The repeating dream

Here’s an interesting dream I’ve had off and on for a few years.

I somehow manage to find myself in a bad part of town. It’s dilapidated and broken down, signs on the buildings are sad, and there is a weight all around. There are no one on the streets but some dirty, aggressive men leaning around shouting assaults at either me or the people without faces who are walking around. I try to pick up my pace, to blend in like one of the faceless people. I walk down an alley way. It is narrow. On each side of this pathway there are doors. Each locked up with padlocks, or gates, or they look terrifying. Tonight, I noticed a few of the doors were pathetically decorated with pretty paper or decorations to try to make them look lively. Finally, I enter one the buildings.

As I begin walking around, from apartment to apartment or room to room, I notice that they are dark and dimly lit. They are often dirty. Very dirty. Once I enter the filth I am always floating, because there is so much stuff everywhere that walking is impossible.  I rarely see tenants, but if I do hose that live in these places never talk to me. (I know this is difficult to explain. I’m doing the best I can right now). The places contains a depression and brokenness I can feel and it is extremely heavy in the air. Tonight, I dreamt that there was a “specialist” going around to the apartments discussing to the tenants why they are so sad. (for some reason I can’t decide if I was the specialist or if it was someone else I was observing.) The specialist in my dream began asking the tenant why she was so sad, what happened that parts of her home were closed off from being used. She said that her sister had died there and she was unable to grieve. 

In a different part of this building, I entered someone else’s home. The woman on the chair in the living room was so desperately broken she couldn’t get out of her chair. There was a gruesome fact that I will spare you, but she looked sickly and sad. Just so damn sad. There was a dachshund quietly walking around. The carpet was so disgusting. 

I don’t remember much else of the dream, but there have been different versions in the past. One of them is the same dream, but I don’t remember talking to anyone else, and the homes are always hoarded. I don’t often see people in the dreams. Another version is the same thing, but in a hotel. A rundown hotel and I sometimes hear people in the shower or mulling about, so I hide.  The other involves a house. I never know what it completely looks like but the first part of the dream, it is clean. I think that there are children in other rooms playing, but somehow I find myself in someone’s clean closet, amidst their clothes. I push the clothes aside to find a hidden doorway. It’s big enough for me to crawl into. I do so, and there are levels and levels of undiscovered rooms. They are empty, but there are big windows on the top floors. Some reason, I am afraid that those on the outside will see me. When I go to the basement of this house, I find rooms of hoarded things. I can’t figure out why, but usually my great grandmother is standing at the door way to the basement with me in this part of the dream. When we cleared her house, she had hoarded generations of treasures. She grew up during the great depression and there were times in her life when she wasn’t sure when she was going to eat next. She stands at the top of the stairs with me, and below there are piles and piles of the things she hoarded, broken and covered in filth. I may have ventured down to this part of the dream before, but I am not entirely sure. I don’t remember anything happening after this. 

 

The way grizzly bears are more like fire flies.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about what love looks like. And how often that word carries with it the weight of a thousand definitions and reasons and complications. Too often we make love selfish, and wear it on our wrists like a fashion statement, when love is the most beautiful, astounding thing I have ever seen. Someone who is really attempting to live a life full of love–now that is truly a sight to behold, because once you really begin to try to love the way love should really happen, your heart becomes a wellspring. It’s indescribable. 

I just think of the inside of a person who is learning to fight is a nighttime in summer. Within lies all the potential and greatness, floating around as lightening bugs, waiting for the moment they can pour out of their mouth and shine. 

Last night I learned a powerful lesson. It was a difficult lesson, but I knew something was changing inside of me the moment I chose to find peace instead of anger at the position I had been placed in. Let me explain. I was working my job in retail and a woman that has been known to cause trouble in our store came in last night. Generally speaking, she’s downright mean and bitter. Nothing you say will calm her down or make her compliment you. She just gets a rise out of her harshness. I am definitely not one for confrontations. Especially from people I don’t know. Last night, she unloaded on me, big time. Her ranting and raving lasted for quite some time. But something inside of me screamed louder than anger and told me to bite my tongue, stand up for myself a little in a kind manner, and let it go. 

After she left I was kind of overwhelmed. As the minutes ticked on, however, I wasn’t angry, I felt sorry for her. I had seen her in our store before. She looks lonely and miserable. And honestly, as I began to ponder the circumstances for her arrival last night, I began feeling regrettably empathetic towards her plight. 

I have been addicted to watching the show Hoarders for quite a while. I quite enjoy psychology, and comprehending the reasons behind the way people behave when they have had difficult challenges in their life. One of the things that is a common theme in the reason why I have observed people hoarding is their desire to keep people out. They have been repetitively wounded in various ways for so long, that in their desperate attempt to deal with the pain, they hoard stuff that is useless to build barriers between themselves and other people. That at least the objects would love them always, that it would be there when they cried. That happiness could be found in another sack of papers or useless shirts. But no matter what they could somehow manage to find peace in something that couldn’t hurt them. It’s not that they didn’t want people in their life, because honestly most of the time the stars of these shows are so lonely you can see their breaking heart worn in the crooked way they smile. They are just so damn afraid of letting anyone in that could hurt them, that they feel keeping then out is the only way. 

And this is exactly what I felt about this woman last night. It was like she had been wearing the weight of generations of pain and all of these traumatic things that had happened to her in the direction of her step, in the cut of her words, in the bite of her anger. There is one thing I have really learned these past few months, and it is that most of the time, that anger is all a front. It keeps the people out. Anger does a good job of scaring others to stay away. It’s a defense mechanism. It happens when we are afraid to see or deal with what we are capable of inside, when we don’t comprehend that healing can happen. 

When I started thinking about the incident after, all I could do was be humbled by the prospect that she is still in the darkness with a blindfold, feeling around the cave. Something settled on my heart and made me feel stunningly aware that anger was not the appropriate response. Love will bring light. Pray for your enemies. Smile when it’s hard. And for goodness sakes, be brave. Love is never easy, but it’s worth it. I will probably not change her, but she changed me. Even if it was just because she was angry for the millionth time. 

Like I say, there really is beauty in everything you see. 

Until next time,

Rosie