When Dreams Come True

 we must die to one life before we can enter another {Anatole France}

Image result for images of missile hitting houseIn my last post I promised to decipher my dream about the missile hitting the house where I lived with my family - mother and twin brothers. The house was left basically uninhabitable but we all escaped unscathed. 

There was also a young girl staying with the family who was about to attend a nearby school, with which I seem to have a connection. 
The dream indicated that certain patterns in behaviour, responsible for much of the stress in my life were about to be reconstituted. Their day had come and gone.

In decoding the dream, it is necessary to say something about an aspect of my personality, an archetypal behaviour pattern that ran my life: the Orphan Child. An insight into her way of being is critical to understanding the dream.

Although we all have and express the many different aspects of the child archetype – Wounded, Eternal, Magical, Divine, Nature etc – the Orphan had totally dominated my life. She had become a complex lodged deep in my psyche. Her all pervasive management of my life was far more than I had ever appreciated. 

In the shadow, she sucked my life force and drained my vitality, not that I was aware of any of that. But hindsight is a wonderful thing.  The Orphan Child had lost her way. Her behaviour had long impacted all aspects of my health - physical and emotional, economic, mental, and spiritual. In the shadow she was a false god that controlled my life. In the world of psychiatry she might well be labelled a dissociative identity - described as an ANP - an Apparently Normal Person! 

I felt blessed that not only did I train in transpersonal psychology which takes psychiatric disorders very seriously indeed but (and) at the same time goes above and beyond psychiatric labelling for greater understanding. I also had the good fortune to meet and work with Caroline Myss who enabled me to better understand and language differently a world that I encountered every day in my working life.  Not only was I better able to understand myself but could give clients a deeper more optimistic perspective on their own life journey.

Anyway back to my dream:

My orphan child persona is independent, preferring to go it alone, is a non-conformist and holds a general attitude of non-compliance. She is confident about her ability to survive. That tends to make orphan children rebels and risk-takers. This orphan had made common cause with outsiders and underdogs. In one way or another, most of my working life had been given to advocacy on behalf of, and championing those I viewed as the dispossessed or marginalised.

Much of my life was lived and viewed through the lenses of the orphan and from her perspective – an angry and exhausting life script, apparently set in stone by childhood experiences.  

From my personal perspective (and training) in dreams all dwelling places is representative of the physical body – home of the earth-bound soul.  

Image result for images of missile hitting houseThe missile was symbolic of something destructive. The dream was  alerting me to the fact that my body, my soul’s home, was about to be hit by catastrophe but I would survive.

The ‘family’ represented those archetypal patterns of behaviour which had to change in some way; they longer served a purpose in my life. The twin brothers in the dream were aspects of my personality I called the Rebel-Advocate; they supported the orphan child, who vastly overshadowed another, quite different child.

          I did not immediately appreciate the significance of the young girl who was living with the family and was about to enrol into a nearby school. Like Harry Potter, she was in fact only apparently an orphan, concealing the real identity of one that was hidden and on the point of emergence. A different more optimistic child waiting in the wings – a magical one – was about to come on stage. If I was going to get through the next phase of my life, then I needed her. 

The mother in the dream represented a patient nurturer who enjoyed birthing new life. In the dream, I had reassured mother that the house (my body) would be repaired within a few days. Indeed, the lights in my house were about to dim metaphorically and literally. There would be dramatic and unexpected change. I needed my Orphan to survive it, but also the Magical child to enable me to see blue skies behind the looming clouds and actually welcome the challenge of spiritual growth through adversity.

As individuals we are generally oblivious to our own reactive archetypical responses, even when they, like the shadow addict, hedonist, vampire etc generate chaos in our lives and on the planet. Very few of us are either conscious of, or ready to admit to those aspects of personal behaviour that contribute to the deterioration of our health and well being.  There are also aspects of behaviour that are not conducive to the health of the environment.

Attachment to our false gods, our way of life, is so strong that many of us passively acquiesce to their control over the choices we make. It is far easier to deny that our personal behaviour is a major contributory factor to the degeneration of physical, emotional and mental health, and in creating environmental catastrophe than to take individual and collective responsibility. 

With hindsight it is also clear to me that I became a psychotherapist in order to heal my orphan child. I even changed my name to support her retirement (I now use one of the names given me at birth and my maiden name, not the one people have known me by in my professional life); that past life has been left far behind.

So, to friends and colleagues who still express utter incredulity that I simply gave up or turned my back on ‘public life’ which, in their view, enabled me to make a contribution to social change, all I can say is on the one hand I had little choice, and on the other there are many ways to ‘make a difference’. We each have our own paths to follow.  

Of course there is much more to the dream. The impact on my life was initially devastating and the changes generated continue to unfold to this very day, many years after the dream. I love the story and it is only one chapter, maybe one day, in the soul's journey. 


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