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At 6:A.M., I woke with this corrective dream from my personal unconscious:

It was winter, several inches of snow covered the ground. Headlights from a car swept the corners of my bedroom and turned into my driveway. It was my ride. I stirred under my comforter, anxious. I was supposed to be ready. I dressed hurriedly. Because I had no boots, I grabbed a handful of blue rubber gloves in the box on my dresser to cover my stocking feet. The gloves were mashed together and impossible to separate. My anxiety escalated into rage. Alone, I sat on the floor.  

Winter, several inches of snow covered the ground of my psyche suggesting anger’s stranglehold of my spiritual faculties: Anger of monstrous proportions distorts each image in the dream. 

My ride corresponds to my actual helper, well schooled in my needs, daily, since last September. In this dream, though, she does not appear but her taking care of me suggests the loss of my independence. I still don’t like it, even after these months.

My having no boots suggests an unsuitable foundation upon which to stand: I was off balance, dizzy. Desperate, I sought a substitute, anything to protect my feet from the snow-covered driveway.

The blue rubber gloves in the box on my dresser used by my helper when tending to my personal needs and the preparation of meals come to mind. In the dream, I grab a handful of the gloves but fail in separating them. It did not occur to me to ask for help, a lifelong pattern that ill-serves me, even now.

Despite frequent blogs alluding to acceptance of my terminal illness, this anger dream reveals another scenario unfolding within my depths. Only denial keeps me at bay from its full terror, and that’s as it should be, for now. Occasionally, however, breakthroughs do occur that wash over me until the next one, usually in the evening.

I still plead with the Psalmist, “Create, O God, a clean heart within me!”

At 6:45 A.M., I awoke with this corrective dream:

Not far from me, I heard harassing, arguing, bullying, hounding, the voices escalating to a terrifying pitch. It sounded like the Trumps. 

Slowly, I pulled the covers aside, still smarting by the piece of dream story that wedged into my awareness and begged for attention.

True, I had been meditating upon Step One in Recipe for Recovery, with special focus upon surrender to my terminal illness. True, most afternoons, I had been sharing these insights with my sponsor and receiving her enthusiastic response. True, I had drawn insights from daily readings during phone conferences and shared them with my CPA buddies. In coasting along without a hitch, however, I had forgotten that spiritual growth is messy. I did have a terminal disease, after all. It was time for rumpling in my dream.

That my Dreamer likened my anger, largely covert, with the Trumps gave me considerable pause. Yet, truth, alone, fills dream stories, even snatches of them, as in this case.

Because of unremitting arthritic pain that chewed my knees like alligators, anger hid out in my psyche at an early age. With subsequent aging and diminishing health, my anger mounted. And with eligibility for hospice, it escalated into grief: thumping my innards, pommeling my breathing, splaying my thinking, and rendering me less than. Only with the spell’s dissolution did I pick up my life where I left off.

Perhaps my Dreamer prompts the ownership and expression of my anger as more losses deepen.

Yet, I’m also heartened by the Psalmist’s prayer, Who can understand her errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. And I’ve many, still lodged in my psyche.

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At 5:30 A.M., I awoke with this dream:

The pastor of a church invited representatives from neighboring ones to plan for a weekend seminar. The nod from mine found me seated around a conference table with others as we listened for our responsibilities. Toward the end of the meeting, I was asked to track the number of cups of coffee consumed by the participants. To myself, I muttered, what a harebrained idea. I refused to do it, but told no one. I was expecting something showier than that.

The dream gave me pause as it reflected an old attitude when volunteering for church duties. No matter my chronic exhaustion, I was desperate for attention. What was in it for me? Would I attract a significant other—Someone to trust? How careful I was to mask my rage, even from myself—all the while, hobbling about on arthritic knees, at times, stooped and supported by my cane.

A deeper look at the dream, however, reveals habits ingrained since childhood: my refusal to tend to little things and my passive aggressiveness. Schooled in perfectionism, I dreaded making mistakes; there were consequences. So I hid out, blended within the behavior of others, all the while, my psyche shriveling into the caricature of myself. In my own eyes, I could do no wrong.

However, the practice of rigorous honesty in Twelve-Step recovery has made inroads into my shadow, for which I’m grateful. This only began in 1991 and is ongoing.

More than ever, I rely upon the daily grace operative in my psyche and which will eventually lead me home. How I long for that.

In the meantime, I continue practicing…

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