I awoke from a dream in which I had been crying. Thankfully, crying in my sleep is not something that happens often, but when it does it always has something to do with another person. And always that other person is someone with whom I have, at one point of time had what was, at least for me, a very meaningful connection; a connection that has been broken, for one reason or another be it death or some other life altering changes.
Apparently, I am concluding, it is when I am asleep that I am calm enough or connected enough to my feelings or emotions that this is the time when I grieve what I perceive as losses, or yearn to reestablish that connection.
Yet at the same time in my life I continue to have what I believe to be fairly meaningful connections with those who continue to be a part of my life. Or do I?
Just this last week I began reading the book, Self Matters, by Dr. Phil McGraw. It’s not a newly written book but it contains some very informative material nonetheless. (I’ll bog on it one day soon as it really is a good book). He illustrates the process of seeing the world and ourselves through filters. Growing up I assumed, without really thinking about it that we all saw life in the same way. I saw the world as a very scary place; an environment that was too big and too powerful for me to be able to survive in on my own. My early life experiences taught me to be very afraid of those who were granted positions of authority (to this day, against my will, I still get weak in the knees when a cop car gets too close to mine). I could go on and on in detail but suffice it to say I grew up with a very distorted perception of the world; one in which I felt weak and afraid so that instead of working towards reaching my potential as a strong and vibrant woman; I instead sought anxiously for a man to take care of me.
Thus, despite my 6th grade teachers’ encouragement to apply myself to school because she saw in me potential to be able to pursue a college degree, I followed the prescribed path laid out for me that my purpose was to marry and bare children. By the time I finished high school plans were already laid out for me to move to another state, one in which I could meet many young men also raised in the religious faith of my youth so that I would have ample options to marry that “special someone”.
Apparently, as I’ve since come to recognize and Dr. Phil goes into detail on, I had a life script of which I was completely unaware of on a conscious level; a script that compelled me to reject options for a relationship with anyone who had the potential to love me, care for me and otherwise treat me well—not to mention properly provide, financially, for me, and my future offspring. Therefore, having pushed away the “nice guys” and the educated and established men that were interested in me, I opted instead to marry a young man who, I recognized before marriage, had a bad temper, was prone to violence, was uneducated and was very lacking in self-esteem, so, like me, had failed to take measures to reach his potential.
As life would be, the subsequent storms, trials and pain that came from this critical, life altering, unwise choice of mine provided fertile ground for a LOT of personal growth. Rather than accept and wallow in the miserable state in which I found myself, at age twenty-four I began a quest for personal growth and emotional healing. I started reading a variety of books pertaining to interpersonal relationships as well as works of the day that addressed personal growth. Periodically I sought out the guidance of personal counselors.
Initially I thought if I could fix myself then the relationship I was in would be happy. I believed myself to be “broken”; a flaw my (now “ex”) spouse was more than happy to use as a weapon against me. It would seem he preferred to see the problems in our marriage solely mine; his character, it would appear, did not allow for beliefs otherwise. After 17 years of that marriage, I’m happy to say I had grown enough as a person to recognize my personal worth, to gain confidence that I am capable of caring for myself, and that I am worthy of being in a relationship in which I am loved and appreciated; which is why I left that union and moved on.
I am now married to a man I originally met my freshman year of high school. He’s good to me and makes it a point to let me know he loves me. He’s been good to the two children of my first marriage and he takes very good care of the child of our union. For the most part I’ve no reason for complaint—at least that I am aware of. So the question begs: why do I feel a sense of something lacking.
This dream, from which I awoke crying, affirms to me there is something yet. Hence my quest to probe deeper and unearth what it is for which I seem to yearn. I have a suspicion it will at least in part have to do with the need to work towards fulfilling my potential as an individual. Maybe it’s time to pursue that college education I still have the potential for.
But, to be honest, I still feel a need for close friendships. A marriage relationship is a good thing, and mine is of value and worth to me. The friendship I share with my adult daughter is also a very positive aspect of my life, which I treasure. But I really think we humans actually need “friends” as well; the kind we can connect with on a deep and soulful level. I’m not talking the superficial, in word only “friends” of the popular social mediums such as Facebook. Let’s face it; there simply is not deep and meaningful connection to be found there. If you are like me, for the most part those are about a fulfilling as satisfying your thirst with sea-water.
And now that I’m reaching the end of this VERY long blog, I’ve managed to sort out the underlying meaning of my dream and why I cried. However, as this blog has become VERY long, I’ll save that for the topic of my next blog. I hope you’ll be with me as I follow this journey.