I awoke in the middle of the night, my heart racing, body in a cold sweat. Nightmare. I was being chased by two large black bears. The faster I ran, the faster they closed the distance between us. Finally, a police car picked me up and I told the officer that we needed to get a tranquilizer gun and shoot the bears to sedate them; that was the only way to stop the chasing. Then, I woke up.
Now, I know dreams can be interpreted any which way. I'm of the opinion that the only person to interpret a dream is the dreamer. It's my subconscious, my symbols, my metaphoric story. So, I got up and journaled for a while, then went back to sleep. I awoke this morning to an interpretation of what I think the dream means for me at this point in my life.
Bears, to me, are incredibly powerful and strong animals. I have blogged recently about the Hindu Goddess Kali and the power she has come to symbolize for me. I can feel my power and strength increasing daily. And frankly, I'm afraid of my own power. Yet, here in my dreams, this power, as symbolized by these large bears, was chasing me. It was hunting me down. The more I tried to run from it, the faster it was catching up to me.
I can feel this power play weaving through my life. I feel the power rising within me, yet am also acutely aware of my long-standing pattern of running from it, or attempting to tranquilize it, sedate it, as I had suggested be done with the bears. Having the power to create and direct my life is still a new concept for me. I have become more accustomed to it since leaving the Jehovah's Witnesses almost four years ago, but it is still a battle to re-write the voice in my head that comes along each time I want to try something new or dream or create, the voice that says, "You can't do that."
With my growing strength, I am beginning to talk back to this voice with more and more courage. "Who says I can't do this? Maybe I can."
I have to keep reminding myself that this is my life. My life. I am no longer living for the needs of the group, for the needs of my mother, for the needs of a God bent on destroying what makes me me. This is my life. The only one I get. And it's up to me to choose each day how it's going to be.
I have also been feeling an incredible amount of anger of late. Anger is a powerful energetic force. It is also the manifestation of Kali, who uses her rage to destroy in order to lay the foundation to create anew. In the past, I have cowered from my anger. I pushed it down. I did not allow it to speak, to transform and to create. No wonder I was so tired all the time. Try keeping down 10, 20, 30 years worth of anger. Talk about a whole lot of wasted energy.
It's interesting to watch my old patterning surface. Not just the self-negating voices but the self-sabotaging behavior. I watched the other night as I gulped down a bunch of sleeping pills because I could no longer bear (hahaha...bear) to be with my anger. I could not transform it, so I felt it best to just tranquilize it. I am still gaining the tools to move from anger to transformation to creation. It is a revolution, an evolution, and frankly, a bit of a convolution.
I remember hearing over and over again at JW meetings about the destruction of the wicked, the destruction of the earth, the destruction of the world that I knew. There wasn't much talk about what would happen after. Somehow, it would all just be better than before. But there wasn't much to support how this would happen, what it would look like and what my individual role in the creation of Paradise would be.
The Jehovah's Witness regime is good at destroying things...marriages, spirits, creativity, lives. It's not so good at creating. Actually, JW's, like all humans, have a strong creative force. My JW friends were great artists and comedians and writers and actors and musicians but all of us were steered away from these talents in favor of taking on other, more menial, jobs so as to support the proselytizing work. It's sad really.
No wonder my burgeoning creativity and power at first blush feel like a threat. They were a threat for a very long time. There was no room as a JW for pursuing creativity or having a sense of personal power. I remember the phrase "independent spirit" being used by the JW elders to describe anyone who was manifesting a desire to be an individual. The further implication, of course being, that a good little JW would not associate with such a person so as not to be tainted by their "worldly attitude". Geez, so much division. So much destruction. So little creation. Makes me angry. Makes me sad. But now, it mostly makes me want to make my life different.
It's obvious there is much work for me to do here. Those bears that were chasing me in my dream last night were messengers of the work I need to do. I am reminded that I must face my own power, stand grounded in my ability to create, over-ride my tendency to sedate my feelings and choose each day, each moment, to live the life that I say I want. Not easy, but I'm learning.