"The more I heal, the more I don't know how to be & survive as the new me"
I have been reading your beautiful responses to questions at you website since I discovered it & have found that many have given me insight to some of my own issues. Just recently I had the realization that low self esteem & low self love lie at the root of what I thought were many different problems in my life. Intellectually I know that I am equal to everyone else & that I am just as deserving of my life & my needs & desires, as the next person, but I'm still struggling to change & integrate these beliefs at the emotional level. It has been such an amazing transformation just to get to this level of understanding of myself. Your insights into the problems of others with similar issues have really helped me to see my own blind spots. Thank you for making this available to us.
I wondered if you could help me to understand a strange dream I had recently. In the past several months I've been bothered by pain in my elbows & more recently my wrists. It is most severe on the right side (most of my physical afflictions are on the right side of my body). The bone on the inside of my right elbow has been very tender, so I decided it was probably arthritis & I have been trying to adjust my diet & use some homeopathic medicines. Right about the time I decided this was probably what was wrong, I had this dream. In my dream I looked down at my right arm & through the skin, I could see that a lizard was wrapped around and embedded in the muscle tissues of my arm. His body and tail were wrapped around the entire length of my arm. I was surprised & concerned to see it there. Then I looked at my left arm & through the skin I could see that a snake was embedded & wrapped around the muscles of the entire length of my left arm. I couldn't understand how they could have been there without my knowing it. But suddenly I could see them. I was with someone & together we removed the lizard & the snake from my arms & I wondered if there was anything else in my body that I hadn't known was there. After they were removed, there were open empty gaps in the muscles of my arms in the shape of the snake & the lizard, where they had been in my arms, as though the muscles didn't go back to their normal shape. That was the end of the dream. Most of my dreams are very literal I guess you could say, & so rich in meaning & metaphor to me. I rarely dream about animals & rarely with this degree of abstraction. This dream seems more shamanic, so I thought maybe you might see something I'm missing.
Hi Ayal, After I sent my earlier note I had an insight about what might be one level of meaning in my dream. About 2 years ago I lost a job that I hated. That loss combined with a series other things just seemed to bring my life to a screeching halt. Since them I've been stuck as far as moving on in the outside world, but I've really been doing a lot of healing & changing. Looking back on my life I realized that I had defined myself by my dysfunction. The relationships I had or didn't have, my jobs, lifestyle, everything, was based something I'm changing as I heal. I knew how to survive the old way, & miserable as it may have been at times, at least I knew how to be. Now, the more I heal, the more I don't know how to be & survive as the new me. The old me, with options limited my dysfunction, knew how to live in my little pond. Now, as I heal, the new me is standing in front of this huge ocean of possibilities & I'm overwhelmed. Getting rid of old illusions can leave you with some empty places that need to be filled in. Maybe that's why it's so hard to finally heal.
Hi - this is definitely a powerful shamanic dream, and I think you are absolutely right on track with how you interpreted it. Whenever shamanic healers do a healing, they usually see illness or issues in the body as either reptiles or insects. Very interesting.
I would add this: I think it would be very beneficial for you to sit in meditation and consciously chose what it is that you want to put in the place of what was removed. The sky's the limit! Have fun exploring, creating and filling yourself with great stuff! I think that's the really fun part! Then do it. Secondly, you said: "Getting rid of old illusions can leave you with some empty places that need to be filled in. Maybe that's why it's so hard to finally heal."
When I read "that's why it's so hard to finally heal," I hear a belief. Is it so hard to finally heal? Or are you saying that it's hard to make choices regarding what you really want? Do you choose to believe that, or do you choose to believe something else? All beliefs that we make as "true" statements come from some programming somewhere, and they need to be examined and explored to see where they come from, if they are absolutely true, and if we still want to run or lives from them.
The first thing I see is that I think that you may have a belief that you have to tackle everything all at once. Sometimes there are people who can see a long way of the road ahead, and in seeing so much of the big picture, they feel that where they are at on the road isn't far enough along. Then they get anxious, and think that they should be further down the road, or all the way down the road, and what gets lost then is the process. It's not about the goal. In fact, there really is no "getting there." There's no where "to get to". There's only the now. There is only this moment, and how we choose to BE in that moment. Then that moment passes, and we greet the next moment with a loving and open heart, allowing that moment to unfold and be responded to with Love and awareness and compassion. And then it too, passes away. And so forth.
So, in terms of your mentioning that you often feel overwhelmed - shamanically speaking, what is needed here is mouse medicine. Mouse medicine allows you to focus on what is directly in front of you. They don't see far off, but deal with the immediate moment.
All good things grow slowly. What we grow in ourselves comes from each moment that we live to the utmost, and this slow growth builds a huge, strongly rooted, beautiful tree that reaches up to and opens its arms to heaven. A tree is also a great teacher for being in the moment, standing there, in full gratitude for the sun, the wind, the rain - it's in constant, slow, steady awareness of all that is around and within it. It is always in the present moment. When you start to feel overwhelmed, go and be with a tree.
It's the journey that counts - every breath, every step. If you focus on the "goal", you'll lose sight of what it's really all about.
Great insight and work you are doing!
Thanks Ayal. You're right, I do have a problem with the way I project things forward. It makes me afraid to make choices because it seems like every choice I make, limits my future choices, like a funnel where every choice takes me into a narrower part of the funnel of choices. It makes me afraid I'll go down a certain path & I won't be able to get back. This has me stuck right now. I know you are right, that it is the journey that is important, but I've always had this feeling that there was something I'm supposed to do, but I don't know what it is. And maybe it doesn't matter, but it seems like the decision to work toward a certain goal or to move in a certain direction does change the experience in the journey. Do you think it matters what we do? Will we all get our "lessons" no matter what we choose?
Hi - any choice we make can't be a mistake, because any choice we make will lead us somewhere. There are no mistakes. We learn from whatever road we take. Letting go of your worrying about doing it "right" or perfectly is needed here, or else you will paralyze your ability to move forward or make any decisions. Our challenge is to deal with whatever the moment brings us in a clear, loving, and compassionate way. How we are in any given moment is what matters, as that is really all there is. I think that you would benefit from listening to Jack Kornfield's 'The Inner Art of Meditation' audio series. He speaks of opening to whatever the moment is, and he presents the teachings in a wonderful way. Also, reading the book 'The Power of Now' would be useful for you.
We CAN make goals for ourselves, as that is how we manifest what we desire - and I think that can be a good thing. However, the key is not to be attached to that goal, or to the outcome. Being attached to an outcome can come from a need to control, which is fear and anxiety. We can set a goal, but then we have to let it unfold in its own way, and again, not be attached to it. Something better may happen that we don't even know about from our point of reference. That is the process of trusting in the guidance of Spirit. We can set the goal, but then we turn it over to Divine Intelligence to manifest it, or something better, in the best way. And even if that goal does manifest, we are still in the moment when it arrives - that will also only be a moment, and then we are in another moment - so how we are in the moment is still what counts.