a present and future dilemma

Be careful of change for change’s sake…

So says a recent dream…

In the dream:

I’m preparing to move.  At my new apartment building, I won’t actually have a room—just a bed in an open hallway.

So, I’m having second thoughts.  However, I’ve already put down a deposit.  And that’s not my only expenditure—I’ve also paid for a community college course.  But do I really need that class?

Maybe I can cancel both the move and the course and get some of my money back.

This dream wouldn’t seem to relate to my current life.  Yes, there’s the desire for change—an impulse to shake things up a bit.  But I’m not in the process of making any moves, big or small, at present.

Maybe the dream is looking into the future and telling me: be careful.  You want to be more open.  But in so doing, you could go too far.

Yes, sleeping in a hallway would be extreme.  But what’d be the harm of enrolling in a class?

Let me be clear: I don’t take the message literally.  The course could represent any learning experience in a structured group setting…

At this point, I’m reminded of group experiences from my past.  Though some of these experiences have been good, so often I’ve felt disappointed, frustrated.  Too often, I’ve felt confined.  Restricted to a certain role.  And so, I’ve usually chosen the freedom of being on my own.  But here’s the paradox: that freedom can limit me in other ways.

So, whether I enroll or cancel, there’s a cost.

I’ve read: our dreams never give us answers to the problems they reveal.  I’m not sure if that’s always true…

…but I can see why this dream can’t answer the question it presents:

The problem in the dream is a problem I’ll likely encounter many times in the future.  And each time, the situation will be somewhat different.  So the answer won’t always be the same.

But for the present and the immediate future, I see myself going my own way.  Yes, I want to be more open.  I want to connect.  But I can do that without being stuck in a “class”.

Right now, I’m not willing to pay that cost, just for the sake of change.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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positive progress report

I don’t understand this dream…

…and yet I’m encouraged by what it shows me.

In the dream…

A young workman has finished a project at my father’s house…

As he leaves, he steals a section from the newspaper on the kitchen table.

The nerve of the guy!  I hurry to catch him.  But as I do, I tell myself: be calm.  Don’t fly off the handle.

I find his RV parked in our driveway.  I enter and take the newspaper section from the workman.  I do say a few words to him—but without getting overheated.

After I exit, I see him at the steering wheel of the RV—but the wheel is on the passenger’s side.  A shadowy figure is mostly hidden on the opposite side.

I have many questions about this dream…

But I haven’t taken the time to answer any of them.  I have so much work begging for my attention right now…

Nonetheless, I did ask myself: Should I stop and look into this dream?

Yes, I would learn something…however, I believe:

There is a time to go within—to shine a light on the darker parts of our depths…

…but now is not that time.  Now I need to focus my energy elsewhere.

But I am glad I remembered this dream; I’m glad I took the time to write it down.  I look at it as a progress report…

At times, in the past, I’ve vented my anger when confronting those who’ve committed petty crimes against me…

…and later, often regretted getting so steamed.

This dream shows me being conscious in the moment—I’m able to stop myself before engaging in that harmful behavior.  I’m able to say “no” firmly—instead barking“NO!” without thinking.

I can’t quite believe I’ve made such a change in my waking life.

But in my experience, dreams don’t lie.

In any case, if I’m able to do that in a dream, I should be able to do it when awake.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
my war for peace: poetry ebook

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me too?

Me too?

In a recent dream, our national conversation becomes a personal conversation…

Consider the dream…

I’m in a large spacious hall, talking to a helpful bank employee.  As we part, I touch her lightly on the shoulder—a spontaneous act of appreciation.

But I’m shocked at myself.  What have I done!  She could take this wrong way.

But no.  She doesn’t seem to give it any special thought.

Farther on down the hall, I meet and talk with another woman.  Again, the conversation is friendly, but nonsexual.  As we part, I touch her shoulder.

Once more, I’m alarmed: you idiot—you’ve done it again!

But this woman hardly seems to notice the gesture—just like the bank employee.

First, let me say: I’m not an aggressive man.  Never have been.  Nor am I the touchy-feely type.  I might touch a dog on the shoulder.  But that’s about it.

Maybe the message is: in light of recent harassment stories, I’ve become paranoid.

However, the touches in the dream may not represent actual physical touches. After all, you can “touch” a person with a verbal expression of genuine warmth.

I’m often concerned about someone taking something I say the wrong way.  This dream is showing that worry in high relief.  And also telling me: relax.

In the dream, both women are emotionally healthy.  I know that on a basic intuitive level.  On that level, I know they won’t misinterpret my warm response.  If I’d picked up a different vibe from either of them, I would’ve been more reserved.

Actually, they might’ve thought me weird if I hadn’t expressed appreciation.  That’s the irony: a cool, aloof response is more likely to be misconstrued.

The dream is saying: trust yourself—your instincts are good ones.

Yes, even at this late date, I’m learning about human relations.  But I guess I shouldn’t feel too bad—from what I see in our news, many of us still have much to learn.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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Galaxy Sleep

Our dreams remind us how extraordinary our ordinary lives are.
 

GALAXY SLEEP

According to one theory…

as we ease into sleep
our minds begin to spiral
and expand
like a hurricane
like a galaxy:

though we think we rest
we actually spread and accelerate
through an interstellar space—

each night we extend
just a little bit more
than before—
we grow even as we snore.

But when the alarm sounds
we contract—
in a mere instant
we slam back together again!

I’m not sure of that theory
but I do know:
in a blink I’m awake
and in the rush of morning thought
I quickly forget
my nighttime universe…

but later, while waiting in traffic
I may sense a soft buzz of stardust within
then dimly recall a meteor or a planet.

What I lost probably wasn’t that important
I’ll tell myself

but in truth, at such times
I feel like a kid
who’s just missed the circus
and must return to class.

© 2018, Michael R. Patton
myth steps blog

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giving myself a break

My dreams tell me many things…but more often than not, they say: you’re fighting with yourself.

Consider this recent dream…

An office supervisor leaves his company at the end of the day and heads down a stairway.

Inside the office, employees remain at their desks.  By choice, they’ll work late into the night.

The supervisor is irritated at them for staying.

This dream scenario brought to mind Mad Men, a TV drama set in a 1960s advertising agency.

The creative team at the agency often worked long hours…

But to what good?  The extreme overtime seemed to numb them.  Wouldn’t they do better work if fresh?

The connection between this dream and my waking life was obvious.  Prior to the dream, I’d been extending my work time late into the evenings…

…even when I sensed I should rest and refresh.  Yes, I’d been rebelling against my inner supervisor.

The dream seemed to be telling me to end the evening shift.

But the thought made me squirm…

After all, I kept returning to my work, because I wanted to get it right.  I was following a deep desire.  A positive impulse.

The office manager can keep me organized.  But such practicality may sometimes be at odds with the creative drive.

I once read: a dream will present a question, but never provide the answer.  That may not always be true.  But it’s true in regards to this dream…

The dream isn’t telling me to stop the evening work.  Nor does it say: go ahead—push yourself; don’t give in to fatigue.  No, it’s just showing me the conflict situation.

After that realization, I found the answer I needed.  I found it where good answers are often found: between two extremes.  I still work in the evenings.  But not quite as much.  And I’m more willing to take a break from the battle.

myth steps blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

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back on my feet

When I see a friend in a dream, am I dreaming about him or am I dreaming about me?

Consider this recent dream…

I kneel before “G” as she lies in bed.  I’m distraught, confused—I can see my friend is near death.

Her body is misshapen—oddly flattened.  White pancake makeup creates a mask on her face.

I try to adjust the little shoes on her feet.  But I can’t quite get them to fit—her feet are nothing but knobs now.

Sometimes when I’ve dreamt about friends, the dream has solely been about them.  But such cases are very rare.  Most of the time, when a friend appears in a dream, my dreaming mind is using him as a symbol.  He represents some aspect of myself…

And so it was with this dream.

The dream isn’t foretelling the death of my friend.  Of that I’m certain, because she died a few years ago.

No, the dream is about the death of some aspect of my self.

But what part?  What does G represent in the dream?

A whole range of associations come up when I think of her…

But we didn’t connect through her dogs or her tango dancing.  Our common interest was dreams.  The inner life.

A confession: I haven’t given much attention to my dreams lately…I’ve remembered a few…but haven’t gone into them.

So apparently, this dream is commenting on my lack of attention to my dreams.   Ironic, yes.

The dream says: you’ve hobbled a part of your self.  You’re losing something very dear.

But I can get back what I’ve lost…

Past dreams have taught me: though an aspect may be buried, it never really dies.  This aspect can be revived.  That which is out of shape can be put back into shape.

Yes, the dream made its case in an overly dramatic fashion.  But the drama worked, right?  It got my attention.

sky rope poetry blog
© 2017, Michael R. Patton

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