member of a church community, even though particular Alanon members often interpret their HP differently, more idiosyncratically, than may traditional religious organizations' members.]

1/18/10 - Title: "Outer vs. Inner Work Challenges"

Scene 1 - (Most forgotten, but something about...) Being in an open air place in a city, where there is lots of sunlight, physical work and there is coordination to be accomplished, and evidently I am succeeding at it, but with a sense that I must get to my new, regular job. (In the very last part of this scene...) I am on an elephant (possibly with one other man), riding about its neck and hoping it will continue in a straight line, the way it is already going, as it needs to, because, though I am in the control position, I am without experience at handling elephants, this is all new to me, and I do not know what to do if it chooses to change its current path. Yet it is necessary for part of the work.

Scene 2 - Inside a congested produce shop, like a combination Whole Foods Market, Sun Harvest, and Farmers' Market, all crammed into a fairly small space, all well organized, into bins for produce and other raw materials and food stocks, so no space is wasted and all is where it needs to be. The shop is all inside (and so is much darker, though with adequate electric lighting, than in scene 1) and is even itself inside a larger mall completely closed off from the outside. There is a sense of abundant activity, as bins are being restocked, customers are shopping or getting what they need and want, employees are waiting on them behind either of two counters, etc. There is so much produce out, and the aisles are so narrow, that greenery seems to be everywhere, almost overflowing from the numerous bins into the aisles or into adjoining bins, etc. The impression of a profusion of prolific, healthy growth is inescapable. I go in here to work at my new job, but literally do not know where to begin.

I notice that there are a couple of young women, one behind each of the customer service counters, who, though relatively new also, know what they are doing, evidently having been trained and had enough experience in the last 24 hours or so since they were hired, while I, in the same timeframe, have been busy with the outside work projects. I am waiting behind one of the counters with an attractive new-hire young woman who is taking care of customers easily.

In a lull, we chat briefly and I get the impression the work is not that tough to learn, but cannot be grasped simply by observing. She accidentally or on purpose brushes up against me, and I am aroused and eager for such contact to continue, though I am not sure if it is OK in this setting.

The shop manager is briefly free, though clearly still distracted by other things he needs to do. When I ask him what he wants me to do here now, where and how I should begin, or if, since things are very busy now, it would be better for me to go back to the outside work I had already been doing and was more familiar with, he agrees I should leave and for now resume the outside work.

[I do not know anyone in this dream. I have no obvious associations to it as I am typing this, though I wonder if the profusion of growth represents just that, a great deal of growth in me in the past few months.

And I wonder if, as I am between Steps 3 and 4 in the Alanon 12-step program, the shop manager is another of my higher power (HP) conceptions, with a message that, for now, it is best to busy myself more with work that is needed outside, in the external reality, and with which I am more familiar (though, as with the elephant, even there sometimes I am at a loss), than to focus primarily on the inner work that is pending but for which there is not time right now to mentor me.

There are indications of dawning awareness.

There are apparently concerns about control and a sense of being too inexperienced, not ready for what is asked of me, both with the elephant and in the shop.

The possibility is there for good integration (and, from a Freudian point of view, much that might be interpreted as sexual: the contact with the young woman behind the counter, the fact that "new hire" is similar to "nubile," the elephant that I am straddling, its head and trunk extending out in front, the bounty of breast shaped and other produce, an emphasis on in vs. out, etc.) and also for a better relationship a little later with the shop manager, who may represent a HP conception.

It may not be just a coincidence that I regularly go to two Alanon groups now, the first meeting in a bright, open place and the other in a dark, cramped setting, and while I have started working and already have a sponsor in the first, I do not really yet know how to begin in the second.

My friend, Janet, analyzed this dream and said it is a highly positive one that forecasts good things and suggests I ought to emphasize the outer reality work rather than inner development for now. The outer work is my job for now, she said. However, she thought I would "get it" when I am ready to focus on the inner world again. Riding elephant, she felt, has to do with access to and control over the unconscious, yielding power and strength, but as yet I am not used to this power, etc., and so not entirely confident in this new position, but she feels things will go along this same path for awhile, and I shall have a chance to get used to the new inner realm "clout." So all is well, and I shall have a chance to learn better control. She thought too that the ego, ironically enough, was concerned because things are actually going well.

She added that the dream showed I have nurturance that is whole, I can make use of the positive, and everything is organized to produce things. Most all I am doing is productive.

Further, she thought my animas, that part of me representing right feeling/right being have enough experience to take care of things. And my ego is with an attractive way of being and feeling who can take care of things easily. This new way of being/feeling brushes up against my ego and I want to continue feeling this way. Yet I am wondering if this is OK.

Overall, she felt it is a very cool dream.]

1/24/10 - Title: "An Expired I.D."

There is a one-story house, sort of in a rural area. I am in there, but then I go outside and drive somewhere with a woman passenger, and I am talking with her. At some point, though, I look at my I.D./driver's license and discover I have been driving with an expired license. I shall either have to stop driving or run the risk of a big ticket. I do not know how this could have happened. I guess I did not get or see a notice about it being almost expired and so had taken no action to get it renewed. Now I suppose I shall have to ask the woman to take me over to a center for license renewal, where I'll need to take a new driver's test, both the behind-the-wheel and written parts, and won't get my new license to drive again till I have passed them once more. I do not think I shall have trouble passing, but am not certain of this, so all of this is worrying.

[The dream may mean, among other things, that my larger Self now has one life story, and so is less complicated than in some prior dreams. I do not know or remember who the woman is, but at least have the impression she is competent enough and willing to drive me where I need to go while I get the expired license issue resolved. I see I.D. and license as synonymous, so this dream is about have an expired (dead) or invalid I.D. (identity). It could mean that my ego is needing to pass some tests, one in having the skills to drive, i.e. (perhaps) effectively and safely demonstrating initiative, and another a written part, which is actually a multiple choice exam. So, I am not only needing to show initiative but also to make several choices in the near future, to then start anew with a fresh identity. Till then I am sort of in limbo and needing to rely mostly on my intuitive/feeling/being side to help get me around through life.]

1/28/10 - Title: "Threats and Discomfort Out, Side, and In"

I am at an older, moderate size house owned by someone else. The outer, surrounding yard is about as prominent as the house. The entrances/exits are not very solid, in terms of keeping things in or out, controlled only by a couple easy-to-open doors; one is just a screen door; another can be readily opened from the outside.

I am younger. There is an older man here. He apparently owns this house. I seem to be just visiting.

There is a vague sense, but not a certain memory, that I've been playing here with my dog, Puff, a small dog, a mainly white, but partly black terrier. I think the smell of her lingers on the black baseball cap I'm wearing. (The design on the cap has something to do with what happens next too, but I can't remember what.)

Suddenly, a pack of (maybe 10) Rhodesian Ridgeback (very large, fast, energetic hounds, trained to hunt African lions) appear to the left (side yard) of the house, from the perspective of the old man and me, who are in the backyard. Some type fence (defense?) between the side/front yard and the backyard prevents the big dogs from immediately coming to where we are, but allows us still to see them and they us.

The old man warns me to put my baseball cap inside the trunk of an old car that is back here behind the house and close the trunk (or in some other way get it out of the big dogs' reach). And I do, because I understand the odors and/or design on the cap will attract the ridgebacks, who will be absolutely uncontrollable and perhaps dangerous if they all get to where we are and are stimulated by that cap.

But by then some of the dogs, who are used to this place and in fact probably live here and are owned by the old man, have come into the house through the side door. Two of them have even come through the back screen door to the backyard.

With just one or two of the dogs there at a time, they are potentially dangerous, but not as yet aggressive. So, even though they sniff at where the baseball cap is hidden (out of their reach), and brush against me while going by, they do not attack or play so rambunctiously that I am hurt or about to be. I carefully go by them and into the house to a place where, for now, I can be safe from them or the others. However, it is evident they can go and come as they please. There are too many for me to control, and any minute now they may reform as a large pack wanting to either attack or play, or just so interested in what I am doing that I won't any longer be able to keep them away. (I am worried and alarmed as I wake up.)

[In my Alanon 12-step program work and my relationship with my (female) sponsor, I am practicing (not that comfortably) turning over issues to my HP, preparatory to creating a "fearless" moral inventory, Step 4. I am also beginning to talk with some of the men in the Alanon men's group, prior to (hopefully) getting one to agree to being my male sponsor. I think the dream is partly connected with these developments.

Perhaps the big dogs or their pack, as well as the old man (shadow), represent conceptions of my higher power, which now is being sort of encouraged (by my practicing turning over issues to my HP) to come in and make itself at home. This feels very threatening to the anxious ego, even though quite possibly the dogs (god[s]?) are (is) not in fact aggressive but only highly curious of and interested in me, the more so because of the (lesser) relationship I already have with my HP (my playing with my small terrier dog, Puff).

10 suggests progress and success as well as "amped up" unity (1), wholeness, or integration.

It may be significant too that in yet another skin cancer appointment (today before the dream), there were 3 more likely lesions found, two of which (again on my face) were biopsied, a circumstance I find extremely frustrating and exasperating. In the last few years, and in fact mostly just in the past few months, more than 10 skin cancer lesions have been found and needing to be dealt with. I hope this is not some sort of physical reality metaphor for not being comfortable in my own skin or for being thin-skinned, but, in any case, it and a variety of other physical nuisances are reinforcing the Step 1 notion, that my life has become unmanageable.

The two doors suggest dawning awareness plus fairly ready movement or access, in either direction, between the inner and outer realms, the intuitive, unconscious, feelings, metaphorical world and consensus reality.]

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