January, 2011

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1/1/11 - Title: "Watch Out!"

I am just about to do something (forgotten), so close to doing it that in the next split second it will be done. To me it does not seem at all a big deal, routine in fact. However, just then I hear a woman's voice from my right yelling, extremely loudly and abruptly "NO!" The impression is that I have hardly been conscious of what I have been doing or that it holds any significance, but she has shouted a fast warning of imminent danger if I do in the next instant what I had intended. It is as though this is a matter of life or death. Her sudden interruption of my action and train of thought are so startling I wake up and forget what I was about to do.

There is also something about a length of rope, looking down at it and having a sense that it is immersed or soaked in some red or pink liquid.

[I think the warning, coming from an anima to my right, conveys a correct (right) emotional message of nurturing, alarm, and protection. I do not know the woman who calls to me. I have no idea what it is that I am emphatically not to do.

My wife and I have an old piece of thick rope of which this (second paragraph above) reminds me. It is about five to eight feet long, depending on whether one includes the knotted "handle" part we use to hold it or the long frayed end part the dog uses to jerk on it. We play with our dog with this rope, sometimes in tug-of-way games, with her pulling on one end. We also sometimes twirl it around several feet off the ground, and then she loves to leap for it, over and over, till she finally always catches it. At times, if it has been left outside, it gets soaked in the rain. Yet in the dream it is as though a piece or length of rope like this has been soaked in something else, another liquid, which has a pinkish or reddish tinge. I think of blood, also of anger. The substance reminds me a bit too of a sticky, fresh, and reddish paint, though that does not exactly seem to be it.]

1/2/11 - The dream group today discussed my dream from yesterday, "Watch Out!" Highlights:

  • It is not about deadlines, but lifelines.

  • There is a split. On the one hand, a person may be thrown a rope to save him or her. On the other, he or she can be given enough rope to hang himself/herself.

  • It is about strength vs. weakness.

  • It is about being awake to what is going on, not sleepwalking through life.

  • Or it may be about keeping one's innate strength vs. voluntarily giving it up, as if Samson had cut off his own hair.

  • It is about Step 9 in the Alanon 12-Step program and amending the harm one is doing to himself/herself.

  • It is about setting reasonable but firm boundaries and, when they are inevitably tested, enforcing them, not in an insecure way, assuming failure, but assertively and with inner assurance.

  • What is needed and now potential is a genuine transformation through greater inner awareness, healing, and integration.

  • There is strong and correct emotion behind the need to not continue doing my self-destructive routines unconsciously, automatically, but instead to stop and do things, and especially to be, differently.

  • There are past wounds, many old injuries I have inflicted upon myself as my own worst enemy. These now need to be grieved for and also given a chance to heal.

  • The pinkish liquid is like laundry or dishwashing cleanser or like liquid soap, meant to cleanse.

  • There is a connection with my dog (=god=higher power[HP]) that is about playfulness, spontaneity, and a to-and-fro kind of tug-of-war (as it appears to the ego).

  • In fact, the ego has no control of the "ropes" of life but, like the dog at the end of the rope toy, it is "played" by the HP who is really pulling the ego's strings as if he were a puppet.

  • It is about a backbone of steel, not Jell-O.

  • The red or pinkish liquid-soaked rope reminds of menstruation and so of things cast off or lost.

  • It is about saying "No" with conviction.

  • Special things that were lost, like the child I never had, projects that did not come to fruition, happy growing up years that mostly did not occur, or a lack of loving myself much while in adulthood, need to be grieved over and then let go.

1/3/11 - Title: "In a Bad Way"

Scene 1 - There is much conflict and deceit. An evil, small man-child, like a doll but animated and totally without scruples, has me somehow in his control, forcing me to kidnap two small children, a young boy and girl.

Others are like a pair of Chicano people, but they somehow are employed by the evil man-child, except they want to rebel because he is so bad. When they see that I am in conflict with the little evil guy, they try to help me against him, so we can together neutralize him and assure the baby children are returned or at least well taken care of till things can be better dealt with.

I hit the evil guy in the head with a brick, but it hardly fazes him. I hit him multiple times, and he is OK, only getting really mad and evil. Finally, somehow a combination of my hitting him in the back of the head with a brick as hard as I can and the good Chicano men helping me confine him gives us a little time. However, the young kids are still in our possession, and so we would be in huge trouble if others found out. I must, with the Chicanos' aid, somehow get the babies back home or at least to safety without others knowing everything that is going on and so getting the police involved, and all before the evil guy can escape to do yet more harm and mayhem against me, the Chicanos, or the babies.

Scene 2 - My usually nice and calm landlady is very angry with me. She is the landlady of a big rooming house where I was originally (though living alone here then), and still am, but now am also sharing this small space with the babies, evil guy, and Chicano men. She is just outside my room door in the hall, yelling about my having moved a wagon in the way of her and others in the house having access to some of the rooms.

I know that someone else moved the wagon there, but do not know if it was the evil guy trying to do harm before or the Chicano men trying to help now and, in either case, cannot tell her about them, so I must just endure without complaint or explanation her being pissed with me. I hope she will quickly finish her tirade and go somewhere else, so we (me and the Chicano men) can make our escape with the babies before the evil guy can get free and create his own awful form of vengeance and try to take control again or before he can notify the authorities, making it seem to them that it is we who are the kidnappers.

[Seldom have I been more glad that dreams are not literal but metaphorical! Yet this relief is incomplete because the nightmarish dream is distressing, waking me up and leaving a sense of gloom and disquiet that remained with me through the day. I shall try to get a handle on it, but at present simply have no clear idea of the dream's meaning.

Certain things are obvious: some aspects of myself are in deep conflict with other parts, and there is also a way in which things are being concealed from yet other parts. So, as with the last remembered dream ("Wake up!") from two days ago, there is at least one significant split. The conflict, deceit, and overall split are not reconciled by the end of the dream.

As with that last dream, this likely has to do with my Alanon Step 9 issues, especially with the part about acknowledging harm I have done to myself and making a living amends in the form of a definite choice to not continue this kind of self-destructive behavior and attitudes.

It is as if another aspect of me, a very alienated and negative shadow, takes up this challenge and is saying, "You think you've been self-destructive before. Well, I'll show you what self-destructiveness is really like. You ain't seen nothing yet!" And this shadow part of me is kind of throwing down the gauntlet. So long as the matter is just between such divided parts of my inner self, and I as the ego am clearly feeling on the defensive, there can evidently be no success with the main part of Step 9, and then the childish evil shadow man (whom I very much do not want to own) will remain in control. One hope which may be there in this situation is that I have a higher power on whom I may call.

Meanwhile, caught up in this struggle are the shadow and anima babies, the potential, creative, growth aspects of myself (and/or possible loved projects which are put on hold and now in serious jeopardy).

Positive aspects of the dream include that there are many rooms in this place where I am living, and presumably many other shadow and anima aspects of myself here who are not causing or involved in any trouble. Also there is a usually nice anima in charge here. In addition, the ego at least is trying to do the right thing, though he feels the odds against him are great. He has the help of a couple of positive shadows, the Chicano men, who, like me, are intent on overcoming the child-man evil one, probably an aspect of me who never grew up emotionally and so, though in some ways, he is a "small" adult, remains a nasty little tyrant who will apparently do anything to have his way and stay in control, even if it means the destruction of both the ego and the best (precious, growing) parts of the self.

The wagon calls to mind falling off the wagon, which for alcoholics and drug addicts means to return to one's active addiction and so fall out of recovery. Since I am also affected by the disease of alcoholism and in a program of recovery, presumably the movement of the wagon, so it blocks access to some of the rooms where things are not in deep conflict, lies, etc., also represents for me a danger of falling off the recovery wagon, at least stymieing my progress through the 12-Step program.

Two is repeated in one form or another, suggesting dawning awareness.

Of the Chicano men, I have these general associations: positive family values usually important to them; often they are at or near the bottom economically and so dependent on their employers to do (or not do) the right thing; very resourceful and hardworking; when they can start businesses for themselves, frequently do quite well; often have their own language and culture, to which they are true, but can blend into the dominant society effectively.

The police here are not directly in the dream, just sort of waiting in the wings and might appear at any moment. I understand them to be the forces for maintaining the status quo. As such, though doubtless they would be concerned about and protective of the babies if they get here in time, they are kind of in league with the evil man-child who is seen as already in control and liking it that way, i.e. the way they are in the rather negative current status quo.

An interesting irony of the dream is that, in contrast to the intent of the Alanon program, to get me to a place in which I am more positive, not undermining myself and my interests, not being emotionally hooked by a lot of things, the dream pushes my buttons right and left and reveals sides of me so negative it is hard to see anything good in them. In rejecting them, the evil man-child shadow part, the lying part, the perhaps almost going off the recovery wagon part, I am in a way also again disintegrating and beating up on myself.

My friend Janet thinks this is a dream about being too controlling, as a way of dealing with the frustrations, anger, and fear of being a little kid, almost powerless in difficult and scary circumstances. She believes it is time to use some of the tools learned from meditation and Alanon to lighten up on the anger- or fear-based control stuff, allowing myself to be more spontaneous, playful, impulsive, etc., and not to take on so much responsibility for things not really mine to look after. My female sponsor agrees, saying it will be quite a load off when I let go of much of that excessive control, permitting life to be more real, joyful, and rich.]

1/10/11 - Title: "Perfection, With Clouds"

I am awakened (as I think at first, though in fact am still dreaming) by a beautiful, lingering tone or chime sound coming from a large crystal. It looks like two equal pyramid-shaped gems put together at their base, except this is not two but one through and through solid gem, about an inch and a half to two inches at its greatest length and perhaps three-fourths of an inch to an inch in its greatest central width, then tapering of course at either end. At first glance, it is completely transparent and a polished, perfect diamond-looking gem. When I glance again, it looks like an unpolished piece of quartz or a diamond in the rough and is but translucent. After the initial beautiful tone, in a new scene, there is then a pervasive, beautiful, smoky orange glow, as if I were looking at the sun on the horizon from quite close up, so that orange fills the field of view. From this close, the sun, if that's what it is, is seen in greater detail and appears to have clouds. They are orange too, but of a darker hue as they slowly drift by from left to right.

[After a few moments, I wake up in reality, but remember the wonder and beauty of the sound, crystal(s), and orange glow.

From the internet, I find that seeing the color orange in dreams can mean: the second chakra, reproductive organs, sexuality, life, warmth, harmony, spirituality, passion in all aspects of one's existence, or the assimilation of new ideas. It may be indicative of a profound change in perspective being attempted or required. Orange in dreams may also indicate: vibrancy, creativity, aggression, warmth, emotional energy, anger, and failure to complete tasks. Perhaps also: being bold, assertive, or outgoing. It may suggest the winding down of a major phase in one's life and the emergence of a new one. It can represent: adventure, unusual situations, and unwanted changes.

Dreaming of a diamond can mean: the wholeness of the Self, finding clarity in matters that have been clouding me, an unchanging or unyielding nature, great value, love, money, awareness, universal truths, or spiritual consciousness. Another online site suggests diamond dreams mean: purity, beauty, inner treasure, wealth, value, brilliance, unity, love, something that requires refinement, especially as in rough diamond.

I believe that a major theme of the dream is spirituality but that sexuality and anger cannot be ruled out as significant aspects of the dream as well. The numbers and the shape of the diamond suggest dawning awareness, unity, integration, and manifestation in reality.

Some issues seem completely transparent initially but then quickly become clouded and less clear. For example, I thought I had completed my amends to a prior dog (who has since died and whom I felt I had treated badly), only to find that my sponsor, despite her initially suggesting I need not do an amends for this deceased animal, now felt I ought to start over with a better amends for her. My reaction to this was one of anger and defensiveness. Meanwhile, there certainly are at times sexual urges as well as an inclination toward the spiritual side of things. Money and profit are as well major factors in my life. The beautiful musical tone reminds me of the sound said to be associated with the Lifestream Way, an intensive meditation path I had pursued for a number of years. The darker hued clouds drifting from left to right no doubt represent darker emotions coming into awareness.]

1/11/11 - Title: "Big Challenges, New Beginnings"

Scene 1 - I am institutionalized in bad conditions at a mental hospital, unjustly so, and must even wear restraints on my wrists and am forced to stay in bed for long periods. A psychiatrist very like Carl comes in and first insists I am a kind and gentle man for whom the restraints are totally inappropriate. They are taken off reluctantly by the abusive mental facility staff. Then he succeeds in getting me released from the institution so I have a chance to start anew on my own in the larger community. I still must deal with the emotional aftermath of being held unjustly for a long period at such an abusive facility.

Scene 2 - In less than two weeks, I must take three or four final exams for courses I need to pass to complete my undergraduate degree. I have not been going to the classes for the entire semester. I have access to the textbooks but have not begun to read them. I go to the office of one of the professors and admit I have been irresponsible, but also say this is the first time I am admitting it and will try my best to complete the courses and my degree even though I shall have to do brilliantly in organizing my time and applying myself these last two weeks. He gives me credit for being honest, but first says that the rules say if students have not attended their classes a certain percentage of the time, they cannot pass, no matter how well they do on the final exam. However, he will "wink" at the situation and pretend he does not know I have missed all the classes. He says he does not see how I can do it, but if I pass the exam he will give me a passing grade. I am relieved by this and determine how I shall apply myself to the text in what time is left, leaving, hopefully, enough time to do the same for the other texts and courses.

[Of Carl, who is a fellow member of the dream groups I have been in during parts of the past 4-5 years, I would say he is highly intelligent, a good administrator, knows how to facilitate well, is a natural leader whom others respect, but has some ego issues, so he is largely unwilling to look at his own inner conflicts or other shortcomings.

This may be a predictive dream, in which case in the near future there likely will be a few major tests I must try to pass and get through. I may feel abused and unjustly restrained and otherwise find myself limited by others' cold, institutional, or impersonal ways of dealing with people.

On the other hand, as a reflection of my inner state, or a "snapshot," this probably is accurate in showing the different aspects of my splits. On the one hand, I come across as a very gentle, kind man, while on the other I have within me shadow aspects that are abusive and mistreat others.

The shadow doctor, Carl, represents the qualities within me that he possesses but which I largely do not own in myself: highly intelligent, a natural leader whom others respect, a good administrator, able to be a group facilitator, but one who does not like to deal with inner conflict or ego issues, seeing it as criticism if others comment, even if for my own good, on what they see as my weaknesses and shortcomings.

There clearly are new opportunities for intense learning and, however uncomfortably, for starting afresh.

The numbers mentioned in the dream suggest dawning awareness, transformation, and manifestation in reality.

I do still have residuals or post traumatic stress disorder symptoms, which mean I have a large adjustment to make to lead a fairly normal life. There is also much grieving still to be done for what had occurred in the past. Further, there are ways I feel others do not understand or make much effort to do so, but assume the worst, in a way imprisoning me in their negative assumptions about me or my motives.]

1/19/11 - Title: "Out of Natural Violence, Great Change May Come"

In the distance, a volcano can be seen spewing lava. There are mild tremors from earthquakes every few minutes. Here and there fires rage. Yet in the foreground there is a clear river in flood, its banks filled with luxuriant forests. In every direction, as the river's transparent current surges by, one sees all manner and colors and shapes of fresh life forms, several of them near, on, or in the water. Several of them are deliciously edible as I learn on following my father-in-law's example and snatching some up to nibble on as they float within reach. I am alternately half standing and half swimming in shallow water on a flooded part of a former bank, the water here varying in depth from perhaps 2 to 4 feet. Entranced like me with the adventure and wonder of this new and changing landscape, my wife is nearby. So much is happening and so quickly, we do not know, the three of us, if we shall survive. Yet for the moment we are in awe, a little afraid, but also excited, like children swimming in life's precious mysteries.

[There is anger, even rage at times, but it is not in the forefront of awareness and not significantly affecting things in the here and now (current). Yet at times, with such pent up anger being released and possibly much more to come, there are at least mild fears (tremors). For me, at least, there are concerns that the changes, even in their less catastrophic form close at hand, may result in an ego death, but these concerns are not so strong as to blot out the much more powerful sense of excitement, adventure, and wonder at the newness and nurturance here. There is as well great exposure or access to unconscious material, with all its emotion and intuition, yet I am relatively comfortable here, able to stand or swim without great difficulty in this fresh flood of feeling and intuitive insight. There is then dawning awareness (2) as well as transformation (the three of us here, myself, my wife, and my father-in-law), plus manifestation in reality (4). Of my father in law, he tended to be smart but not so intelligent as his wife. He had great frustration or bitterness with not being easily seen as the head of his household, and, though in some ways very strong and manly, he gave vent to his feelings of inadequacy, in not really being in charge at home, with anger and resentment and a mean attitude, or he blotted out his feelings with drink. He, like my own father, tended to see speaking in a raised, threatening, or mean voice as how to be a man when things were otherwise not going his way. And in fact, these men got results in this fashion. To an extent, people were more warily respectful of them. It is possible to be manly of course without overdoing the venting, to find the right balance to get others' respect, yet not to injure or frighten. It is better to try to get it right and fail, then gradually work toward a better moderation of such expression, than to be a Casper Milquetoast and let others think they can walk all over one, to mix metaphors. In the big changes to come, my father-in-law may indeed have to go, but for now he may have nourishing lessons to offer me about how to be more deserving of others' respect, worrying about moderation at a later date.]

1/21/11 - Title: "Something About This Really Stinks"

I am in a large, multi-level shopping mall. I have with me, wrapped so others cannot easily tell what it is, a piece of fresh meat. I'm not sure if this is human flesh, beef, or from some other animal, but it is definitely from some type higher animal (not a fish or bird). I do know it is important to me that I find some way of disposing of it before I am found with it or found out as being someone who would possess such a thing.

For some reason, it is not ever considered that I might cook or eat it. It is apparently not in my possession to be food. It is roughly a pound in weight, I would guess (which now calls to mind the idea of "getting my pound of flesh" or thus of getting even for something, though I do not know what that would be about).

I realize that if I do not get rid of this soon it will begin to stink, and then it will be impossible to pretend I do not have it. But there are two or three other men here who are onto me. They may not know precisely what I have or have done or what it represents, but my movements have aroused their suspicions. Now they are keeping tabs on me, at least one of them following and watching me at all times. Nor can I escape through one of the exits. One or more of them always keeps me from leaving the mall.

This cat and mouse game continues for awhile, but then they are closing in. I can no longer avoid them or go where they cannot see and then get rid of this meat. I am trapped and will have to own up to having it. It is an alarming and depressing realization, so much so that I wake up, relieved then that it was only a dream.

[As the parenthetical part above suggests, I think this may be about negativity that I am experiencing but to which I do not want to own up. I may be expecting that, at the stage I am at in the Alanon program, I ought to be beyond feeling angry at others' words or attitudes or behavior, angry enough to want to get even, give others their "due," take something out of them for unfair ways I have felt treated, etc. Yet, almost every time I drive I have occasion to say to myself that a yahoo driver is an "Asshole," and in other ways too I not infrequently have negative reactions toward others. So, perhaps it is about the idea of, on the one hand, making a "living amends," intending to behave toward everyone all the time with respect and cordiality, when the reality, on the other, is I still often am angry and feel others really "deserve" to have the "benefit" of my being genuine with them about that, that they are not treating me well and should not be able to just get away with that.]

1/29/11 - Title: "Odd Man Out"

I am in a house, that is also an office building, with many rooms. I am working at something in one of the rooms but have occasion to go to another nearby office. I think it may also be on one lower floor (one floor below my office-room, that is), but am not sure of this. When I start to go in there, I find my female sponsor (whose name suggests something heavenly) making out with the man whose office it is. They are passionately kissing, obviously enjoying this mutual intimacy a lot. She seems to wish I had not observed this, but the door was open, and she is not really embarrassed. I leave quickly, not wishing to intrude on their personal moment, yet also wishing it had been me she were kissing that way.

A little later, I stop at our boss' open office, down a very short hall from the office where I had seen my woman sponsor with one of our co-workers. Now I find her again, this time eagerly embracing and kissing the supervisor, a man whose reddish-orange or reddish-brown hair and reddish complexion likely often earn him the nickname "Red." He is taller than me, my sponsor, or the worker my sponsor was with first. She again seems a little ill-at-ease that I have found her in such a passionate embrace, but not really flustered that I now know she does not mind, indeed obviously likes, being so affectionate with two other men (but not with me).

[Clearly there is some jealousy about something. Also some anger or passion. The ego wishes to be more integrated with his sponsor anima. This woman is very bright, feminine, introverted yet enjoys the company of a few intimate friends, opinionated or prone to snap judgments at times, puts herself down or beats up on herself too much, likes doing small construction projects in the home, is insecure, has a good sense of humor, tends toward bouts of depression occasionally, and is often quite emotional generally, with both highs and lows of strong feeling. There are three characters besides the ego and also three men in the dream including the ego, so transformation may be involved. A short hall suggests something that is about to happen after a brief transition. The shadows enjoy an intimacy or integration with the anima that the ego currently lacks and misses. Her name suggests spirituality as one aspect of the dream as well. The dream occurs in a place that is both home, or the larger Self, and an office or work location, so perhaps it has something to do with work on oneself.

This suggests Alanon's Step 9, the main work I am aware of doing right now. That both scenes involve my Alanon sponsor anima also indicates Alanon issues are involved. This morning, partly in amends for a former dog of mine whom I felt I could have treated better, I was doing some dog walking for Austin Pets Alive. The dog I walked around the hike-and-bike trail loop was called "Red." She had a bright reddish cast or complexion to her face and was energetic and often animated but did not stay next to me as well as she "should," following the lead of her excitement when other dogs or interesting people would come close. Nonetheless, she is a sweet dog, and we had an enjoyable walk together. That the dream involves a dog association apparently also involves some spiritual component, as "dog" can equal "god" in dream metaphor language. The part of Step 9 that I have been working on most recently is amends to my deceased brother, the next step of which involves asking my higher power for guidance. The amends involves some guilt over my brother whom I had in various ways not simply accepted as he was and whom I at times found so irritating I wished he were out of the picture. I also, without meaning to, caused him some extra stress (due to a mutual partnership) during a period shortly before he developed the cancer, and there is some, hopefully irrational, concern that I both wanted him gone and, by increasing his stress level and weakening his immune system, may have helped him to get the terminal cancer from which he died at a relatively early age. I am wanting help from my HP with what I need to do in amends to my brother, and myself for the guilt I feel, and how my HP might see the circumstances for which I as the ego am still feeling unresolved guilt.]

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