Monday, September 15, 2008

One of the recurring themes in my dreams for at least 20+ years has been of climbing a ladder or staircase. I'm always ascending until I get to a gap where trying to step over it is just too risky, or something else happens to prevent my reaching the top. My climb usually ends, at that point, when I realize I can't get all the way up.

Back in the summer of 1985 after Don and I separated, I had one of these where I'm about 3 or 4 rungs from the top, and if I’m remembering correctly, the building is burning, maybe I’m trying to rescue someone from the burning building, when the ladder swings away from the wall and sways to and fro with me hanging on for dear life. It scared me so bad that I woke up before the ladder fell to the ground. Sometimes, in these dreams, I go back down; usually I just give up and wake up. Saturday morning, I had another step-climbing dream.

I'm ascending stairs that lead to a wall, not a landing, not a door, not another room, a wall. A narrow sliver of floor leads from the top step over to a bonus room, a play room. It's a loft-type room with no rail to protect from falls to the ground floor. Benji and Pip are playing on the floor in this room and I want very much to join them, but am unwilling to risk the 5 or 6 steps on the narrow, open ledge to get over to where they are.

I talked this over with my favorite dream guru this morning and have concluded that once again I'm being reminded of the trouble I have reaching my "highest potential." With son and grandson representing the youthful impulses and creative instincts in me, I'm afraid to take the risk required to attain that lofty playground.

What is holding me back? Figuring that out may take a while. To those of you who know me, I'm open to your ideas.

1 comment:

C J Garrett said...

from Skip. . .

Cathy- What I get from reading your dream is “tenuous”. I have similar dreams and in them they do end with a fall, and thankfully before hitting the ground, I wake up. Still, there is that horrible feeling of free fall…

I guess the dream could mean frustration in not achieving your highest potential, but my view is that life right now is somewhat shaky. The Tupelo dream was about making your way from the ruins of a failed marriage, one that you had invested in heavily. You survived, and perhaps did not achieve what you envisioned, but still made a good life for yourself. You see the same thing looming for your youngest child, and old memories and present day concerns close in on you- at both conscious and subconscious level. And there could well be other pressing factors- Mike, ***, the election. I think it important to acknowledge to yourself those “tenuous” situations/pressures.

Allow yourself to get in touch with that fear, anxiety, sadness and then take some steps (little ones) to either address what you can do, or accept reality and begin to develop strategies to protect yourself, or again, to resolve what you can do- reasonably. If reasonable action is not an option, then look for support systems, activities that reward you- art, music, friendships. Look for the positive ones as I think it is easy at times like this to fall into unhealthy solutions- like drinking, or burning bridges that you don’t need to.

And, it is hard to argue with putting time and energy into developing higher aspects of yourself. Just be prepared to look at what got you on that ladder and what got you at such scary heights- and if there are solutions, then to act.

You did so in Tupelo all those years ago. You really have amazing strengths and the courage to back them. Love- Skip.