Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dreams of Disillusionment

The holidays are about over, and we are about to embark upon a new year. This time of year brings anticipation for a new start, but sometimes there is sadness or maybe regret over the past year, what we did not accomplish, what relationships may have ended or changed, those resolutions we never finished, or possibly disillusionment with a goal that never manifested in the way we thought it should have.

A night or two ago I had a dream. I dreamed I had traveled a long way in the pouring rain to go to an insurance agent to file a claim. When I finally reached the building it was very large and impressive. Inside there were multiple levels with many attractions: stores, bars, restaurants, which I noticed in passing as I approached the office for which I had come. I had come a long way and had traveled in adverse weather conditions just to see this insurance agent. I went into the office to file the claim and there was only one person ahead of me and I waited. And waited. And waited. Eventually it would be my turn, I remember thinking. I waited a very long time. (I am not a patient person by nature.) After a very long time I decided I had waited long enough and I turned to leave. Just as I was about to leave, a man called me over and began talking to me about my claim but I did not get the answer I was hoping for and it seemed a long and arduous process. Disillusioned, I left. I just wanted to go home. I passed by all the shops with interesting wares and the quaint restaurants and decided just to browse a little before leaving. I woke up from the dream very sad. It seemed like it was so familiar to me. I guess I felt like sometimes I try and try so hard to get somewhere and then I wait and wait and I never seem to reach the goal for which I had set out in the first place. I realized that this is probably a common problem for many people this time of year. The year is ending, we look back on the year and what we hoped to accomplish, and have not attained to what we had dreamed of. Sometimes we just want to go home and stop the madness. But then our attention is drawn to some interesting things on our quest to go home.

I asked the Angels why it was so hard to shake off this dream and get back to my normally positive and perky self. Normally if I am hit by a sad emotion, I can quickly offset it with a happy thought or a choice to just be happy anyway. Gratitude is also a wonderful antidote for the blues. I did not want to share this dream because someone might realize that I am not always on top of things. I am not always the happy guru and sometimes I get grouchy. But then I realized that others might need to know the antidote for the blues. It may not be a dream that got you in the doldrums, but a goal not realized, a relationship gone bad, a realization that something that you thought was important was not so very important anymore. I remember years ago realizing that the belief system that I had held my whole life was no longer holding water anymore and it took several years to get over that life changing moment. What to do?

The dream held the answer. On our quest to go home, there are many interesting shops and quaint restaurants to notice on the way to the car to take you home. Life has within it so many things to enjoy. Maybe the dream was telling me I was trying too hard. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Stop and look in the shops. Notice the things along the way that grab your attention. Sometimes when we are consumed with a problem we do not notice the things along the way that are there calling out for our attention. Yes, life has disappointments. Things do not always go the way we had hoped. But there is always an alternative. There is always the choice to pick ourselves up and move forward. Usually it is so easy for me to be happy and positive and I think this dream showed me how sometimes it is just hard to shake the blues. When you are in a low place, you just have to make one step forward to a better place. Choose to feel one degree better than you do right now. You don't have to be dancing a jig right away. Just take one step up from where you are right now. And then one more. And then one more. Soon you will forget about what upset you in the first place.

Remember your emotions are your guidance system to let you know how far on or off track you are. It is time to get back on track. There is no judgement if you are not completely on track at the moment. Experience the emotion and then choose to feel one degree better. Get out and take a walk or go shopping or play golf or whatever makes you feel better. If things are not exactly what you had seen for yourself a year ago, that is okay. A new year is coming and a new chance to live life to the fullest. Be thankful that you have experienced another year and you have learned and you have grown. You have loved, you have laughed, you have cried. You have written another chapter in your book of the  human experience. And no one lived it quite like you did.

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