(Spotted on Facebook)
After the feast of dreams that I reported not quite two weeks ago (sorry I haven’t posted for so long!), I’ve been having a dream feast or famine overall: most nights I either can remember four or five dreams, or a couple of three dreams plus fragments of others, or I remember nothing or next to nothing.
Part of the famine (and my Clippy pic above) has come from waking up repeatedly in the night, usually for unknown reasons, which tends to wipe dreams from my memory. Those long stretches awake in the middle of the night also tend to spark depressive episodes. I don’t exactly ponder the futility of existence, but as usual with my depression, I ponder the futility of trying to do anything in general. Depression started creeping back in this past week (not due to holidays, or at least I don’t think that was the cause), which started leading me back into behaviors that aren’t destructive but not exactly helpful (like binge-watching TV instead of exercising, and usually binge-eating while I’m watching).
So my dreams kicked back into feast mode again.
This round, though, they were somewhat different from the last feast. Last time, I had a series of encouraging dreams that assured me I could defeat or get through challenges that might lay ahead of me through a combination of ways. This time around the dreams seemed to be more like warnings.
There were several (as “feast” implies, naturally), but two stick out enough for me to make mention of:
One was just a fragment. I’m climbing a metal staircase in a dreamscape building, but the staircase is a challenge. Despite looking solid from just a few paces away, once I’m on it I see that it’s anything but. It’s freestanding, missing railings, and there are occasionally gaps where stairs should be, forcing me to leap upward if I want to keep going. In addition to this I’m inexplicably tired, and stumbling a little, and I’m afraid I might tumble off the stairs. I look up and see that the staircase stretches for stories above me, dozens of feet. But then I realize I only have to go as far as the second floor, which is just ahead of me, so I lunge through the door with huge relief.
Possible interpretations? I’m not exactly sure, but staircases in my dreams lately would seem to indicate some sort of personal ascent – the last one, in the tsunami dream I wrote about a couple of weeks ago, meant lifting myself spiritually could protect me from harm or being overwhelmed by something that seems huge. So what does a treacherous metal staircase mean? I don’t think, as I wondered at first, that it means I’m on the wrong spiritual path somehow – after all, I was still ascending, and knew in the dream I had to go up at least one floor. It might indicate that there are dangers in the climb, though, albeit necessary ones to face.
The fact that I could leave after just going up one floor might be telling, too, but I didn’t feel as if this was any sort of cop-out or something to be condemned for. More like “If this is all you can do now, that’s OK – just make sure you do it instead of staying at the bottom of the stairs instead of trying to climb them. Then get back on the stairs when you’re ready.”
The second dream was more stark and detailed. I’m in my wife’s bedroom and discover that a leak in the roof has gone down through the wall and peeled part of the wall itself away. I see that it’s gone into the floor too, so I start going through the dream version of my house and discover once I get to the ground floor that the damage is substantial – there are large holes going all the way up to the bedroom floor, and I can also see from the bottom that water is still pouring down through the roof. There’s old evidence of trying to patch up the lowest ceiling’s hole, but the leak has damaged this makeshift repair work.
Interpretation: Whenever I dream of a dreamscape version of my house, it typically means my physical self in one way or another. The first thought that came to me was that I’m in a lot worse physical shape than I would like to be – much worse than I was even just last year, when I spent three months working out in preparation for a physically demanding vacation – and that the “holes” going through the house represented this poor physical shape that I’m in, and possibly damage that I’ve done to myself.
Water typically means either spiritual or emotional power, and as I’ve mentioned before, floods mean that power is unchecked or out of control somehow. So I’m guessing that in this context, it means emotional energy that I’ve let run unchecked in too many cases and that it’s now done damage to my body. I’m guessing those emotions are specifically depression and anger. In both cases I let them lead me…not to self-destructive behaviors, exactly, but into behaviors that block many things that are helpful. The leak may have first been visible in a way that represent domestic problems, but the water was pouring in through the roof – or in other words, my own mind. I was letting the water through and letting the damage be done.
So what do I do about it? Well, the physical part of it is relatively simple. I should exercise more. This could mean starting workouts again (which I keep telling myself I’ll do but haven’t yet). Or for that matter, I’m a homeowner in the country, which means I can get in all kinds of manual labor without even leaving my yard. I was just thinking earlier today, for example, that I’ve got a stack of fallen limbs I could chop into kindling for my in-laws’ wood stove.
The mental part is the hard part. A lot harder than just pushing weights over my head in the gym.
I’ve gotten into an emotional pattern for so long that I don’t always know I’m doing or thinking something until I’m well into it. The spiritual explorations have definitely helped; far more than I would have guessed when they started, especially for such a short amount of time. Depression and anger have both been reduced, but both are still burning too hot too often. The externals show no indication of changing anytime soon, so for the time being I’ll have to work on them internally.
How to do that? I think…to just be diligent in keeping on doing what I’ve been doing. Keep up the dream record. Do more meditations. Try new meditations and other exercises.
I can’t stop the rain but I can try to fix the roof.